If you plan on flying in or out of Los Angeles International Airport during the upcoming holiday season, there's a few things you need to know about how to get in and out of one of the world's busiest airports.
With a busy travel season ahead, LAX officials worked on a new plan to get travelers in and out of the 'horseshoe' around the terminals a lot faster. To do that, taxis and other rideshare companies were banned from picking up passengers on the arrivals level in favor of a new system, called "LAX-it." Unfortunately, the first few days of LAX-it were filled with confusion, traffic and anger from commuters upset about the new pick up system.
While LAX has responded by adding three lanes to its pickup lot (expanding the size by nearly 50%), the system can be confusing for first-time travelers coming in and out of LAX. Here's the best way to deal with the new system.
For all those flyers leaving from LAX, nothing much changes for you. Curbside drop-offs are still allowed at the same places on the upper level.
If you're picking up family and friends on the lower level, you're still allowed to drive around the horseshoe to the terminals, but, now, instead of picking your passengers up on the inside curb nearest the terminal doors, people are being directed to the outer median.
People flying into LAX who use the FlyAway buses (which serve the Hollywood, Long Beach, Van Nuys and Union Station in downtown Los Angeles areas) can catch their ride on the lower/arrivals level. Shared shuttles will also continue to pick up passengers on the lower level.
For all those passengers looking to use Uber or Lyft, LAX officials recommend passengers hail their ride before they arrive to the rideshare lot. However, people can still wait until they're on their shuttle bus that takes them to the LAX-it lot. LAX officials say people arriving at Terminals 1, 2, 7, or 8, who are comfortable walking a few hundred yards with their carry-ons should skip the shuttle buses and follow the signage directing them to the LAX-it lot.
People arriving at Terminals 3,4, 5, or the Bradley Terminal should probably catch the shuttle bus as walking from there to the LAX-it lot can take up to 20 minutes.
If you decide on the rideshare option, your best bet is to open your rideshare app of choice and hail your ride before arriving at the LAX-it lot. Once you arrive, you'll see seven lanes available for cars picking up passengers. The lanes are color-coded, green for Uber, yellow for taxis, and pink for Lyft rides. Representatives for both rideshare companies are available to help anyone who might need advice or assistance.
Travelers using Uber or Lyft are sent a PIN, which they can match to the drivers, lined up.
Curbside pickup is still available, but you'll have to pay for the privilege. Limousines and other transport services that hold Transportation Charter Party permits are still allowed to pick up passengers at the outer island median on the arrivals level).
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