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How Long Does It Take To Get Through LAX?

  • Air Travel
  • Renee Martin
  • 3 minutes

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Need to fly out of Los Angeles and wondering how long it will take to get through LAX? Are all the scary stories about interminable LAX lines true? Let’s find out!

LAX Airport

The Los Angeles Times reported recently that airport wait times have decreased on average by a few minutes. This is mostly thanks to improved staffing and the installation of more advanced automated screening lanes by some larger airlines like Delta, American, and United. These, in turn, have resulted in screenings that are up to 30 percent faster on average than in the past. This data does not necessarily guarantee that the Los Angeles airport security wait times will be short on the day and time of your departure. There are a variety of variables to consider. Remember to double-check with your airline! Know their specific restrictions and guidelines for your precise flight time in Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

LAX has a total of 9 security checkpoints. Unlike other airports, where you can go through any checkpoint and go to your gate, the LAX layout requires you to use the checkpoint that corresponds to your departure gate. There are certain exceptions, such as clearing security at Terminal 5 and walking to Terminal 4.

LAX Airport parking

How long does it take to go through security in LAX?

Passing through immigration and customs at LAX takes between 30-90 minutes. This time can reduce/increase depending on the number of people currently waiting, the number of TSA officers on duty, and the number of flights that have landed at the airport at the same time.

If this sounds like a long wait, consider yourself fortunate that you did not visit Los Angeles International Airport before the deployment of the new automated screening lanes. The average wait time was even longer back then.

How long does it take to transit through LAX Airport?

The walk between each of the LAX terminals takes about 6 to 8 minutes. An airside shuttle bus runs between Terminals 2, 3, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The bus runs every 10 minutes.

What is the earliest you can go through airport security?

Most airports will let you go through security 2-5 hours before your flight if you have checked bags. This is because you can walk through security only after you’ve checked in your luggage and check-in desks open only a few hours before departure.

Pro Tip: Book your LAX parking spot as soon as you book your airplane tickets. With a guaranteed parking spot waiting for you, that’s one less hassle!

How can I get TSA precheck at LAX?

TSA PreCheck is designed to determine which passengers pose a minimal risk to flight security. They can thus travel through security checkpoints without having to remove their belts, jackets, and shoes or remove liquids and laptops from their bags. In other words, it expedites your passage through security.

Here’s how you can get a TSA PreCheck at Los Angeles International Airport:

  1. Go to the Transportation Security Administration’s official website, click the “Apply Now” button, and follow the steps.
  2. You will be invited to a 10-minute in-person session, which will entail fingerprinting for a background check.
  3. If you pass PreCheck, you’ll be given a Known Traveler Number. You can add this to your airline reservation to get faster, more comfortable screening.

For more information about TSA PreCheck, please check https://www.tsa.gov/precheck.

LAX Airport parking


Here’s more info on top-rated airport parking, the best parking spots in your city, the most affordable insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you.


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