12/16/2021 07:00 AM

What to expect at LAX this holiday season.
Dec. 16, 2021

LAX Public Relations

(424) 646-5430

Book Parking Online, Arrive Early, Follow Health Guidelines and 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) The winter holiday travel season is off to a strong start at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) where up to 3.5 million travelers are expected to use the airport from Dec. 16, 2021 - Jan. 3, 2022, making this the busiest travel period the airport has seen this year.


"As 2021 comes to a close, we are excited to wish our millions of guests, partners and employees a very healthy and happy holiday season," said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). "We are committed to providing clean, safe and healthy facilities at LAX and we will be deploying additional help during the holiday season to ensure our guests have a smooth and enjoyable travel experience."


Preliminary estimates show that passenger traffic during the holidays may reach nearly 3.5 million passengers, which is about 77% compared with the nearly 4.5 million travelers during the same time in 2019. Last year, 1.85 million passengers went through LAX during this time, making this year almost twice as busy.


The airport expects peak travel days this month to be Dec. 17, 19, 26 and Jan. 2, with more than 200,000 passengers during each of those days. LAX continues to rank as one of the busiest airports in the country this year for domestic travel with the number of international flights expected to increase into next year. 


Guests are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and pre-book parking using for the best rates and guaranteed spots. During the Thanksgiving holiday, LAX parking was nearly full during peak days. Pre-booking parking online is the best way for travelers to guarantee a spot in their desired parking structure. For the ultimate convenience, valet parking is now available in Parking Structure 1 and also can be reserved through the parking website. Passengers are encouraged to pre-book parking as soon as possible for a greater discount on rates. 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 (CTA) 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.


International travelers arriving at LAX should be aware of new federal rules regarding COVID-19 testing before departure. These passengers are encouraged to check local rules and airline procedures prior to heading to the airport. Masks continue to be required inside all LAX facilities and shuttle buses. Visit for more information. 


To help make the travel experience as smooth as possible for our guests during the holidays, LAX will deploy additional resources in and around the terminals. That includes additional traffic control officers from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), paramedic bike teams from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), and the Team of LAXceptional Courtesy (TLC) volunteers, who will be in the terminals on Dec. 21-22 to provide guest assistance and pass out giveaways. LAX's volunteer Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) teams also will be making the rounds, along with our Volunteer Information Professionals (VIPs) and Guest Experience Members (GEMs). 


Departing guests are advised to allow additional time to reach the airport, clear security and get to their gates. Travelers 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. Traffic officers from the LADOT will be deployed at the busiest intersections surrounding the airport to help with the flow of holiday traffic. 

  • Picking someone up? Curbside pickup and drop-off is permitted on the Upper/Departures and Lower/Arrivals levels on the outer curb. All parking structures are free for the first 15 minutes or $7 for the first hour, and the Terminal B (Tom Bradley International Terminal) pickup area is also free to use. To access 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 up 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 improves security and reduces 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 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 LAX Order Now service.

  • COVID-19 tests: New federal rules now require all inbound international travelers, regardless of their vaccination status or nationality, to receive a negative COVID-19 test result within one day of departure. Click here to read about the details for the new process, and what travelers need to know. Additionally, LAX continues to offer COVID-19 tests at on-site testing centers located across from Terminal 6, inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal along Aisle C, and near the information booth 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. Holiday construction moratoriums also will be in place at LAX. There will be no construction outside the CTA on Dec. 24-25, with construction limited to overnight hours on Dec. 20-23 and Dec. 26. There will be no construction work within the CTA from Dec. 20 to Jan. 4. 

Expedited Entry and Exit

  • Guests flying out of Terminals 7 and 8 may 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 requires 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


Valet Parking – For the ultimate convenience, guests can now choose valet parking located in P1 of the CTA. Passengers can save time looking for a parking space by dropping off their car with a professional attendant. Pre-booking is available at and rates are based on availability and demand. 


Electric Vehicle Parking – LAX has installed additional electric vehicle charging stations in several parking structures. To book an EV space ahead of time, and for the best rates, visit

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-in while accessing wireless services. Other features at the West Gates include pet relief areas, nursing rooms and children's play areas. Passengers access the gates via tunnel or shuttle bus, depending on their airline. 

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. 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 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 $14.5-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 the West Gates at 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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