LAX, Los Angeles
If you are flying through the international airport in Los Angeles and have a few hours by plane then there is no need to sit and be bored at the airport while waiting for your connection.
LAX airport is right next to the beach and it´s a 10 minute taxi drive to places like Manhattan beach, Venice beach and Santa Monica.
These beaches are really nice to hang out at and certainly beat a plastic chair at the airport.
Fondest memory: Sitting together with all the other stoned weirdoes on venice beach boardwalk.
The Admiral's Club in LAX is the only thing I like about this airport. The Club is a nice sized one with large floor to ceiling windows that look out on to the gates and runways. When we are here we usually sit in the quiet room to watch the planes while enjoying some drinks.
The drinks in the Admiral's Club are complimentary except for what they deem as "Premium" beverages which includes some wine and beer selections. There is a food menu that serves salads, sandwiches, pizzas and snacks. We have only ordered the bagel with cream cheese here and despite that they are not NY bagels they were pretty good.
As for kids; we both appreciate that there are designated playrooms for kids. Nothing is worse than trying to relax in between flights while a bunch of screaming kids tear about the place....
The good news about LAX is that there are several smaller airports in the vicinity that offer more convenient alternatives. Ontario International Airport is located in the area known as the Inland Empire and is about 50 miles east of Los Angeles. It is a small, well run airport served by most carriers and its fairly close to Pasadena, San Bernardino and other cities in the inland area. Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena airport is an even smaller option which is even closer to downtown Los Angeles than LAX. Long Beach airport is a good alternative if visiting that area or Orange County, and some of the smaller carriers offer great rates for people willing to fly into here.
Here's a list of websites for these airports:
Of the 5 airports in the Los Angeles area, LAX is the largest and most well known. This airport serves almost all major airlines and is about a half hour from downtown.
LAX is well laid out and easy to navigate, but its huge and congested. Lines are usually long and traffic outside the airport is a nightmare. I was so surprised by the gridlock and horn blaring angry drivers that for a moment I thought I'd mistakenly arrived in La Guardia. But then again, the normally laid back Californians become a menace when they get behind the wheel, so I suppose its not that surprising. So be careful when you exit the airport and make sure you have a plan for getting from the airport to your next destination. Again, this is not too hard to do as all airport hotels have shuttle service, all car rental companies are available and there are taxicabs aplenty.
When you arrive at LAX airport, and your travelling alone, it's the cheapest way to take a shuttle to all parts of Los Angeles. A shuttle ride from LAX costs 20$ incl. Tip!
With 2 people, you can take a taxi for the same price. The taxi's often have flat rate for the ride from LAX to the city (appr. 35$)