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Choose the Airport That Best Suits Your Next Visit to LA

Best Airports in Los Angeles

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LA Airports:
How to Choose Which Airport to Fly Into Los Angeles


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Updated on Jul 10 2024 12:57pm

Los Angeles Airports

Embark on a comprehensive guide to Los Angeles' best airports, tailored to match your travel preferences and destinations in Southern California.

Navigating the vast expanse of Los Angeles and its encompassing areas requires careful consideration when choosing the optimal airport for your journey into the city of stars. With options including LAX, BUR, LGB, SNA, and ONT, determining the best gateway for your next L.A. adventure necessitates a tailored approach. As Los Angeles sprawls into various pockets of Southern California, its diverse landscape calls for a selection of airports to serve the region. Although LAX might boast prominence as the largest, the question of whether it aligns with your travel needs remains. Given that California is the third-largest state in the U.S., the abundance of airports across its southern realm is essential. Whether you're prioritizing proximity to your destination or seeking optimal travel ease, each airport offers its unique advantages. Thus, as you embark on your L.A. escapade, the choice of which airport to fly into becomes a crucial step in unlocking the magic of travel, expanding horizons, and finding renewed enchantment in the broader world.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), situated in Westchester to the west of downtown Los Angeles, is a premier choice for travelers seeking convenient, direct flights at reasonable prices, offering an extensive array of airline carriers. Despite the allure of cost-effective and efficient flights to LAX, the challenge of navigating the congested traffic around the airport remains a drawback. Positioned on the western fringes of the city, LAX proves strategically situated for visitors bound for key destinations like Downtown, the Westside, Hollywood, and the Beach Cities. Its propinquity to these bustling urban centers and tourist-frequented districts, coupled with an unparalleled variety of flight selections, solidifies LAX's reputation as the favored preference among globetrotters. For fortunate passengers accessing the Tom Bradley International Terminal, a lavish shopping and dining escapade, reminiscent of the movie "La La Land," awaits. Boasting a renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal that accommodates an extensive fleet of new-generation aircraft, including the Airbus A380, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and Boeing 747-8, LAX distinguishes itself as a hub of modern aviation in the Western Hemisphere. This transformation stands as the cornerstone of a multi-billion-dollar initiative enhancing LAX, featuring novel gates, concourse areas, and a splendid Great Hall hosting upscale dining and exclusive Los Angeles-centric retail experiences. Anchoring pivotal airlines like Alaska, American, Delta, United, Allegiant, and Southwest, LAX, not to be outdone, offers the FlyAway Bus as a prime transit option upon arrival, seamlessly connecting travelers to destinations such as Hollywood, Union Station, and Long Beach via direct and efficient bus services.


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Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)

Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)

Hollywood Burbank Airport, also known as Bob Hope Airport, is conveniently positioned in Burbank, in proximity to numerous film and television studio sets. Serving as a gateway to the San Fernando Valley and an appealing alternative airport for those bound for Hollywood or Downtown, Bob Hope Airport's central location makes it an excellent choice for travelers exploring these iconic areas. It offers excellent transportation choices, including the Metrolink train, and Southwest Airlines boasts the most extensive array of destinations from this airport. With its strategic connection to landmarks like Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Hollywood Blvd., and the vibrancy of Universal Studios, Bob Hope Airport establishes itself as the go-to hub. Serviced by six major airlines - Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United - it uniquely facilitates connections to Amtrak and Metrolink services, setting itself apart from other LA-area airports. While the food and beverage options at Bob Hope Airport might be limited, its advantageous location and transit connectivity continue to make it an attractive choice for travelers heading to the heart of Hollywood's allure.


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Long Beach Airport (LGB)

Long Beach Airport (LGB)

Long Beach Airport (LGB) offers a nostalgic journey back to the golden age of air travel, characterized by its Art Deco terminal and an intimate atmosphere. As the smallest airport in the region, Long Beach Airport presents a truly distinctive and relaxed flying encounter for travelers to or from this locale. With four carriers—American, Delta, Southwest, and JetBlue—all operating domestically, this airport boasts a unique open-air concourse design that has garnered global recognition for its beauty and environmental sensitivity. Positioned just 15 miles from the bustling port of Los Angeles, LGB provides a serene alternative with shorter queues and respectable dining choices, while remaining conveniently close to attractions such as Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland. Bridging the gap between Long Beach, downtown Los Angeles, and northern Orange County, Long Beach Airport emerges as a tranquil and organized contrast to the busyness of LAX. While public transportation options include LB Transit and accessible Metro Rail via a short taxi ride, the airport's appeal lies in its suitability for local travel. Leading with a comprehensive selection of nonstop flights, JetBlue maintains its dominance at Long Beach Airport, with Southwest also standing as an excellent choice. However, the terminal's culinary offerings are relatively limited, and the airport remains exclusively reachable by public bus, taxi, or ride-sharing services.

John Wayne Airport, Orange County (SNA)

John Wayne Airport, Orange County (SNA)

John Wayne Airport, Orange County (SNA), is the idyllic choice for those aiming to explore Orange County's captivating destinations like Costa Mesa, Irvine, Newport/Huntington Beach, and Laguna. Relishing a more intimate setting than LAX, John Wayne Airport embraces its smaller scale while exchanging the hustle for close proximity to the soothing embrace of ocean waves. Located 35 miles south of Los Angeles, it emerges as the nearest airport to Disneyland and holds the distinction of being the second busiest airport in the region, following LAX. It serves as a convenient gateway for travelers journeying along the picturesque coastal route from Long Beach down to San Clemente. Although boasting limited international connections, Orange County Airport compensates with a host of appealing features, encompassing an abundance of shopping, captivating art exhibits, and inviting lounges. With passenger shuttles seamlessly connecting to Newport Beach's surrounding hotels, the airport ensures a convenient travel experience. Serviced by prominent airlines such as Southwest, Delta, Alaska, United, American, WestJet, and Frontier, transportation options are equally diverse, including the Disneyland Resort Express bus service, public transit alternatives like OCTA buses and Metrolink light rail (via shuttle), as well as a profusion of taxis and ride-sharing services. Notably, the airport's strategic location makes it a more convenient choice for those with destinations in San Diego, offering a midpoint rendezvous for a sun-soaked beach day. Facilitating international service to Canada and Mexico, and ranking as the region's second-largest provider of nonstop domestic flights after LAX, John Wayne Airport shines as a hub of convenience and connection. Southwest Airlines takes the lead as the largest carrier at SNA, closely followed by Alaska Airlines.


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Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)

Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)

Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) offers a compact and convenient travel gateway, serving primarily domestic routes, with a handful of connections to Canada. Situated a mere five-minute drive from downtown Palm Springs, this petite airport stands as an ideal point of entry for travelers headed to renowned destinations such as Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs itself, Anza-Borrego, and the charming wine region of Temecula. Catering to the seasonal influx of visitors during the winter months, many flights are designed to complement this peak demand. Whether exploring the natural wonders or cultural delights of the region, Palm Springs International Airport proves to be a fitting choice for those seeking swift access to the allure of the Southern California landscape.


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Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

San Diego International Airport (SAN)

Located a mere 4 miles west of downtown San Diego, San Diego International Airport (SAN) stands as a beacon of passenger-friendly travel within Southern California. Hosting two terminals brimming with amenities, including therapy dogs to soothe weary travelers and a unique commitment to sustainability with 'green concessions,' the airport exemplifies convenience and eco-consciousness. Nestled in the heart of "America's finest city," SAN proves to be the perfect gateway for those journeying to San Diego, southern Orange County, or seeking ventures further south into Mexico. With its strategic location, traveler-oriented offerings, and dedication to environmental stewardship, San Diego International Airport emerges as an exceptional choice for alluring travel experiences in Southern California.

Airports Near Los Angeles
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