Los Angeles International is the busiest airport on the U.S. West Coast and is unique among the country’s largest airports, in that, while all major carriers have significant operations at the airport, no single airline holds a dominating share of passenger traffic.
The LAX terminal area is accessed using Century Boulevard from either Interstate 405 or South Sepulveda Boulevard. Distances and drive times, in normal traffic, between the airport and some popular destinations are:
The LAX passenger complex consists of nine terminals – 9½ if you count terminal 1.5 separately – arranged along a two-level loop roadway that makes what is essentially a large U-turn around parking garages, the airport’s iconic space-age theme building and air traffic control tower. The upper roadway is the check-in level for departures and the lower roadway is the baggage claim level for arrivals.
Terminals and airlines in order along the road are:
Because there are more than 10 gates in each concourse, gates often also include a letter, such as gates 52A-52J.
* Check-in for departing flights on these airlines is at the terminal indicated above. Returning international arrivals on Alaska, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and Spirit and all arriving flights on Allegiant, Sun Country, Virgin Atlantic and VivaAerobús are at the Tom Bradley Terminal (Terminal B).
An Airlines Connections shuttle operates at 10-minute intervals along the the lower level roadway. Passengers should stand at the pink signs. Passengers leave the TSA secure area to use the service. The shuttle is popular for international arrivals at the Tom Bradley International Terminal who are required to exit security after going through U.S. Customs.
In many other cases passengers can stay within the TSA secure area when making connections by using walkways that connect terminals 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal. (Between terminals 4, 5 and 6 the walkways are underground tunnels that can be accessed on the lower level at about the mid-way point of the concourse. The other connecting walkways are on the ticketing level near the entrances to the concourses.) Post-security connections are also available on shuttle buses between Terminals 2 and 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
A $14 billion LAX Modernization Program is underway and includes an Automated People Mover train system due to open in 2023 that will allow passengers to connect between the terminals and a transit and rental car center outside the airport. The entire airport modernization program is expected to be completed ahead of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic games to be held in Los Angeles. LAX has construction alerts here.
During construction of the People Mover, the airport is operating a shuttle service called LAX-it (pronounced LA Exit) to take passengers from the terminals to a temporary consolidated pick-up location for all taxis and app-ride services, which are not permitted to pick-up passengers curbside at the terminals due to roadway congestion. The green-and-black shuttles operate every 3 to 5 minutes along a dedicated lane on the lower level roadway outside baggage claim at each terminal. It is also possible to walk to the pick up location, which is just east of Terminal 1 used by Southwest Airlines. Taxis and app-ride services continue to drop-off passengers on the departure level at each terminal. Major car rental companies continue to operate their own shuttles both ways between the terminals and their locations.
American Airlines flights arrive and depart LAX at gates 40-59 in Terminals 4 and 5 and gates 110-159 in the Tom Bradley International Terminal. All of American’s gates can be reached without exiting the TSA secure area. Most flights operated on American Eagle aircraft arrive and depart from gates 52A-52J, which is in a remote terminal reached by shuttle bus. At Terminal 4 the shuttles arrive and depart near Gate 44 and at Terminal 5 they arrive and depart near Gate 50B. Otherwise, between terminals 4 and 5 passengers can use a tunnel accessed at the foot of escalators down from near gate 44 and at the mid-way point of the concourse in Terminal 5. Between Terminal 4 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal use the walkway near gate 41. Check in at Terminal 4 for flights departing from gates 40-49 and 110-159. Check in at Terminal 5 for flights departing from gates 50-59.
Delta Air Lines gates at LAX are in Terminals 2, 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Most of Terminal 3 is closed as part of an effort to fast-track a $1.86 billion refurbishment of Delta’s facilities at LAX due to be completed in 2023 (about 18 months ahead of original schedule). Some phases of the project are to begin reopening in 2022. In the meantime, all Delta passengers check-in at Terminal 2 and in some cases are bused to gates in Terminal 3 or the Tom Bradley Terminal. The shuttle allows connecting Delta passengers to go between terminals without exiting the TSA secure area.
Southwest Airlines check-in and departures for all flights are in Terminal 1, gates 9-18. Returning international arrivals are in the Tom Bradley Terminal. After clearing U.S. Customs, international passengers can take the inter-terminal shuttle (A Route) to return to Terminal 1.
Sun, surf, sand, beaches, glamour, Hollywood, movies, TV, music and theme parks all make Los Angeles and Southern California a place of dreams. It is also an economic powerhouse with a gross domestic product output of more than a trillion dollars annually, ranking third in the world behind Tokyo and New York. It is also home to the busiest seaport in the United States. The population is ethnically diverse with 48.6% of residents Hispanic or Latino, 25.9% Caucasian or Anglo, 14.5% Asian, 7.7% African American and many others making up the remaining 3.3%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
Discover Los Angeles has visitor information here.
Oil was so close to the surface in 1892 Los Angeles, it was discovered using a 60-foot log from a eucalyptus tree sharpened at one end like a pencil. It set off an oil boom producing 45 barrels a day. Places including Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Venice and Huntington Beach were built over the top of former oil fields. And while reserves have been reduced, the industry is still active. Beverly Hills High School was receiving $1.1 million a year for a well on campus that was pumping 300 barrels (about 12,600 gallons) of crude oil a day until it was ordered shut down as of December 31, 2016. Some wells are concealed behind façades while others are in plain sight near homes and buildings and in parking lots. In case you are looking to find one, the California Department of Conservation has an interactive well finder map here.
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