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Why is LAX such a bad airport?

  • Air Travel
  • Gerard Stevens
  • 5 minutes

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Why has LAX earned such a bad rap? Considering that it’s the world’s 4th busiest and the country’s 2nd busiest airport, a few hiccups are to be expected. The airport had annual passenger traffic of over 80 million before the pandemic hit. You know how chaotic the LAX Airport is if you’ve lived in Los Angeles or its surrounding metropolitan areas. The bigger question here is – does LAX Airport serve its passengers well? Do people find it very comfortable to travel from this airport? Unfortunately, it seems like the answer is no, considering how often the airport has found itself on various ‘worst airports’ lists. So, why is LAX such a bad airport? There are a few factors that discourage many from traveling via this airport. Here’s what you should know!  

Traffic congestion  

The airport is around 18 miles away from the city center. It takes around 30-40 minutes to reach LAX from the Downtown area if you’re driving. However, you can never expect the traffic to be smooth in this stretch. This stretch always experiences a good amount of traffic and gets heavily congested during peak hours. Driving from Downtown to LAX isn’t wise as you may get stuck in traffic congestion anytime. The chances are high that you may reach the airport late.  

Parking at LAX Airport 

Even if you arrive on time at the airport, getting an onsite parking spot is like hitting the jackpot. The Central Terminal Area (CTA) Parking and the Economy C and E lots are the main parking garages in the airport. The Economy C and E lots are temporarily closed. The passengers can now only park in CTA Parking, which offers around 7,000 parking spots. The onsite LAX Airport garages do not take online or advance parking reservations. The parking is allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. So, it is nearly impossible to get a parking spot in CTA, especially during peak hours. It is a common sight in LAX that many drive around the parking garage looking for a secure parking spot and leave in disappointment.  

The parking rates are also on the higher side. Parking for the first hour charges you $5, and $4 will be charged additionally for every 30 minutes from then. The maximum daily parking rate is $40. Using the CTA for every additional day charges you $40 per day. So, LAX Airport parking currently has limited options and may drain your wallet! 

LAX Airport Parkiing

Taxis and Rideshare services make terminals super busy 

Most of the passengers flying out of LAX Airport hire taxis or use rideshare services to reach the airport. The passengers are dropped off at their terminal on the upper level/departures area. Private vehicles, taxis, or rideshare services are not allowed to wait at the drop-off area. But often, the traffic in front of the terminals gets congested as many vehicles arrive simultaneously. So, many passengers find it difficult to get into their terminal as it becomes heavily crowded.

Not much connectivity between the terminals 

The LAX Airport features nine terminals. The terminals in the airport are not efficiently connected. So, it will be difficult if you want to move from one terminal to another. For instance, Terminal 1 is not connected to any other terminals. If you have a connecting flight, you need to exit the terminal and go through the security procedure at the next terminal. Terminals 2 and 3 are connected by landside only. So, you have to clear the security again while reentering. These terminals are not connected to any other terminals. So, moving to other terminals consume your time heavily as you need to clear the security again. It is tiring for the passengers! 

Not many public transportation facilities to the airport 

FlyAway buses operate shuttle services to LAX Airport from Union Station and Van Nuys. The service from Hollywood and Long Beach routes is suspended due to the pandemic. Also, there isn’t a direct metro service that connects to the airport. The Metro Green Line connects to the airport at Aviation/LAX Station. From there, you have to board a shuttle bus to reach the terminals. Getting a bus to the airport nearly takes 30 minutes, and using the Metro takes an hour to reach the airport. 

Ongoing construction at LAX Airport 

Many construction works are going in the airport at a budget of $14 billion. The works will improve the user experience by upgrading the terminals and making a better road network. Road closures are part of this work which is troubling passengers coming in their cars or taxi. The road closures create heavy congestion on the roads to LAX Airport, making commutation difficult for vehicles to and from LAX. The construction works are slated to finish by 2023 only!  

LAX Airport Parking

Some essential info on LAX Airport 

  • Only CTA Parking offers onsite parking now in the airport. Economy C and E lots remain closed. 
  • Ongoing construction works at the airport are creating heavy congestion to the roads to the airport. 
  • It is never easy to get onsite parking in LAX. So, better check out the offsite garages that offer secure parking at affordable rates. Always use the Way.com app or website to book parking near the airport at cheaper rates with great amenities.  

Check out more blogs for info on finding 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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