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How to get free LAX parking when picking up passengers

  • Airport Parking Tips
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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Want to pick up friends or family from LAX? Are you having second thoughts because of the exorbitant LAX parking rates? Here’s an amazing hacking to get free parking at LAX when picking up passengers.¬†

As a massive international airport located in Los Angeles, California, LAX is one of the most-used airports in the world. It services over 87 million passengers each year, second only to the ATL airport in Georgia. As such a busy airport, dropping off or picking up passengers can be daunting. After all, with international arrivals comes the burden of customs. This means you may have no idea how long you could be waiting if you’re trying to pick someone up.

Luckily, there are several parking options, from short-term to long-term. There are reasonable rates, at least for an airport, but sometimes parking can be more of a drag than it’s worth. Enter the best LAX parking hack for picking up arriving passengers.

Cheap LAX parking

Usually, if you’re dealing with LAX parking, it’s because you’re either picking up or dropping off a passenger. This would require finding your way to the appropriate lot in the correct terminal. This may be miles away from where you will actually be picking up your friend or family member arriving at the airport. Not only will you have to deal with the maze of LAX parking, but you’ll be paying for the pleasure to do so. Think again if you’ll be in and out in less than an hour to pay the lowest fee! Your passenger could be stuck in a long customs line for a couple of hours. So what to do?

The #1 Free LAX Parking Hack 

If you’re done dealing with arriving at the airport pickup lane, only to have to drive around and around until your buddy arrives, it’s time to check out the LAX Cell Phone Waiting Lot. This lot is located on 96th Street, just west of the 96th Street Bridge entrance to the airport passenger terminal. It can be accessed from the north and east, using any of the following roads: La Tijera, Manchester, Century, or Sepulveda.

The cell phone lot is open 24 hours. Drivers waiting to pick up passengers can wait for free for two hours. The idea is that you wait there with your car until your friend has given you a call to say they are out of customs and baggage and are ready to be picked up in the Central Terminal Area.

The lot is only for personal vehicles, so no buses, taxis, or other commercial vehicles are allowed to wait there. You also have to wait with your vehicle at all times. But for two hours of free “parking” ‚Äď who can complain?

Can private cars pick up passengers at LAX?

Private cars, including luxury car services, can pick up passengers outside of baggage claim on the lower/arrivals level, on the outer curb.


Is there a park and wait at LAX?

Los Angeles International Airport has a 24-hour Cell Phone Waiting Lot where motorists meeting arriving passengers can wait for free for up to two hours until passengers call to say they are ready to be picked up in the Central Terminal Area.

Where can I park for free in LAX?

The Cell Phone Lot is the only place that lets you park for free. There is a time limit of two hours, though!

Recommended Reading on our LAX Terminal Guides :

LAX Terminals                         LAX Terminal 1

LAX Terminal 2                       LAX Terminal 3

LAX Terminal 4                       LAX Terminal 5

LAX Terminal 6                       LAX Terminal 7

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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