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What should I do on an 18-hour overnight layover in LAX?

  • Air Travel
  • Renee Martin
  • 9 minutes

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Ah, there it is -the scary ‘L’ word – no, not that one, we’re talking about layovers, people! ‘Aww, bummer,’ you think as soon as you realize you have to spend 18 hours at LAX Airport. A short layover at LAX is doable you think, but 18 hours? But before you hurry off to try and reschedule, even at the risk of forking out more dollars – do go over all the info we have on what you can do on a long overnight layover in LAX. You might find yourself wondering if 18 hours is long enough to do all the things you want to do!


LAX parking

What can you do on an 18-hour overnight layover in LAX?


Quite possibly the most logical thing to do, assuming that you’ll be spending most of your layover at night. Catch up on your beauty sleep during your overnight layover in LAX so that you can arrive wherever it is that you’re headed to, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

sleep on your overnight layover in lax

There’s a decent amount of sleep-friendly seating options scattered across LAX. This includes

  • A big couch awaits you at the top of the stairs at Terminal 1.
  • There may be 1-2 wooden benches near baggage claim 6.
  • In Terminals 4 and 7, chairs are arranged in triangles for privacy.
  • Terminal 6 has armrest-free benches in the Arrivals Hall, near baggage claim.
  • In Terminal 64B, a small carpeted area between a column and a mobile gate desk can provide some seclusion if squeezed in.
  • You’ll find comfy couches behind Starbucks at International Terminal, Gate 148.
  • The carpeted and quiet Connector Hallway between Terminals 6 and 7 (near Gate 71A) is a wonderful spot to sleep overnight.

Note: Most seats at LAX have armrests, so you might want to consider laying out on the carpeted floor for a rest. The larger, more contemporary Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) offers more sleeping spots than other terminals. Also, LAX is known to have bright lighting, so you might want to come equipped with a sleep mask. However, there might be quite a bit of noise, which may hinder sleep.

Lounge around

If you’re lucky, you’ll probably be eligible to access one of the numerous lounges that dot LAX. However, others needn’t lose hope. Were you aware that all LAX passengers can actually use airport lounges? Yes, you can get into and enjoy lounges regardless of the class of tickets you hold. The entrance price is probably worthwhile if you have a pretty long overnight layover in LAX.

Enjoy the drinks, food, and other facilities, in a far more pleasant atmosphere. Just pay at the door, buy a pass online or sign up with a lounge membership program.

LAX lounge

Some of the lounges that will allow you entry if you buy a day pass, annual membership, or even simply pay at the door include

  • Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge
  • Alaska Lounge
  • American Airlines Admirals Club
  • Delta Sky Club
  • KAL Lounge
  • Qantas Club
  • United Club
  • USO Lounge
  • Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Hit the hotels

LAX hotel

LAX Airport hotels are so numerous that you may find it difficult to narrow down your options. Despite the fact that there are no hotels immediately connected to the airport, all of the hotels in the vicinity provide free shuttle services to the airport.

A day-rate room may be available if your overnight layover in LAX is not long and you only need a quiet spot to shower and recharge before your next flight. In no particular order of preference or rating, we suggest the following hotels near LAX:

  • Hilton Los Angeles Airport
  • Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Airport
  • Wingate by Wyndham
  • Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
  • Aloft Hotel El Segundo
  • Hampton Inn Los Angeles Int’l Airport/Hawthorne
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton Los Angeles International Airport North

Give yourself some TLC

Do you have a kink in your neck? Or maybe, you need a touch-up on your manicure? Never underestimate the incredible impact that self-care may have on your well-being when you’re on a long and exhausting journey. We aren’t suggesting that you spend the entire 18-hour overnight layover in LAX at the spa! However, a few hours of pampering will do wonders for your painful muscles, which are likely to be exhausted.

Apart from that, you’ll arrive at your destination looking absolutely flawless from head to toe! Two XpresSpa locations and a Be Relax Spa provide salon services such as manicures and pedicures, as well as massage and reflexology treatments.

Eat, drink, repeat

Restaurant at LAX

Hands down, this is our favorite thing to do on an overnight layover at LAX! The wining and dining options at LAX are as exciting and vibrant as the city itself. By all means, indulge yourself here! Our blog on things to do on a layover at LAX Airport has detailed information on all the various eateries strewn across LAX.

Explore the city of angels!

If you’re okay with going out and exploring the city at night, go ahead after making sure that you are allowed to exit the airport.

If you reach LAX early in the evening, the Santa Monica Pier is a terrific place to spend some time. It features neon lights, music, and the famed Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel, which illuminates at night. It’s probably one of the best things to do in LA at night, whether you’re searching for a romantic stroll or just want to sit down and take up the scene with a group of friends.

Explore Los Angeles

One of the best places to see the sparkling LA skyline is from the Griffith Observatory. It has an observation deck, so, if you arrive early enough, you’ll get a spectacular view of the sunset. The observatory is located on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, so if you don’t mind an uphill trip, it’s well worth it.

Chinatown is another place you can explore at night. There’s something truly extraordinary about LA’s Chinatown at night. There’s music, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres, and it’s ideal for interacting with LA’s coolest set.

And, if you want something sweet after dinner or you’re leaving a club at 3 a.m. with a strong sugar craving, California Donuts is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. California Donuts is located in Koreatown and serves brilliantly colored, eccentrically topped donuts to please any appetite.

Are you a party person? Then you must explore the famous Sunset Strip. If you’ve given up on the dream of being invited to an elusive Hollywood party and accepted your fate as a regular human, you’ll find hundreds of people at one of the Sunset Strip’s many clubs and pubs. These clubs include mainstream pop and R&B music and will keep you dancing all night.

However, if you’re not a night owl, short daytime excursions might be a better option. You could wake up early and head over to Venice Beach. LAX is not far from Venice Beach. The beach has stunning views, so make sure you capture some Instagram-worthy shots. You could also book a short guided tour around Hollywood in the morning.

Have questions about overnight layovers at LAX?

Before we dive in, here are answers to a couple of questions you might have about a long overnight layover in LAX.

Does LAX stay open all night?

Normally, LAX is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, altering limitations during the coronavirus pandemic may have an impact on this. In general, regardless of the time of day, an airline ticket, or the reservation of a person you’re picking up at the airport will secure your admission. There are various operating hours at different terminals, so travelers should check their airline for precise schedules.

Is it safe to walk around LAX?

Yes, it’s pretty safe, mostly because it’s always open, and you’ll find people around 24/7. There are plenty of food and shopping outlets that remain open round-the-clock. So, if you’re feeling squeamish about being alone in the airport at night, you could find a spot in or near one such outlet- preferably the busiest one.

Can I stay overnight at LAX airport?

Yes,. The most convenient spots to sleep at this airport are inside the security zones, past check-in, where you can lay on comfortable seats or the carpeted floor. Keep in mind that security checkpoints close at different hours of the night, depending on flight schedules in each terminal.

Can I leave LAX Airport during a layover?

That depends on many factors. If you are an international traveler, you must clear customs and immigration before leaving the airport. If you are a US citizen, this should not be an issue; but, if you are not, you will need to have a valid visa to enter the nation legally.

Keep in mind that the coronavirus outbreak has added another element of uncertainty to the situation. We strongly recommend that you check the official airport website. You double-check the entry and exit rules once you land there to see if you’re allowed to leave the airport during your layover.

Does LAX airport have luggage storage?

LAX Airport does not have any official luggage services or lockers. However, you can store your luggage at LAX Luggage Storage ( a private facility) for between $12 and $18 per day. This is ideal if you have a long layover and don’t want to drag your belongings around or outside the airport. If you choose to use the more convenient terminal curbside pick up and drop off, it will cost you $5 per item each trip to drop off and pick up your luggage.

Where can I park for the long term at LAX Airport?

Currently, the only parking is at the CTA parking structure. But, there are plenty of offsite parking lots near LAX that can accommodate your car for the long term.


Check out more blogs on 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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