Five Tips to Simplify Parking at LAX
Though it comprises half of the word relax, LAX makes relaxing really hard to do. In 2014, more than 70 million passengers hustled and bustled their way through America’s second-busiest airport—a total that’s risen 13% since 2011. Of course, at this gateway to—or escapeway from—Los Angeles, parking can lump even more stress onto your plate. So, we’ve compiled this list of tips for parking at LAX to ensure your trip starts and ends as smoothly as George Clooney ordering a Double Double, animal style.
Know the Layout
All told, LAX parking spans more than 15,000 spaces spread out across numerous different parking structures. Parking is available just outside the airport (more on that below), but central terminal parking touts the most spots: more than 8,000, to be roughly exact. These spots are located within LAX’s eight terminal parking garages, and they’re available for daily, short-term, and extended-use purposes. Large vehicles—like campers, trailers, and Ecto-1s—aren’t permitted in terminal parking garages, but there’s plenty of room for them in the Economy Lot.
Take Advantage of the Economy Lot
Not only do the economy lots accept larger vehicles, but they’re cheaper than the terminal lots, too. The Lot C Economy Lot—located at the corner of 96th St. and Sepulveda Blvd.—offers hourly, daily, and long-term parking, and complimentary shuttles tote passengers to and from the airport. That being said, sometimes the shuttles do get a little backed up, so be sure to allow yourself plenty of time if you park here.
Picker-Uppers: The Cell Phone Lot’s for You
Right next to the Economy Lot, the handy Cell Phone Lot makes it a snap for friends, family members, and well-trained sled dogs to pick up their loved ones. These spots are all free, and they can be occupied for up to two hours. There’s only one catch: any car in this lot must be accompanied at all times, so there’s no parking and leaving.
Electric Cars and other Special Rides
If you’re behind the wheel of an electric car, cruise on over to Garage 1, Garage 6, or even Lot C to park at designated charging stations. Charging is free, but parking is not. Additionally, if you’re driving a taller-than-usual car, keep in mind that while most garages have a maximum height of 8 feet, 2 inches, Garages 2A and 5 only have a 7-foot clearance.
Okay, “hide everything” might be a bit dramatic, but seriously—parking your car for an extended period of time means any and all valuables should be stowed out of sight. The airport’s adoption of the “Lock it, Hide It, Keep It” campaign has helped crack down on thefts, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Eddie Carroll is one of three Eddie Carrolls in his family. When he's not writing, Eddie enjoys baseball, hiking, and building blanket forts.