A Terminal-by-terminal Guide to LAX Airport
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is one of the busiest airports in the United States and the world. The airport is located in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County, about 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles and close to the shores of the Santa Monica Bay. Los Angeles International Airport is owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a department of the City of Los Angeles.
From its early days in the 1920s as farmland for wheat, barley, and lima beans, the Bennett Rancho attracted aviators who used part of the property as a landing strip. Later in the '20s, local developers pushed for the area to become a major airport. In 1927, 640 acres were designated for use as an airport known as Mines Field, and Los Angeles International Airport was born.
Today, Los Angeles International Airport spans nearly 3,000 acres of space, and it has nine terminals. Here's what you need to know about LAX airport before your next flight.
LAX Airport Map
Tom Bradley International Terminal
Airlines flying out of Tom Bradley International are plentiful and include Aeroflot, Air China, Air France, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Italy, Alitalia, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca (arrivals), British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Copa (arrivals), EVA Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Etihad, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Hainan Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Interjet (arrivals), Japan Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Airlines, LAN (Chile), LAN (Peru), LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Nippon Airways, Norwegian Air, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airlines, Saudia, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore, Volaris, and Xiamen.
Tom Bradley International is home to an XPresSpa, nursing room, and an animal relief station.
Before the security checkpoint, travelers can find food and dining options at Earl of Sandwich, Pinkberry, Planet Hollywood, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Asian Street Eats, and WPizza.
After the security checkpoint, travelers can chow down at 800 Degrees Pizza, Border Grill, Chaya Brasserie, ink.sack, Kentucky Fried Chicken, LAMILL Coffee, Panda Express, Pret a Manger, Starbucks Evenings, Starbucks, Treat Me Sweet, Umami Burger, Vanilla Bake Shop, and Vino Volo.
Before the security checkpoint, people can pop into Hudson News, Travel + Leisure, and USA Today Travel Zone.
After the security checkpoint, ticketed travelers can head into Bliss, Book Soup, Bvlgari, CNBC, CNN Newsstand, Coach, Emporio Armani, Fred Segal, Hollywood Reporter, Hudson, Hugo Boss, iStore Boutique, Los Angeles America!, Michael Kors, Porsche Design, Relay, See's Candies, The Economist, The Playa Vista, Tumi, and Victoria's Secret.
There are also a number of duty free options after security, including Burberry, Gucci, Hermes, DFS Duty Free Beauty & Spirits, and DFS Duty Free Fashion & Watches.
The only airline flying out of Terminal 1 is Southwest, but check-in for Allegiant Air, Frontier, Sun Country, and VivaAerobus is located in this terminal.
Terminal 1 is home to a nursing room, an animal relief station, and a Be Relax Spa.
After going through the terminal's security checkpoint, guests can find dining options at Beaming, California Pizza Kitchen, Cassell's Hamburgers, Chick-fil-A, Deli & Co., Einstein Bros. Bagels, PeiWei, Reilly's Irish Pub, Rock & Brews, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Trejo's Tacos, and Urth Caffe & Bar.
After the security checkpoint, guests can find books and trinkets at Brookstone, I Love LA, Kiehl's, MAC, SOL Surf, The New Stand, PopSox, and Treat Me Sweet.
Several airlines call Terminal 2 home, including Aerolitoral, Aer Lingus Airlines, Aeromexico, Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and WestJet.
In Terminal 2, travelers can find a nursing room between gates 21B and 23A, as well as an animal relief station near gate 21.
Prior to the security checkpoint, the only dining option is Starbucks.
After the security checkpoint, travelers can find food and beverages at Barney's Beanery, BUILT Custom Burgers, Breeze, Fresh Brothers Pizza & Sandwiches, Jersey Mike's, Pick Up Stix, Sealegs, Slapfish Modern Seafood Shack, and another Starbucks.
After the security checkpoint, guests can buy gifts, books, and more at DFS Duty Free, CNBC Smartshop, InMotion, Spanx, and Univision.
The only airline flying out of Terminal 3 is Delta Air Lines. The terminal is temporarily closed.
The terminal has a nursing room available near the center.
After passing the security checkpoint, guests can find food at Ashland Hill, Deli & Co., Earthbar, La Familia, LA Life, Panda Express, Shake Shack, Starbucks, and The Parlor.
In Terminal 3, travelers can pop into Hudson LAXpress and the Soundstage Market by Hudson.
The only airline in Terminal 4 is American Airlines.
The terminal also has a nursing room available near Sunglass Hut, as well as an animal relief station just after security.
Before the security checkpoint, the only dining option is Starbucks.
After the security checkpoint, travelers can dine at 8 oz. Burger Bar, Campanile, Coles, Dunkin' Donuts, Homeboy Café, La Provence Patisserie, LA Tapenade, Real Food Daily, and Sammy's Woodfired Pizza.
Newsstands and gift shops available at Terminal 4 include Entertainment Weekly Newsstand, Hudson Booksellers, Hudson News, See's Candies, Sunglass Hut, Tech on the Go, Destination LA, and DFS Duty Free.
Airlines flying in and out of Terminal 5 include Air Canada, American Airlines, American Eagle, Hawaiian Air, Jet Blue, and Spirit.
Amenities at Terminal 5 include a nursing room across from the food court, an animal relief station, and an XPresSpa.
Before the security checkpoint, guests can only dine at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
After the security checkpoint, guests will find a few more options including a Coffee Bar, Farmers Market To Go, Ford's Filling Station, Lemonade, Loteria, Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market, Rock & Brews, Donburi Bistro, and another Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
Before the security checkpoint, guests can find a few items at Hollywood Reporter.
After the security checkpoint, guests can pick up more trinkets, books, magazines, and snacks at I Love LA, LA Times Newsstand, Magic Johnson Sports, FAO Schwarz, Rip Curl, See's Candies, and DFS Duty Free.
Airlines flying in and out of Terminal 6 include Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Boutique Air, Horizon, and Southern Air.
Amenities at Terminal 6 include a nursing room near gate 64B, as well as an animal relief station at the outdoor atrium.
Before the security checkpoint, the only dining option is Starbucks.
After the security checkpoint, travelers can find more dining options including BLU20, Earthbar, Osteria by Fabio Viviani, Peet's Coffee, Point the Way Café, Starbucks Evenings, The Habit Burger Grill, The Marketplace by Wolfgang Puck, and Wahoo's Fish Tacos.
Before the security checkpoint, the only newsstand is Access Hollywood.
After the security checkpoint, travelers can pick up trinkets and snacks at Belkin, Los Angeles Magazine News, MAC Cosmetics, Market 8600, M. Fredric, See's Candies, Sunset News, and DFS Duty Free.
The only airline flying out of Terminal 7 is United Airlines (including United Express).
Amenities at Terminal 7 include a nursing room and an animal relief station.
Before the security checkpoint, the only dining option is Dunkin' Donuts.
After the security checkpoint, guests will find a few more options including Ashland Hill, B Grill by BOA Steakhouse, BLD, Klatch Coffee, LA Life, Loteria, Rolling Stone, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, The Counter, and Wolfgang Puck Express.
After the security checkpoint, travelers can peruse Bartels Harley Davidson, Book Soup, Hudson News, Hugo Boss, Pier 7, and DFS Duty Free.
The only airline flying out of Terminal 8 is United Airlines (including United Express).
Amenities at Terminal 8 include a nursing room as well as an animal relief station.
Following the security checkpoint, guests will find a Carl's Jr, Corona Bar & Grill, Engine Company No. 28, Panda Express, and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
After the security checkpoint, guests can pick up goodies at both E! News and People News.
Parking at LAX
Cell Phone Waiting Lot – LAX has a 24-hour cell phone waiting lot where motorists can wait for free, up to two hours, until passengers are ready to be picked up in the Central Terminal Area.
Central Terminal Area Parking – Eight parking structures are located opposite the passenger terminals across the roadway, providing over 7,000 spaces for overnight or extended trips. All vehicles passing through the gate arm into a structure are required to pay posted parking rates.
Electric Vehicle Parking – Electric vehicle owners can charge their cars at locations in many of the parking garages.
Motorcycle Parking – Parking for motorcycles is free in the Central Terminal Area parking structures. Riders should not park in a space designated for vehicles, but can park at the ends of rows, in corners, and other small spaces provided they do not block access to parked vehicles, handicapped spaces, or passenger paths. When entering, drive around the gate arm and do not take a ticket.
Off-site LAX Parking – Many private companies near the airport offer self park or valet parking with free, 24/7 shuttle service. Examples of such companies are Joe's Airport Parking, WallyPark LAX, 405 Airport Parking, The Parking Spot, and more. In addition, many nearby hotels offer Park, Stay, and Fly packages with free shuttles to the airport, enabling travelers to stay at the hotel and leave their car parked at the hotel.
Ground Transportation at LAX
Between Terminals – Courtesy shuttle service is provided between terminals. Passengers should board on the Lower/Arrivals Level in front of each terminal under the blue "LAX Shuttle and Airline Connections" sign.
Metro C Line Aviation Station – This shuttle transports passengers between airport terminals and the Metro C Line station. The service, known as Route G, is aligned with rail schedule. See metro.net for information.
Hotel & Private Parking Lot Shuttles – These shuttles are located on the Upper/Departures Level in front of each terminal under the red "Hotel Shuttles" sign.
LAX FlyAway Buses – This transportation option offers regularly scheduled round trips seven days a week between LAX and Union Station or Van Nuys. Each bus is marked with its service location and is boarded on the Lower/Arrivals Level in front of each terminal.
Shared Ride Vans – Various companies offer shuttles to the surrounding Southern California area. Pickup is on the Lower/Arrivals Level in front of each terminal curbside near the baggage claim exits under the orange sign that reads "Shared Ride Vans."
Taxis – Taxis can be picked up at LAX-it near Terminal 1, inside Parking Structure 3, or at the end of Terminal 7.
Ride Apps – Lyft, Opoli, and Uber are authorized to provide pickup services at LAX. Passengers meet their drivers at the LAX-it lot next to Terminal 1.
Traffic – Passengers are encouraged to allow sufficient time to arrive at LAX and to be aware of peak traffic days and times. Generally, Fridays and Sundays are busy, especially between 7:00 – 10:00 am and 6:00 – 10:00 pm, although patterns are difficult to predict. Construction, accidents, flight delays, and street closures affect airport traffic. For real-time information, visit FlyLax.com.