Getting to Los Angeles by Air
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is by far the most commonly-used of the airports in Los Angeles, but not the only one. In fact, there are five commercial airports in the Los Angeles area. Consider one of these other LA area airports, especially if you're flying into LA from within California or adjoining states - or are going to place that the area other airports closer to. The map above shows where they are - along with a few of the most popular tourist spots.
Airports in the Los Angeles area include:
- LAX: The largest (and therefore busiest) LA area airport is located on the coast, west of downtown. It's the area's best-known airport in Los Angeles and the only option for most international travelers. It's also served by the most airlines. On the downside, it’s busy and noisy - and almost 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles. And despite its size and popularity, public transportation isn't readily available.
- Long Beach (LGB): South of LAX, convenient for visiting the city of Long Beach and the South Bay, or if you're catching a ferry to Catalina Island. Long Beach Airport is served by budget carrier Jet Blue, among others.
- Burbank (BUR): Named for comedian Bob Hope, Burbank Airport is small and much easier to travel in and out of than LAX. Convenient to Hollywood and downtown, it's the best of the LA area airports for accessing public transportation, including express bus service and Metro trains.
- Orange County (SNA): The most convenient LA area airport for visiting Disneyland (only 15 minutes away), it's a full-featured airport with modern terminals and jetways, but much less hectic than LAX. It's also called John Wayne Airport and in case you're wondering why SNA is the airport code for Orange County, it comes from the nearby town of Santa Ana.
- Ontario: On the east side of the metropolitan sprawl, this LA area airport is a good choice if you're headed toward Palm Springs or the desert.
More About Flying to Los Angeles
- Flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles
- Flying from Las Vegas to Los Angeles
- Flying from San Diego to Los Angeles
Ways to Find Cheap Flights to Los Angeles
Any of the big-name travel sites are worth a try to look for cheap flights to Los Angeles, but we have some better ideas:
- Compare price on flights to Los Angeles area airports at Tripadvisor
- Southwest Airlines has some of the cheapest flight to Los Angeles, no baggage or change fees and lots of connections, and they don't charge extra if you fly into one city and out of another. They don't participate in other sites' searches - you'll have to go direct to their website instead. Check for Southwest Airlines packages that include hotel and airfare and you'll get all your planning done at once
- Jet Blue also offers very low fares and fees.
- Consider a “red eye” flight from Los Angeles to the East Coast. Leaving between 10:00 p.m. and midnight, they're often the cheapest flights, arriving the following morning. You can stay in Los Angeles for most of the day and may save on a night in a hotel as well as getting lower airfare. Although some people hate flying all night, others find it a good way to conquer jet lag.