Airport Review: Pardon the Dust as LAX Gets a Makeover
In Yahoo Travel’s Airport Review series, we dissect everything you need to know—from check-in to take off to landing. Oh, and curious what it takes to get a perfect, 5-star rating? A hotel beyond security check—and not many pass the test.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Airport Star Rating: The sixth-busiest airport in the world, and third in the U.S., gets 3.5 stars and rising as its renovation progresses.
The Good: LAX’s $7 billion ongoing modernization brings improvements from LED street lighting and traffic safety, streamlined security and baggage handling, to the New Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).
The Bad: Renovations aren’t due for completion until 2020, meaning inconveniences like tarmac busing and maneuvering construction zones. Helpful: construction scheduled between midnight and 5 a.m., and real-time traffic updates from www.LAXisHappening.com.
Best Amenities: Free WiFi, four “pet parks” and TBIT’s children’s play area.
Children’s play area. (Photo: LAX/Pinterest)
Walkability: Elevators, escalators and moving walkways, 212 of them, will be added/updated by 2016. A connector between Terminal 4 and TBIT will alleviate the need for rechecking luggage.
Security and Immigration: Lately, LAX’s immigration process has been expedient. Global Entry and special TSA Pre-Check authorization hasten the process.
Baggage: An in-line baggage handling and screening system program is in place within Terminals 3, 5 and TBIT. Other terminals updates will follow by 2020.
Delays: Tips for avoiding delays – travel on Tuesdays or Wednesdays with departure times between 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. (especially Terminals 1 and 5) or Fridays 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Worst arrival time – Sundays from 5:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Some tarmac delays result from Terminal 4 connector construction.
(Photo: Neil Kremer/Flickr)