Los Angeles is so big, it requires multiple airports around the city to get people to where they need to be. As a result, each airport has its own unique set of idiosyncrasies when it comes to catching a flight and getting there on time.
Los Angeles International Airport is the fourth busiest airport in the world. Even driving near it during the holiday travel season can be hazardous to your punctuality and it’s best to stick to the surrounding airports during peak travel seasons.
The green subway line runs near LAX and an airport shuttle gets passengers from the LAX stop to the actual airport, but the most convenient public transportation is the FlyAway bus that runs from LAX to Union Station in the middle of downtown LA.
LAX gets backed up inside the airport and the security checkpoints often bottleneck. The airport recommends that you arrive at least 2 hours before your departing flight, but you might want to add a few minutes to that recommendation.
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Burbank/Bob Hope Airport
Burbank is one of the city’s smaller airports, so don’t worry about trying to get to the airport early, but the airport does see a lot of traffic and has direct flights from most airports at least once a day. Located on the northeast side of the city, travelers staying in Burbank, Glendale, or Pasadena may find flying into Burbank airport more convenient.
The trick to Burbank airport is avoiding the traffic on I-5. Map your way there via the 134 freeway and surface streets if you’re driving during rush hours, otherwise, I-5 should be fine.
Ontario airport serves the communities far to the southeast of Los Angeles and flying in to Ontario airport, if you’re staying nearby, may save you several hours on the road getting to and from the airport. Be sure to arrive early to get parking.
Orange County/John Wayne
Orange County airport is of similar size to Burbank and even more convenient to residents of Orange County. Flying in and out of John Wayne airport will make your travel easier and more relaxing if you’re planning on spending your time in Disneyland or elsewhere in Orange County.
Have any tips or tricks on the nuances of airports in southern California? Let us know so we can post them and take the credit!