Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second-most populated metropolitan area in the United States. LAX is located in southwestern Los Angeles along the Pacific coast in the neighborhood of Westchester, 16 miles (26 km) from Downtown Los Angeles.
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This is the airport that once again can’t win me over for what I think it truly is: a place of congestion, hard to get in and out of, confusing information and terminal access, and not evoking a pleasant experience overall. Occasionally, I travel via LAX not for leisure but for business as I would try to avoid this airport anytime I can.
To drive to and from LAX, simply put, is a nightmare because the traffic in Los Angeles area in general. This time however, to the traffic mix I have to add share ride services like Uber and Lyft cars which seemed to me to be allowed to make frequent stops whenever and wherever they want or can. I was on car rental shuttle bus, for example, that barely made it through the traffic jam created by the share rides, and at times not even able to stop at designated shuttle curbs as cars blocking its way.
Had to rent a car at LAX and ended up on the Car Rental curb side to take a shuttle to Enterprise. Guess what? You have to be on the look out for your shuttle as a small stretch of the curb serves 13 (as far as I counted them) rental car companies, so you can imagine the traffic. It is not that certain shuttles stop at certain locations. Everyone is in the mix, so go stress and figure it out. I am sure such an airport can do better in organizing these shuttles and not cramming them into one location for all 13 of them.
Signs to direct passengers in LAX were confusing to me and not where I would expected them to be. Seriously people? This is an airport and I consider myself a session traveler visited many airports in the US and abroad, and LAX is one of the few airports I found myself lost at some point at Arrivals. Can management people just walk the airport and look up at the signs to make sure they are placed where passengers need them to be, namely, at staircases, escalators and elevators, at corner walls when you end up wondering which way to go?
On a positive note the WiFi speed is just impressive. I tested it and it was reliable and really fast.
But want to end it with the cleanliness. Will add a picture at a random waiting area where I sat near the Alaska checking counters. There was a Starbucks spill on the floor looking dry at some parts meaning it has been there for quite a while that it started to dry. No one came to clean it at least while I was there for about 30 min. You decide what to make of it.
Arrived at the airport on a Southwest airline flight from SFO. The fist thing stepping into the terminal you see is a construction wall. Looked around to figure which way was the baggage claim and ground transportation and there was not sign whatsoever. Then decided to follow the crowd assuming the exit was in the direction everyone was going.
At the public transit and shuttle area had to cross over to the middle curbside on a designated crosswalk. A passenger car was driving so fast I had to stop in the middle of the crosswalk thinking I will be run over had I not stopped. The car eventually pushed on the breaks and allowed me to pass, but how can someone be allowed to drive that fast at such a busy area? If the airport cannot control its own traffic make sure you put some speed bums, will yeah?
Getting in and out of the airport on public transit is another pain in the neck. Used the Flyaway bus service. Figured there was no information on how and where to by a ticket prior to boarding the bus. Used the company website to buy my fare online without knowing that I could pay after I get off the bus at Union station. Hey people, can we have some information available somewhere at the airport where passenger can figure out what's going on? And also, if you intend to use LA metro line I figured I had to change 3 metro lines from downtown LA to get to LAX. Not convenient.
I have traveled via LAX in the past and every times there is something going on at this airport. Major construction at terminals basically made me go around some very narrow passages and walkways. Be aware and plan ahead of time for your flight out of or into LAX.
Travel from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Los Angeles International (LAX) on Southwest Airlines. The Southwest Terminal at LAX is a place you’ll remember. This was one of my worst airport travel experiences at US airports, ever. The departing airport curbside it seemed long enough to accommodate the constant flow of vehicle traffic with departing passengers. There were curbside kiosks to help with luggage check-in but that’s all about it.
Brace yourself before you enter the terminal. The Pre-TSA area is spacious but lacks some basic F&B options. Not even vending machines. Basically, if you want a cup of coffee you have to walk to the next terminal over. I saw only 2 single restrooms where one person enters at a time, so you’d see a line of people in front of the 2 restrooms.
The TSA check point is really clustered with equipment and staff for the amount of passengers that I saw were trying to pass at this check point. There were certainly lines for the TSA and I had to wait on one of them. I saw only one TSA check point for all Southwest gates at this terminal. Had to swallow my pride as a paying customer and allowed myself to be treated rude by some TSA officers. I passed the scanner and waited for my carry-on luggage to pop out on that belt. Guess what!? The officer behind the belt scanner stood up, walked closer to me and shouted: “Did you push your bins on the belt!?” Dude, I was already on the other side of the scanner. Can’t you see? I have no idea if people behind me pushed their bins as I did mine.
I also did not see proper space to gather your belonging and get your stuff together past the TSA check. Past TSA the terminal was so overcrowded. It was Sunday past 12 pm.
Your F&B option is just one restaurant that sells pizza to go and had some seating tables some of the empty but uncleaned. I had no choice but to order to go.
The terminal lacks sufficient space to accommodate all the traffic of passengers. Seating is just scares. Don’t expect to be easy if you want some work done on your computer. Saw most people seating right on the carpeted dirty and stinky floor as I also tried to do, but couldn’t. It was simply to unsanitary.
Will I travel via LAX again with the Southwest? Certainly not. I will avoid the Southwest flights via LAX all together from now on.