11/18/2021 07:00 AM

What to expect at LAX this holiday season.
Nov. 18, 2021

LAX Public Relations

(424) 646-5430

Book Parking Online, Arrive Early and More Tips for Holiday Travelers

The new LAX Economy Parking facility is a top recommendation for passengers to plan ahead and avoid traffic within the LAX Central Terminal Area.

(Los Angeles, CA) Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is forecasting a Thanksgiving holiday travel period with up to two million guests during the two weeks surrounding the holiday, potentially doubling the number from the same time last year. Because LAX is expected to be as busy as the peak summer season or more on certain days, travelers are encouraged to plan ahead.

"LAX is ready to welcome our guests with facilities that are clean, safe and offer the latest technology to help create an exceptional Thanksgiving travel experience," said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). "Higher levels of holiday travel and heavy construction at LAX to modernize our facilities will mean additional traffic and put parking at a premium. To create a smooth and lower stress experience, travelers should plan ahead, arrive early and use to pre-book their parking."

LAX's new pre-book service allows guests to book a space in the new LAX Economy Parking facility, as well as several of the Central Terminal Area garages, with discounts available. Pre-booking allows travelers to have a guaranteed space, often at a lower cost than the drive-up rate depending on demand and other dynamic factors. Due to expected demand, these spaces are likely to sell out so passengers are encouraged to book their parking as soon as possible.

LAX Economy Parking offers a 24-hour, frequent and free shuttle service from the facility to the terminals, and uses a dedicated lane within the Central Terminal Area to provide the fastest service possible. To help reduce traffic near the terminals, passengers may also be dropped off at the economy parking facility and ride the free shuttle to the terminals instead of being dropped off at the curb.

Preliminary estimates show that up to two million passengers will use LAX from Nov. 18-30 this year, which is twice as many as during the same time last year but about one-third fewer than the record highs in 2019. Currently, passenger traffic at LAX is about 66% compared with November 2019 when looking at passengers screened at TSA checkpoints. The airport expects the busiest days this month to be the Friday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 19, and the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, with an estimated 175,000 passengers each of those days. That would rank among the busiest days at LAX since early 2020.

Departing guests are advised to allow additional time to reach the airport, clear security and reach their gates. Guests should plan to arrive in the terminal at least two hours before the boarding time for domestic flights and three hours before the boarding time for international flights.

Key Tips for Success

  • Wear a face covering at all times. Face coverings are required under federal law for everyone at LAX.

  • Check in online with your airline before you leave for the airport. This prevents the need to interact with a check-in kiosk. If you are traveling without checked luggage, you can skip the ticket counters entirely.

  • Check parking options ahead of time. Real-time parking availability at LAX facilities is available here. Parking structures could fill up at any time, so be aware of off-airport private lots as alternatives.

  • Pre-book parking ahead of time. Visit for the best rates and to plan your parking ahead of time. Parking options may include discounts from the drive-up rates, depending on availability and demand.

  • Parking and traffic updates are available 24/7 via the automated @FlyLAXstats Twitter feed.

  • Picking someone up? Curbside pickup and drop-off is permitted on the Upper/Departures and Lower/Arrivals levels. All parking structures are free for the first 15 minutes, and Terminal B (Tom Bradley International Terminal) pickup area is also free to use. To access the Terminal B pickup, use the second entrance to Parking Structure 3 from World Way North on the Lower/Arrivals Level. This area is for passenger loading only with no parking allowed.

  • To help speed their journeys, travelers are encouraged to enroll in the Transportation Security Administration's Pre√® or other trusted-traveler programs, such as U.S. Customs & Border Protection's Global Entry, which improve security and reduce wait times.

  • LAX Order Now: This program allows LAX guests to browse, order, pay for and pick up food from any of the airport's terminals using an online order system. The new service is part of LAX's digital marketplace strategy to enhance the travel experience, by allowing guests to search, browse and order food and non-alcoholic beverages from any of the dozens of participating restaurants across the airport. It also provides a way for passengers to order and pick up food without having physical contact with another person. Remember, guests can remove their face covering to eat or drink, but must put it back on when finished. Click here to view a video explaining the new LAX Order Now service.

  • COVID-19 tests: COVID-19 tests are now available at an on-site testing center across from Terminal 6, inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal along Aisle C, and near the information booths on the Lower/Arrivals Level of Terminal 2. Click here for additional details.

Navigating Construction

  • The public is reminded that LAX's $14.5 billion modernization program continues. When coming to LAX, passengers should look for and follow wayfinding signage near all construction sites to ensure their safety and to enhance mobility. For more information, visit

  • LAX is also under much heavier construction within the CTA compared to the same time last year, which means there will be additional road work and detours around certain areas. Be prepared to drive slowly and with caution around work zones. A construction moratorium will be in place on the following dates: Nov. 25 and 26.

Expedited Entry and Exit

  • Guests flying out of Terminals 7 and 8 may now reserve a time at TSA screening through a new pilot program called LAX Fast Lane. This free program is being tested in coordination with TSA for customers traveling with United Airlines. Guests interested in this option can visit to reserve a 15-minute window to proceed through security in Terminal 7. Once a customer has selected their time window, they will receive a QR code that they will show upon arrival at the security checkpoint. They will then be allowed to enter a reserved TSA screening lane. United is reaching out to customers who are traveling from LAX to notify them of this option. The service is free for guests and will be available daily from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the 90-day pilot, which ends Jan. 18, 2022.

  • The free and secure Mobile Passport Control app allows arriving U.S. and Canadian citizens to skip the traditional paper forms and save significant time when entering the country at LAX. The app does not require pre-approval and is free to use for eligible travelers. As a result, app users will experience shorter waiting times, less congestion and faster processing. The app can be downloaded through the App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android. Click here to view a video.

  • Global Entry is a paid CBP program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. At LAX, members enter the United States through automatic kiosks where they present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration. CBP also is now testing touchless kiosks at LAX, in which no contact with the machine is needed. Global Entry is a paid service that required enrollment in advance.

  • Simplified Arrival is an enhanced international arrival process that uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks that are already required for admission into the United States. This process provides travelers with a touchless process that further secures and streamlines international arrivals while fulfilling a longstanding congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens. Simplified Arrival only uses the biometric facial comparison process at a time and place where travelers are already required by law to verify their identity by presenting a travel document.

What's New at LAX

Economy Parking – The Economy Parking facility, the first component of LAX's $5.5-billion Landside Access Modernization Program to complete, is now open to the public. The facility, located at 6100 W. 94th St., between Jetway Boulevard and Westchester Boulevard, has a free shuttle bus to transport people to and from the Central Terminal Area. Guests are encouraged to pre-book one of the 4,300 parking spaces at discounted rates at

West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal – The West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal provides a modern guest experience with cutting-edge technology and a state-of-the-art baggage handling system with early bag storage. The 15 new airline gates, which cost $1.73 billion to build, serve both international and domestic flights and offer numerous comfortable seating options, with thousands of places to plug while accessing wireless services. Other features at the West Gates include pet relief areas, nursing rooms and children's play areas. Passengers can access the gates via tunnel or shuttle bus.

Terminal 1-2 Connector – The connector is the latest step in creating full terminal connection behind security at LAX. The $13.7 million bridge allows passengers in the post-security screening area to move between both Terminals 1 and 2 without having to be rescreened at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint. It also improves passenger flow, creates an additional way to access select gates and increases guest access to food and retail concessions.

Terminal B Pick-up – Due to the Automated People Mover-related construction in front of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, curb space has been reduced, making it more difficult to pick up arriving guests. Visitors are encouraged to use the free Terminal B pickup area on the ground floor of Parking Structure 3. The pickup area features four lettered rows where motorists can pick up passengers. This option is only for private vehicles, and no parking is allowed.

Catching a Ride

FlyAway® bus service is available to and from Union Station and Van Nuys, with parking available at both locations. Fares are $9.75 one way. For pick-up at LAX, the FlyAway buses make use of dedicated inner lanes on the Lower/Arrivals Level. In time for the Thanksgiving holiday, and continuing into 2022, additional service is available on both routes. For more information on FlyAway, including a real-time bus tracker, visit

Municipal buses from LA Metro, Beach Cities Transit, Culver City, Santa Monica (Big Blue Bus) and Torrance serve the LAX City Bus Center, located on 96th Street, and connect to the CTA via the free LAX "Lot South/City Bus Center" Shuttle, which stops on the Lower/Arrivals Level. In the CTA, the LAX "Lot South/City Bus Center" Shuttle arrives and departs from stops labeled "Employee Lot South/LAX City Bus Center."

LAX also offers a free Metro Connector shuttle to and from the Aviation/LAX Metro Station on the C-Line (light rail, formerly the Green Line) at Imperial Highway and Aviation Boulevard. The C-Line connects to the J-Line (Bus Rapid Transit, formerly the Silver Line) and A-Line (light rail, formerly the Blue Line) for service to downtown Los Angeles. LAX shuttle drivers may ask for proof of payment/use of Metro via a TAP card for guests heading to the airport.

The cell phone waiting lot remains open to the public at the corner of Vicksburg Avenue and 96th Street. Motorists can park for up to two hours, then drive to the CTA when their guests have arrived.

Guests who are leaving LAX via taxi or ride app vehicles (Uber, Lyft, Opoli) can walk to the LAX-it lot at 9610 Sky Way, across from Terminal 1, or take one of the LAX-it shuttles from stops located on the Lower/Arrivals Level. At the LAX-it lot, guests will find taxis as well as ride app vehicles. In addition to LAX-it, taxis can also pick up passengers from the Terminal B Pick-Up Area within Parking Structure 3 and from the Lower/Arrivals level outside of the baggage claim area of Terminal 7. Taxi and ride app vehicles continue to drop off guests curbside on the Upper/Departures Level.

Getting Help

LAX guests can find help at a number of places throughout their journey, including without having to interact in-person with a guest experience member.

  • By phone: Guests may call (855) 463-5252 for assistance during business hours, or email to receive a response within one business day.

  • In person: A team of LAXceptional Courtesy workers will be at the terminals to assist with airport navigation, information, encouraging face coverings and thanking guests with a LAX-themed gift, while supplies last. This team will be deployed Nov. 24, Nov. 29, Dec. 21 and Dec. 22 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • Restroom feedback: By pointing their smartphone camera at one of the QR codes on new signs installed at all restrooms, airport guests can provide fast feedback about the restroom via a drop-down menu or open comment option. Guests can also include a photo of the issue. All of this information is delivered to a maintenance dispatch center in real time. The new service is available in all 213 restrooms at LAX, including all-gender and nursing rooms.

  • Vision impaired services: Passengers with impaired vision may use the Aira real-time navigation service, which is free to use at LAX. Guests can download Aira for free from the App Store on their Apple device or from Google Play on their Android device.

  • Online: An online, automated chatbot is available 24/7 to help answer common questions about LAX.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX, the third-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States in 2019, is in the midst of a $14.3-billion capital improvement program that will touch on all nine passenger terminals and build new facilities, including an Automated People Mover (APM) train, Consolidated Rent-A-Car (ConRAC) facility and a 12- to 15-gate Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) addition to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.


In 2019, LAX served nearly 88.1 million passengers and offered an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 113 destinations in the U.S. and 1,200 weekly nonstop flights to 91 markets in 46 countries on 72 commercial airlines.


LAX generates 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX's ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.


LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City's general fund.


LAWA is leading the aviation industry in sustainability practices, with initiatives related to water management, energy (electricity) management, air quality, recycling and natural resources management. In 2019, LAX received Level III ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation from Airport Councils International-Europe.


LAWA is also a leader in inclusivity, operating eight programs that provide opportunities for business enterprises including local, small, minority-owned, veteran-owned and disadvantaged firms, and working together with community partners to offer the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program, which targets local workers to make them ready for rewarding careers in the construction trades, and the Build LAX Academy, designed to prepare small contracting businesses for success when working on projects at LAX.


LAX was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX in 2018, and was honored as the "Most Innovative Airport for Passenger Experience" in 2019 by the American Association of Airport Executives. LAX is the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to Other recent honors have included selection as the No. 9 Best Airport (Wall Street Journal); No. 7 Best On-Time Performance for a Mega-Hub Airport (OAG); one of "The World's Best Airports for Business Travelers" (GlobeHunters); Public-Private Partnership of the Year (P3 Bulletin); Urth Caffe, Best Airport Coffee Concession of the Year (Global FAB Awards); Innovation of the Year, Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility (ARTBA); Best Project, United Airlines Terminal 7 and 8 Redevelopment Program (Engineering News Record California); North American Public-Private Partnership Deal of the Year (IJ Global); and Innovative Transportation Solution of the Year, Automated People Mover (WTS LA).

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request

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