LAX airport guide

The A-Z of LAX

Airports seem to exist in their own universe; where you might see people have a beer with breakfast and all sense of time seems to vanish. You might think of the airport as just the last stop before you start your holiday but, flying to or from LAX offers a different experience altogether. Fasten your seat belts, find your emergency exit and join us as we fly through a fun and factual A to Z of LAX.

A - Airlines

You’d be hard pressed to find a major airline that doesn’t fly to or from LAX, and Air New Zealand is proud to have so many flights coming to and fro. In fact, LAX serves more new-generation aircraft flights than any other airport in North America.  You can see the full list here.

B – Baggage

LAX’s inline bagging system is one of the biggest in the country.  With LA being such a cultural mecca, they pride themselves on having a tolerant and fair baggage security system. If you have any religious needs, or any needs based around disabilities, sexual/gender identity or anything else, you can contact a TSA agent before arriving to LAX and you could be assigned a support specialist.

C - Celebrity terminal

It makes sense, what with LA being the centre of the celebrity universe, that the airport should factor in their wants and whims. The Private Suite is a luxurious, private terminal reserved only for the true VIPs. In an exclusive, protected location and with its own dedicated TSA staff, this celebrity terminal means high-profile visitors don’t have to bother with crowded lines or concourses.

D – Departures

Passengers should arrive at LAX two hours before a domestic flight departure and three hours before departing on an international flight.

E - Eating

From fast-food favourites like Shake Shack (Terminal 3) to places to enjoy a leisurely sushi meal, LAX has a whole host of eateries that will satisfy any appetite. Each terminal has different options, so be sure to research ahead of time. If you’ve got the time, why not go and enjoy a sit-down meal at Tom Bradley International Terminal? Or stick with a Starbucks, after all, when in LA, do as the Los Angelinos do.

F – Flights

It’s been worked out that there are 1578 flights (landing at and taking off from LAX) every 24 hours – that works out to be one plane down the runway every 55 seconds.

G - Gates

LAX is made up of 128 gates, arranged in the shape of a horseshoe.

H – Hotels

LA being home to the rich and famous, you can expect to stay in luxury if you’re looking for a hotel close to the airport. With a Hyatt Regency, a Homewood Suites by Hilton as well as a Best Western and other more affordable options, staying near the airport doesn’t mean missing out on high quality.

I – Internet

We know that for many, being unplugged from the world wide web might as well mean the same as having your life support unplugged. Passengers at LAX can access free unlimited WiFi.

J - Journeys

LAX offers 737 daily nonstop flights to 100 national cities, and 1,386 weekly non-stop flights to 88 cities in 44 countries.

K - Kids

For a kid, anywhere can be a playground and at LAX they won’t even have to use their imagination. With a fun, beach-themed children’s play area in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, your little one(s) will be plenty entertained as you wait for your flights

L - Luggage storage

If you’d prefer to lighten your load before checking in for your flight, you can store your luggage with LAX Luggage Storage. Check your bags and get yourself back out in the sunshine for some last-minute-LA-loving.

M - Metro rail and public transport

Though LA isn’t known for a public transport system as comprehensive as London or New York, getting to and from LAX is quick and affordable. The bus runs every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The FlyAway bus also runs straight from LAX to Hollywood, dropping you off at an intersection near Hollywood Boulevard, right in the heart of the action.

N - Nine

That’s the number of terminals at LAX. There’s a shuttle bus provided to transport passengers between the terminals, so don’t worry about finding your way around.

O - On duty

There’s 14 firefighters on duty at LAX at all times. Never any more and never any less than 14.

P – Pick-ups

It’s only been legal to take an Uber or a Lyft from LAX since 2016, so if you want to avoid public transport, you can order a car where you’ll get picked up from the upper departure levels.

Q - Quartets, and other entertainment

You know you’ve arrived in Tinseltown when even the airport is a hotspot for entertainment. LAX has hosted performances in their terminals from bands, performers, dance companies and classic musical quartets. 

R – Rachel Stevens

British pop star Rachel Stevens and her LA ex put LAX in the British consciousness with her single Sweet Dreams (My LA Ex).

S - Safety first

You’re certainly safe at LAX. With over 6000 CCTV cameras, there’s not a whole lot that can slip past the security. There’s so much recorded that it takes over 5 petabytes of space to store all the footage.  

T - Theme Building

Described as looking like a flying saucer, and often mistaken as the control tower, the giant space-age landmark in the centre of the airport was designed to serve as a ticketing station, which never actually happened. It once housed a chic, glass-encased restaurant called Encounter, but it’s now more sculptural than functional.

U - United States’ second busiest airport

LAX is North America’s second busiest airport, and the fourth busiest in the world, seeing in an estimated 80,921,527 passengers in 2016.

V – Very good boys (and girls)

Who’s a good boy? Who’s a very good boy? That’ll be the team of dogs who are actually employed by LAX. The Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program at LAX uses trained therapy dogs to help nervous passengers relax before their flight. Dressed in bright red ‘Pet Me’ vests, the pups wag their tails all the airport waiting for people to pet and play with them, while their handlers offer information about flights and the airport.

W - Workforce

LAX does more than welcome legions of people to Los Angeles, it helps employ a large portion of people living there. Over 45,000 people are employed at LAX.

X - LA(X)

Why the X? Well, there isn’t a reason why. With the rapid growth in the aviation industry the designations expanded to three letters c. 1947, and "LA" became "LAX." The letter "X" has no specific meaning in this identifier (just like the X in DXB- Dubai).

Y - Year 2023

By 2023, LAX will have undergone a major overhaul, with an automated people-mover train planned. This 2.25 mile train will run every two minutes and connects LAX travellers to the Metro rail, a transit hub and will allow an easier commute to popular destinations including Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles.

Z - Zip code  

The zip code for LAX is 90045.