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Is LAX Busy at Night? Let’s Take a Look

  • Air Travel
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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What can you expect when you need to stay overnight at LAX? Is  LAX busy as night too, or is it quieter? Join us as we find out.

Travelers often describe Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as one of those extraordinarily crowded international hubs that are difficult to get in and even harder to get out of. This increases the odds of delayed flights and missed connections. In turn, that may lead to an unplanned layover. Sometimes, the prospect of dealing with the dreaded rush-hour traffic in the Los Angeles area may lead you to stay overnight. Especially if you have an early flight the next day.

LAX overnight
Moto “Club4AG” Miwa from USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We get it; sleeping at LAX is probably not on your bucket list and is not the best of options. But if you have no other way and your travel budget is too low to even consider a hotel, you will need to make an overnight stay at LAX.

Connecting flights with more than five-hour layovers, landings in the late night or early hours of the morning, and extremely early departure schedules are other reasons you might end up at LAX in the night. Not to worry, though. The airport is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Where to spend the night at LAX

Finding a comfortable place to nap might be difficult for someone unfamiliar with the terminals around LAX. There’s plenty of seats, though, and even more armrests! Tom Bradley International Terminal, LAX’s main terminal, is usually your best bet for staying overnight. There are seats without armrests that are perfect for stretching out and sleeping. The rumor goes that there are even couches to be found near Gate 148!

Pro tip 1: Keep a warm blanket or jacket in your carry-on luggage. Airports can get pretty cold.

LAX overnight stay tips

  • Claim your spot early enough, so you don’t run out of space.
  • A neck pillow will come in handy if you end up sleeping in an airport chair.
  • Light sleepers should consider using cancellation earphones or earplugs.
  • Always keep your boarding pass handy, especially if someone from the airport tries to wake you up for a boarding pass check.
  • Make sure your belongings are safe; place your bags with the zipper facing you, the ground, or the wall. You can also sleep with your arm or leg over the top of your bag. For even more security, chain your bag to yourself or your seat.

Is LAX busy at night?

Yes, it often is! LAX is quite busy from 5 in the morning to way past midnight.

Is LAX less busy at night?

The domestic airports kind of slow down at night. But the Tom Bradley International Terminal has flights coming in at all sorts of odd hours, with peak hours being 1am to 3 pm, and then again from 6 pm to 11pm.

Is LAX always crowded?

Yes, pretty much. People have turned up at 5 am to find it bustling with long security lines already formed!

Pro Tip 2: With these kinds of crowds, you may not find a place to park your car. Make sure to book LAX parking way ahead of your travel.

Why is LAX such a mess?

Some of the blame falls on LAX’s layout and the fact that the terminals aren’t connected. On top of that, there’s the crowds, lack of seating near the gates, vague signage, the list just goes on and on.

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

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