los angeles

Los Angeles World Airports
Credit: Los Angeles World Airports

If the thought of a long layover has you dreading your holiday, banish the thought immediately – if your layover is in Los Angeles, that is.

LAX, as it's known, observed its 90th anniversary in 2018 and has been celebrating with a massive $14 billion-dollar renovation. (Now that's a birthday gift!) The improvement will make the airport into a high-tech travel hub boasting driverless electric light rail, a new terminal and an invaluable connection to Los Angeles’ public transit system, Metro. 

The renovation is slated for completion in 2023, but don't worry if you'll be touching down at LAX well before then - there's still plenty to do. In fact, you may want to try to make your layover a little longer once you see what this trendy urban airport has to offer.


Flight of fancy

The Private SuiteThe Private Suite | Los Angeles World Airports

Of the 87.5 million travellers who passed through LAX in 2018, you can be sure that a few were Hollywood royalty. And if you want to travel like a celebrity, you can at LAX – just book the The Private Suite.

The service is the epitome of luxury. Forget the public terminal; you're checking into an entirely separate building where your bags are tagged and boarded. Wait for your flight in a fully-stocked suite before being escorted through a private TSA security screening. When it's time to board, you're chauffeured across the airfield in a luxury vehicle, deposited directly at the doorstep of your plane. 

The Private SuiteThe Private Suite | Los Angeles World Airports

Travellers can buy a one-time experience pass, but if you’re a member of The Private Suite, you’ll gain access to complimentary in-room massages and meals from Beverly Hills celebrity chefs. No shlepping, no sweating, no stress


Eat like an Angeleno

Trejos TacosTrejos Tacos | Los Angeles World Airports

Perhaps no airport does a better job of bringing the city’s food scene to travellers than LAX. If you don’t have time to get to the city during your layover, you can still try some of its most famous restaurants. In Terminal 1, order a jackfruit-and-avocado-cream taco from Trejos Tacos (owned by Machete star Danny Trejo) or swing by L.A.’s own Urth Cafe for an organic espresso and butternut squash-and-ricotta pizza.

Urth CafeUrth Cafe | Los Angeles World Airports

Detour into the city

If you have time to visit the original restaurants throughout the city, take the FlyAway Bus to downtown L.A., Hollywood and a handful of other glamorous locations. It runs on a regular schedule throughout the day and gives you a chance to explore the city if you have more than a few hours between flights. 


De-Stress with dogs

PUPLos Angeles World Airports

Flying can be a stressful experience, but LAX has a specially trained four-legged team to help you relax. The LAX PUP (Pets Unstressing Passengers) Program is a group of therapy dogs and their human handlers who wander the terminals looking for passengers to pet them (the dogs, that is). Whether you want to snuggle with a puppy or just dole out an ear scratch or two, these dogs are happy to help. There are several breeds in the program, but the most popular are the friendly labradoodles who, incidentally, are also the breed best paired with LAX, according to the Ruff Guide to Los Angeles. 


Dive into the arts

lax artLos Angeles World Airports

L.A. is a hotbed for arts and culture and LAX is no exception.

There are numerous permanent works of art throughout the airport, including custom installations hanging from the ceiling - like Mark Bradford's Bell TowerBall-Nogues' Air Garden. and Pae White's ∑LAX

More than a dozen rotating collections are on display thanks to a partnership with the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Temporary exhibits vary from canvas galleries to three-dimensional visual art installations. Current pop-up galleries are located in Terminal 1 (Departures), Terminal 7, 7-8 Connector Hallway and TBIT. Click to peruse a list of current exhibitors

Be sure to swing by the GRAMMY® Museum exhibit, which tells the history of the world-famous Grammy Awards. Located in Terminal 2 (under the stairwell access to airline lounges), it houses five authentic Grammy awards and will be on display for your viewing pleasure until the end of 2019. 


losHave an extra-long layover?
Check out Discover LA Exclusives for only-in-L.A. experiences to enjoy before your flight—a uniquely curated collection of experiences that offer behind-the-scenes access, special pricing and customized excursions across the city.