Los Angeles International Airport is the main international airport in Los Angeles, California and areas surrounding L.A. The airport is the largest and busiest airport in West Coast USA and one of the largest and busiest airports in the whole of the US. In addition to passenger traffic, the airport handles a lot of cargo traffic.
The airport is the hub for Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United, which is the biggest number of US legacy carriers based at one airport in the whole of the US.
The airport opened in 1930 under the name 'Mines Field' and was renamed Los Angeles Airport in 1941 and, later, Los Angeles International Airport in 1949, which is what it's known as today.
Los Angeles International has had many major expansions over the years. In the early 1960s, four new terminals were built, numbered 2–5. In preparation for the 1984 Summer Olympics, the airport undertook a major renovation and expansion, with two new terminals built and terminal 2 completely rebuilt. The airport had another multi-billion renovation in the mid-2010s.
Los Angeles International Airport is expected to undergo another expansion in the coming years as the city will host the Summer Olympics once again in 2028.
In total, the airport has nine different terminals.
The airport code for Los Angeles International Airport is LAX.
Los Angeles International Airport is located southwest of Downtown Los Angeles in the Westchester district. If the traffic is good, it takes 30–40 minutes to drive between LAX and downtown L.A. However, during busier times, it can take up to 90 minutes.
Credit: Kevin Paniagua on Wikimedia Commons
Did you know that you can buy lounge passes for Los Angeles International Airport with Alternative Airlines? You can purchase them for the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.
Credit: Umair Shaikh on Flickr
The airport has four runways — 06L/24R, 06R/24L, 07L/25R and 07R/25L.
06L/24R and 06R/24L are located north of the airport, while 07L/25R and 07R/25L are located south of the airport. Both 06R/24L and 07L/25R are primarily used for departing flights, whereas 06L/24R and 07R/25L are used for arriving flights.
Los Angeles International Airport has nine different terminals. Terminals are numbered 1–8, with the ninth terminal named Tom Brady International Airlines, after Californian NFL player Tom Brady. All terminals can be travelled between by shuttle bus. Terminals 4–8 and the Tom Brady International Terminal can all be travelled between by underground or overground tunnel.
Terminal 1 is used exclusively by Southwest, both for domestic flights and international check-in. This terminal is currently undergoing a big renovation to modernise and update its facilities.
Terminal 2 is used by Delta and Delta connection, as well as some international airlines such as Aer Lingus and Aeromexico. The terminal underwent a massive renovation that was finished in 2019.
Terminal 3 is used by Delta and Delta Connection, as well as other international airlines, including flights to South America with Avianca and Copa Airlines.
Terminal 4 is used exclusively by American Airlines. It has a direct link to Tom Brady International Airport so that passengers can easily connect to the southern terminals.
Terminal 5 facilitates only-US carrier. It mostly has domestic flights from airlines such as American Eagle, Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit and Sun Country. However, there are some international flights from JetBlue.
There's a mix of domestic and international flights at Terminal 6 with flights from airlines such as Alaska Airlines, Air Canada and Mokulele Airlines. The terminal recently underwent a multi-million refurbishment project.
Terminal 7 is used exclusively by United Airlines and United Express.
Similar to Terminal 7, Terminal 8 is exclusively by United Airlines and United Express. The terminal underwent a multi-million renovation that finished in 2017.
Tom Brady International Terminal is the newest and largest terminal with the most gates. The terminal handles most international flights at the airport and the biggest variety of airlines.
Alaska, American Airlines, Delta and United each use Los Angeles International Airport as a hub.
Take a look at the table below to see a full list of airlines that fly to/from the airport.
|Aeromexico & Aeromexico Connect||Mexico|
|Air New Zealand||New Zealand|
|Air Tahiti Nui||France|
|All Nippon Airways||Japan|
|Asiana Airlines||South Korea|
|Avianca Costa Rica||Costa Rica|
|Avianca El Salvador||El Salvador|
|Cathay Pacific||Hong Kong|
|Delta & Delta Connection||USA|
|Hong Kong Airlines||Hong Kong|
|Korean Air||South Korea|
|LOT Polish Airlines||Poland|
|Philippine Airlines||The Philippines|
|Scandinavian Airlines||Sweden, Norway, Denmark|
|Sun Country Airlines||USA|
|United Airlines & United Express||USA|
|Volaris Costa Rica||Costa Rica|
|1||San Francisco, California||1,923,350||Alaska, American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, United|
|2||New-York-JFK, New York||1,741,640||Alaska, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue|
|3||Las Vegas, Nevada||1,523,610||Alaska, Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta,
Southwest, Spirit, United
|4||Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois||1,423,800||Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Frontier, Spirit, United|
|5||Seattle/Tacoma, Washington||1,243,640||Alaska, American Airlines, Delta, Spirit, United|
|1||London-Heathrow||1,626,448||Air New Zealand, American Airlines, British Airways,
United, Virgin Atlantic
|2||Mexico City||1,205,870||Aeroméxico, American Airlines, Delta, Interjet, Volaris|
|3||Seoul-Incheon||1,184,160||Asiana, Korean Air|
|4||Hong Kong||1,094,555||American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong|
|5||Guadalajara||976,159||Aeroméxico, Alaska, Interjet, VivaAerobus, Volaris|
Los Angeles International Airport can be accessed by World Way North, where there are signs directing you straight to the airport terminals.
Cars are available for hire at the airport.
Taxis can be ordered from your place of accommodation. Only licensed taxis are allowed to drive to the airport. A taxi costs around $46 USD when travelling from Downtown LA to the airport.
Alternatively, taxi apps, such as Uber and Lyft are available in the city.
The best way to get to Los Angeles International by metro is to travel to Union Station metro and then transfer to LAX on the flyaway bus. This is a good option for most places in Los Angeles, except for if you're travelling from Long Beach or South Bay. In which case, it's a better idea to get the rail.
Take the rail to Aviation/LAX station, where you can get a free shuttle directly to the airport terminals. This is best reached on the Blue Line from Long Beach and the Green Line from South Bay.