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Important Info for travelers into LAX Airport Los Angeles, California

My grandsons' first flight!

LAX Airport in Los Angeles, California is the topic of the next 4 pages of this website. It's a BIG airport!

On this first page, you'll read about 2 topics: first, an overview of Los Angeles International Airport, mentioning some interesting general information about the facility. Secondly, you'll find a listing of all the domestic air carriers at LAX---including contact information such as phone number, street address at LAX airport, terminal number, and a link to the official website of each one.

On the second (next) page of this section, you'll read about the LAX Airport layout, parking, rental cars and other ground transportation.

Then, on the third page, you'll find a list of the international air carriers at LAX, along with their contact information. Finally, the 4th page is a "wrap-up," called "LAX FAQs," covering questions readers have wanted to know...miscellaneous items of interest not covered on the other three pages.

LAX Airport Los Angeles: An Overview

A plane takes off from LAX Airport Los Angeles; taken from nearby Dockweiler Beach

The Los Angeles International Airport has many good features. Compared to other big city airports, the layout is quite compact. There are 9 terminal buildings...each one small enough that you won't get lost or have a hard time finding anything inside them. The 9 buildings are all close together, joined by a wide, horseshoe-shaped, pedestrian-friendly sidewalk. Once again, it's impossible to get lost because you can see all the buildings in one glance.

Just like the horseshoe shaped sidewalks, there are horseshoe-shaped roads that drive by the terminal buildings. Arrivals are on the lower, ground level, and departures are on the upper level. If you use the correct level to arrive at LAX Airport, then you'll be merely steps from your check-in desk when you get out at the curb. If no one's dropping you off, you can park in a garage directly across the street from where you need to go...and it's still easy.

There's no trouble whatsoever when you land at Los Angeles International Airport, either. After landing, you simply head to the lower level of your terminal, pick up your baggage, and grab a taxi...or go to your car in the nearby parking lot. You drive away---and that's it. You're not dependent on trams or shuttles to go from one building to the at Denver, for example...where you must land, take a shuttle to the main building, and THEN hunt amongst dozens of baggage carousels serving all airport arrivals. Since there are 9 terminals at LAX Airport...each of them having baggage carousels for ONLY that one building, it's so easy to find the carousel that YOU need.

Beautiful Dockweiler Beach, adjacent to LAX Airport, Los Angeles

Plus, when you arrive or leave Los Angeles International Airport, the scenery is great as you zoom into the sky! LAX Airport Los Angeles is located RIGHT NEXT TO THE BEACH! Your view of it during landing will be spectacular. (In several photos on this page, you're enjoying a view of beautiful Dockweiler Beach...which lies directly at the end of the LAX Airport runways!) If you fly up or down the coastline towards your destination, you'll continue to enjoy spectacular Pacific Ocean views. Or, if your plane veers around and head inland, you'll fly directly over Los Angeles, instead. If you fly over the city, you'll have the thrill of picking out all the famous landmarks...the Hollywood Sign, the Griffith Park Observatory, Santa Monica Pier with its ferris wheel and rides (which have been used as filming locations for many movies and television shows!)

No, the LAX airport itself is not a problem. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't problems! And the problems center around 2 areas: long lines of traffic driving into the airport, and long lines at the security screening points.

LAX Airport Los Angeles: Problems with Congestion

Bike paths wind through a wide stretch of sand at Dockweiler Beach, near the LAX Airport Los Angeles

GETTING INTO the airport campus is a BIG problem! The line of cars waiting to get into the airport often takes a half hour to maneuver...and that's if you're LUCKY. I've driven to LAX many times, and tried the several different routes that exist to get there...and the traffic problem is still bad. Unfortunately, that's because the of the convenient horseshoe shape of the buildings. Yes, the "horseshoe" is convenient; VERY convenient...once you're ALREADY THERE! But, that terrific one-way flow of traffic through the horseshoe means that matter from which direction they enter the Los Angeles International Airport...has to enter the actual horseshoe at the same ONE POINT. The back-up to get in at that point is what causes the tie-ups and traffic jams.

Another thing about LAX Airport, Los Angeles, that can be long and exasperating is the length of the lines for the security screening area. At some busy times, the lines can go out the door of the terminals and snake down the sidewalk! One time when I flew out of LAX, that's what happened to me...I was stuck waiting 'way out on the sidewalk---and I was afraid that I'd miss my flight! (I didn't.)

Of course, long lines for the security screening happen in EVERY airport these days. LAX Airport certainly isn't the ONLY large-city airport with this same problem! The sheer numbers of people flying through Los Angeles International Airport cause the lines to be longer here, though, than at smaller, regional airports. (What's the best way to avoid long security lines at LAX...or at any airport, for that matter? Book your flights for unpopular times of departure: late nights, Saturday afternoons and evenings, and Sundays. Why? Because weekday mornings are busy with business travelers; Saturday mornings are crowded with pleasure-flyers. Mornings are the worst time for lines at LAX Airport's security screening stations.)

If you never bothered to show up 2-3 hours early for your flight at your own home airport (because it wasn't really necessary) DON'T assume that coming early to LAX Airport Los Angeles is optional. It isn't! It's a MUST! Mainly because of these lines, I now try to fly in and out of one of the smaller airports in Southern California. It saves time and frustration.

Nevertheless, I really do LOVE LAX. I can still remember LAX when it was brand new. I took my first flight from LAX as a child in 1962. There was no multi-story parking structure in the middle of the horseshoe back then. Can you believe that there was a time in LAX history when a flat, asphalt slab parking lot was quite adequate to handle all the cars parked at Los Angeles International Airport!

Even though my best advice these days is for you to use a smaller airport, such as John Wayne in Orange County, Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, or the Long Beach Airport, there are times when LAX is still the best place to go. For international flights, no airport in the region can beat the LAX airport of Los Angeles for its sheer scope and variety of carriers, destinations and schedules! Even for domestic flights, LAX offers you more carriers than the smaller airports around the area. Plus, if you're ultimate destination is in western Los Angeles (Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, Century City, the South Bay Cities, for example), LAX is simply the very closest airport for you to use.

Airlines at LAX Airport Los Angeles

LAX Theme Bldg

LAX offers 75+ airlines from which to choose, which is too many for one page. Therefore the list has been divided.

On this web page, you'll find the list of US domestic airlines. And then--on a separate page--you'll see the list of international carriers.

* AirTran Airways is in LAX terminal 6. AirTran Airways phone number, (800) 247-8726; the AirTran Airways official website is:

* Alaska Airlines is located mostly in Terminal 3, but also has some arrivals in the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Alaska Airlines phone number, (800) 426-0333; the Alaska Airlines official website is:

* America West has merged with US Airways; see listing below on this page

* American Airlines (and American Eagle) are located in Terminal 4. American Airlines phone number, (800) 433-7300 (American Eagle phone number is the same); the American Airlines official website is:

* Continental Airlines is located in Terminal 6. Continental Airlines phone number, (800)525-0280; the Continental Airlines phone number is:

* Delta Airlines is located in Terminal 5. Delta airlines phone number, (800)221-1212; the Delta Airlines official website is:

* Frontier Airlines is located in Terminal 6. Frontier Airlines phone number, (800) 432-1359; the Frontier Airlines official website is:

* Hawaiian Airlines is located in Terminal 2. Hawaiian Airlines phone number, (800) 367-5320; the Hawaiian Airlines official website is:

* Horizon Airlines is located in Terminal 3. Horizon Airlines phone number, (800) 547-9308; the Horizon Airlines official website is:

* Midwest Airlines is located in Terminal 4. Midwest Airlines phone number, (800) 452-2022; the Midwest Airlines official website is:

* Northwest Airlines is located in Terminal 2. Northwest Airlines phone number, (800) 225-2525; the Northwest Airlines official website is:

* Southwest Airlines is located in Terminal 1. Southwest Airlines phone number, (800) 435-9792; the Southwest Airlines official website is:

* Spirit Airlines is located in Terminal 6. Spirit Airlines phone number, (800) 772-7227; the Spirit Airlines official website is:

* Sun Country is located in Terminal 2. Sun Country phone number, (800) 359-6786; the Sun Country official website is:

* United Airlines and United Express are located in Terminals 6, 7, and 8. The buildings join, and these related companies sprawl from one terminal into the next without stop. United Airlines phone number (including United Express)---(800) 241-6522; the United Airlines official website is:

* US Airways is located in Terminal 1. US Airways phone number (800) 428-4322; the US Airways official website is:

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