Los Angeles International Airport
|Travelers flying into the Los Angeles area have a choice of five commercial airports. Los Angeles International Airport leads the pack, with the greatest number of domestic and international flights and the widest choice of airlines. LAX is convenient to downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and other west side destinations, but it's worth checking fares and schedules for the smaller airports as well -- particularly if you're headed for other parts of the sprawling metropolitan region. The other options are:
- John Wayne Airport in Orange County (near Disneyland), served by about a dozen domestic carriers with flights primarily originating in the Western states. Information: www.ocair.com.
- Long Beach Municipal Airport, a small and user-friendly airport convenient to South Bay communities and parts of Orange County. Long Beach is served by a handful of airlines, including Alaska, America West and JetBlue. Information: www.longbeach.gov.
- Bob Hope Airport (also known as Burbank Glendale Pasadena Airport), a good place to land if you're headed for Hollywood or to destinations in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. Served by Alaska, American, America West, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United. Information: www.burbankairport.com.
- Ontario International Airport, about 35 miles east of downtown L.A. in an area known locally as the Inland Empire. Convenient to Riverside, San Bernardino, Riverside and the San Gabriel Valley. Information: www.lawa.org.
Upon arrival, you'll almost certainly want to rent a car, though in certain limited areas it is possible to get by using the city's limited public transportation. The modern Metro Rail system provides efficient transportation on four light-rail lines that connect LAX with downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, making it a viable alternative to driving if your activities will be largely centered near the Metro Rail stations. There's also a good short-haul bus network known as DASH serving the downtown area. If you do rent a car, brace yourself for serious traffic congestion that can occur at almost any hour, and bear in mind that many hotels will add a hefty parking fee to your bill.