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LA Airports Guide

A Guide to the Five Los Angeles Area Airports

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Ring of Pylons at Los Angeles International Airport

Ring of Pylons at Los Angeles International Airport

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is one of the busiest airports in the world, which also makes it one of the slowest to get in and out of. More and more travelers are taking advantage of flights into the other four major L.A. area airports.

You can sometimes save a significant amount of money flying into an alternate airport, depending on current airfare discounts. No one airport is consistently cheaper though, so it pays to compare for every flight. Do take into consideration any additional cost that may be incurred getting from a more distant airport to your end destination. What you save in airfare, you may end up paying in higher shuttle or taxi fees if you’re not renting a car.

LAX is located on the west side of Los Angeles just south of Marina del Rey. If you are staying in the western beach cities or Beverly Hills, LAX is still probably your best bet. The time you would save getting in and out of another local airport, you would lose sitting on the freeway, so you might as well take advantage of the multitude of flights that come into LAX from all over the world. LAX has convenient FlyAway shuttles to UCLA, Union Station and Van Nuys, as well as a free shuttle to the Metro Green Line.

Bob Hope Airport/Burbank Airport (BUR) is north of the City. It is a much smaller airport so it is faster to get in and out of. It is the most convenient airport to fly into if you’re planning to stay near Universal Studios or Six Flags Magic Mountain. It’s also convenient if you’re staying in Hollywood or Downtown. Burbank is the only airport with an Amtrak station and easy access to a Metrolink station.

Long Beach Airport (LGB) is south of Los Angeles, providing easy access to Long Beach, Downtown Los Angeles and northern Orange County, including Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. Only five airlines fly into Long Beach, but they occasionally have better rates than into other LA airports from certain cities.

John Wayne International Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, also known as Orange County Airport, is larger than Long Beach or Burbank with more traveler services on site and many more flights, but still comfortably convenient to navigate. It is the closest airport to Disneyland as well as Orange County beach cities and business destinations.

Ontario International Airport (ONT) serves the Southern California “Inland Empire” of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. It is about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, 35 miles northeast of Disneyland, and 11 miles from the L.A. County Fairgrounds.

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