Find Your Own Transportation to and from LAX Airport
“Can you pick me up from the airport?”
This is a question dreaded by many who live in a large city like Los Angeles. Before the pandemic, I heard it quite a bit. I would start to cringe once the person uttered the word “pick” because I knew what was coming next.
I’m sure your loved ones and friends are probably excited to see you. Your presence is probably uplifting. Yes, the side hug against the central console of the car may be cathartic for both individuals. But, the magic of the moment may be offset by the obstacles one must overcome when tackling the airport.
Please stop expecting people to pick you up from the airport
Now, some people may offer to pick you up and it’s up to you whether you accept their generous offer. And trust me when I say, it’s generous. And if you are someone’s 95-year-old grandma, I think it’s safe to say that you can probably demand to be picked up from the airport. This advice obviously should be applied on a case by case bases. But others really should find a way out of the airport on their own.
There was a time when everyone expected to be picked up at the airport
I’m old enough to remember the time when family members and friends would sometimes greet their loved ones coming off a plane.
During childhood, I remember my grandmother and I would pick up my mother at the airport after her numerous business trips. We would arrive an hour early, navigate security, and eat ice cream while waiting for her plane to arrive. I would peer through the large windows, watching anxiously for the plane to taxi. Then after a few minutes, my mom would walk into the waiting room.
Those days don’t exist anymore.
I don’t need to explain the main reason why everything changed, but now everyone wants to spend as little time as possible at the airport.
LAX is located in the southwest part of Los Angeles, abutting the Pacific Ocean. It is not convenient for the vast majority of Los Angeles residents unless your final destination is the South Bay or the Venice/Santa Monica area.
In prior years, it has taken up to an hour to even go around the horseshoe during the holidays. And, of course, this doesn’t include the hours spent in traffic attempting to get to the airport.
LAX is a chaotic, congested experience, filled with police forcefully yelling at drivers to move along, drivers frantically calling travelers to hurry the hell up, large car rental trams on a mission to run over everyone, pedestrians crossing where they shouldn’t, and people who are confused about life in general.
Please, if you can, find your own way in and out of LAX.
People don’t love waking up at 5 am to take you to the airport because you found a $40 ticket on Spirit. People don’t enjoy navigating traffic during rush hour so you can get home to make your early morning work shift.
Airports like Hollywood-Burbank, Ontario, and John Wayne are easier to navigate. But entering and exiting any airport is always a stressful experience.
Budget airport transport into your travel costs
When traveling to a place, it’s important to calculate the costs of your flight as well as other transportation costs. If you buy an airline ticket, plan how you will get to your final destination. Your FINAL destination. You know, the place with a bed that you will sleep at, not under a blinking Southwest sign.
So how do you get out of LAX without stressing out your friends and family?
Here are your options:
Uber/Lyft: Yes, neither are free. But they will get you to your final destination without inconveniencing your friends and family. All you need to do is download the applications.
Rent a Car: This is also important if you plan to stay for a while in Los Angeles. Because, in many cases, people don’t always want to consistently chauffeur you around the city. With a car, you can do what you want and when you want. This takes further pressure off the person you are visiting because they know that you are self-reliant and independent.
Public Transportation: This may not be for everyone but like every big city, buses and trains exist in Los Angeles. The train lines and buses can expose you to an interesting aspect of Los Angeles and can take you to a wide variety of destinations. For more information, you can visit the Metro Planner, which shows all of your options in Los Angeles.
Fly Away: You flew away so try the Fly Away, a transportation service that can take you to a variety of destinations including Downtown LA, Hollywood, and Van Nuys. And it’s less than ten dollars, making it very affordable. For more information, please visit the Fly Away, which shows all of your options in Los Angeles.
Meet someone outside of the airport: If you still need to rely on someone else for transportation, consider meeting them outside of LAX. Find a way out of the airport and meet a family member or friend in Westchester. Meet them anywhere that doesn’t involve the LAX horseshoe.
Or, you can stay home and watch a movie about Los Angeles. If you can’t afford to go somewhere and find your way to your true final destination, then don’t come.
As I said, it’s one thing if someone offers or insists. But it is a really big inconvenience to pick someone up from the airport. And it works both ways. If you live in LA, don’t expect your Chicago family to pick you up either. Find your own way to your final destination.