Back in 2016, LAX handled 80.9 million passengers, according to Los Angeles World Airports. That number increased to 84.6 million in 2017 and then jumped to 87.5 million passengers last year. That move represented a 3.5% increase and broke down to 61.5 million domestic and 26 million international passengers.
That makes LAX the No. 2 passenger airport in the nation.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is primarily focused on improving the accessibility between terminals and public transport.
The goal of the airport’s recent $14 billion renovation project is to reduce congestion, so passengers can utilize more efficient methods of transport, and get to their flight on time. These updates are scheduled for 2023. However, some improvements have already been made to some terminals to upgrade baggage screening and check in to enhance the passenger’s overall experience.
Meanwhile, your travel experience can be improved with Airport Spectrum’s affordable and quality parking service. We park your car at a safe location in the LAX airport, so they can concentrate on getting to the flight.
Because of all the exciting changes, it’s vital for travelers to understand the inside of the LAX airport to make sure that they get to their flight in time.
How many terminals are there?
LAX Terminal 1
This is the only terminal that is not connected to another terminal with an airside or landside walkway. It serves flights from Southwest Airlines and has 12 gates.
Restaurants and shops are located on level 2, which is the same location as the gate for departure.
To get around Terminal 1, passengers can exit the terminal on the lower level from the baggage claim through doors L1-06 or L1-07. Then they can pick up the shuttle and ride the terminal shuttle bus.
LAX Terminal 2
Terminal 2 is connected to Terminal 3 through the landside walkway, but passengers will need to exit the terminal and re-enter the security process.
Passengers can ride the shuttle bus between Terminals 2 and 3, which takes around 10 minutes.
Terminal 2 has 12 gates. Shops, restaurants, and cafes are located on level 2 with the departure gates. The Virgin Clubhouses and Delta Sky Club are located on level 3.
To get around Terminal 2, passengers can exit on the lower level from baggage claim through doors L1-05. After, cross the streets to get to the shuttle pick-up and take the bus.
LAX Terminal 3
Terminal 3 is connected to Terminal 2 through a walkway, but it is not linked to other terminals. Passengers that have a flight connection to Terminal 2 will need to go through security at the next terminal.
Terminal 3 has 13 gates with shops, restaurants, cafes, and Delta Sky Club Lounge on level 3 with the departure gates.
Passengers can travel around terminal 3 by exiting from baggage claim on the lower level to get to the shuttle bus.
Passengers connecting to Terminal 1 or 2 should consider walking instead of taking the shuttle bus, it might be faster.
LAX Terminal 4
An underground airside walkway connects Terminal 4 to Terminal 5.
Terminal 4 is connected near the International Terminal B through a bridge with moving sidewalks on level 5. This area has its own security checkpoint for travelers going to Terminal 4 from the International Terminal.
Terminal 4 has 16 gates along with shops and restaurants on level 3 departures. It even has an Admirals Club and access to an American Airlines Flagship Lounge.
LAX Terminal 5
Terminal 5 is connected to Terminals 4 and 6 through an underground walkway. Both of these terminals are connected to another terminal with airside walkways, so passengers won’t have to go through security.
There are 14 gates in Terminal 5 along with shops, bars, and restaurants that are located on level 3 with departures gates, including access to the Admirals Club Lounge.
Travelers flying with American Eagle will need to use the Terminal 5 shuttle bus to the Regional Terminal.
Related: How early should you arrive at LAX?
LAX Terminal 6
Terminal 6 is near Terminal 7 through an airside walkway and Terminal 5 in an underground walkway. With these terminals, travelers can continue to Terminals 8, 5, 4, and the International Terminal B without going through security again.
There are 14 gates along with shops, bars, and restaurants on level 3 departures gates with an Alaska Airlines Lounge.
Travelers connecting to Terminal 6 can use the airside walkways to the south terminals. They can exit after the baggage claim through door L1-05 to get to Terminals 1-3, where the shuttle bus is located.
LAX Terminals 7 and 8
Terminals 7 and 8 share the same security checkpoint, so they have separate terminals, with gate numbers in the 70s.
The above-ground airside walkway connects Terminal 7 with Terminal 8 and 6, so travelers have access to reach gates 4,5, and International Terminal B without going through security again.
Keep in mind that check-in occurs at Terminal 7 or 8 through United Airlines.
Terminal 7 has 14 gates, and has United Club and United Polaris lounges on level 3 departures, along with shops, bars, and restaurants.
Terminal 8 has eight gates and a few bars, shops, cafes, and restaurants on level 3 departures gates.
Thomas Bradley International Terminal B
Terminal B is the western part of the airport and accommodates the majority of international flight arrivals.
It’s the largest terminal at LAX, linked to Terminal 4 through a bridge. The bridge serves as a security checkpoint for passengers arriving on international flights, which are connected to a variety of other terminals.
The International Terminal is split into the South Concourse and North Concourse. Once passengers arrive from the main security checkpoint, they will enter the Great Hall on level 4, where most of the restaurants, bars, and shops are located. With that in mind, the South Concourse is on the left, and the North Concourse is to the right.
Where is your terminal located?
LAX has a U-shaped layout with parking lots and underground transportation along with nine terminals. Terminals 1-3 are located on the north side, terminals 4-8 is directed towards the south side, and Terminal B, which is also known as Tom Bradley International, is located on the west side.
The presecurity is located on the inside of the landside so that passengers can enter there; however, aside from small coffee shops, there aren’t many selections of restaurants or cafes in that location. Passengers that arrive early may have a long wait during the check-in process, so it’s best to head to Terminal B for a more extensive selection of restaurants to pass the time.
Each terminal has its own security checkpoint, and passengers with a valid boarding pass can go through security at any terminal.
Once travelers are in the airside, which is past the security portion, they will witness that each terminal has its own shops, bars, and restaurants, and lounges.
Using the terminal shuttle
Travelers that need to maneuver between terminals can take advantage of the terminal shuttle that runs in a counter-clockwise direction stopping at each terminal.
Passengers can pick up the shuttle from outside the terminal on the lower level, under the blue signs “LAX Shuttle & Airline Connections.” Buses leave every 10 minutes and take a couple of minutes to travel between terminals.
How long does it take to get between terminals?
Here is a rough idea on how long it takes to travel between terminals:
- 5 to 8 minutes to terminal 4 at gate 40
- 10 to 16 minutes to terminal 5 at gate 50
- 15 to 24 minutes to terminal 6 at gate 64
- 20 to 32 minutes to terminal 7 at gate 71A
- 25 to 40 minutes to terminal 8 at gate 80
Even though the current renovations are annoying, passengers are raving about the improvements, such as the Terminal B to Terminal 4 connection that offers a quicker and more efficient connection for international flights.
Any passenger that enters LAX should check out the map on the location of the next terminal because each of them will require a different amount of time to get to the destination. Travelers can also leave their vehicles at the Airport Spectrum for an affordable and safe parking experience before entering LAX to get through the chaos.
Fortunately, with extensive knowledge about getting around LAX can be a game-changer for passengers in getting to their flight in time.
Related: 20 things to do near LAX Airport