Getting to and from LAX During Carmageddon II

Here are the best ways to get to the airport while the 405 is closed.

If you're flying in or out of LAX this weekend during the Carmageddon, it might not be the end of the world, even though this weekend's nickname implies it.

More than 172,000 passengers will travel in or out of Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday and Sunday, according to an airport alert. Though airport officials expect flights to operate normally during Carmageddon weekend, we all know that travelling to and from LAX can be a little unpredictable, regardless of major road construction.

Patch will be live-blogging the latest Carmageddon updates and stories, from closure to re-opening, beginning Friday. Check your local Patch site all weekend for the latest news.

Here are some tips and information to make your LAX trip easier, despite the 10-mile closure of the 405 Freeway.

The obvious tips:

  • Plan ahead. Leave early. Arrive at the ticketing/check-in area at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.
  • Check in online.
  • Consider using alternative transportation such as public or LAX FlyAway buses, shuttles, Metrolink or rapid transit to minimize vehicle traffic.
  • You could also park and stay at a hotel near the airport the night before your flight.

If you are driving, make sure you check real-time traffic conditions (your local Patch site has a traffic conditions map on the homepage) and study the detour maps from Metro (found on Metro board member and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's blog).

If you're coming from the South Bay, Long Beach or other areas south or southeast of LAX:

  • Pacific Coast Highway/Sepulveda Boulevard may be your best bet, but expect traffic. "Motorists driving to or from east or south of LAX may initially believe they will be unaffected because they are coming from directions away from the freeway closure area," according to the alert from the airport. "However, airport officials advise motorists prepare for traffic congestion as they approach the exits from the primary freeways serving LAX: the I-405 and the I-105 Century freeways. Major surface streets leading to/from LAX may also be congested: Imperial Highway and Century Boulevard on the east; and Sepulveda, Aviation and Hawthorne boulevards on the south.
  • The 105 Freeway will be open, but allow extra time in case you hit traffic.

If you're coming from the San Fernando Valley or the northern part of Los Angeles or communities north of the metropolitan area:

  • You'll need to take a 25-mile detour to the 101 and the 10 instead of the 405, or "other regional freeways – most of which lead to downtown Los Angeles. From downtown L.A., freeway traffic will be diverted back to westbound I-10 Santa Monica Freeway to return to the L.A. Westside and beach communities," according to the alert from the airport.
  • You could also take La Cienega into the city to the canyon roads.

If you're coming from the coastal communities north of LAX (Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu, etc.):

  • Expect Lincoln Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway to be slow-going, but your best bet.

Do you have tips for drivers who need to get to or from LAX during Carmageddon? Leave your tips (or your super secret route) in the comments section below.

Michael September 28, 2012 at 04:03 AM
We always take PCH to Ocean to Washington and then to Lincoln to the airport. It helps to get there on time.
Stephanie September 28, 2012 at 08:56 AM
The Flyaway at Union Station will get you to LAX for only $7. The Flyaway takes the 101 to the 110 south, then the 105 west and then less than a mile on the 405 south. Going this way one will be south of the closure. The Flyaway will get you to LAX faster than any car due to the bus lanes. It's the best way to get to LAX from the east side. Now, I usually take the red line to get to Union Station, that's $1.50. If you can't take the subway or you think you have too much luggage, get a friend to take you to Union Station. The Flyaway is payable only with a debit card, no cash. They depart for LAX every 20 minutes.
Kap September 28, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Lincoln and all other streets on the westside that cross Venice will be closed at Venice Blvd Sunday maorning till noon because of the triathilon
Kim Axelrod Ohanneson September 28, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Like Stephanie, I find the Flyaway to be one of L.A.'s best kept secrets and routinely take the Gold Line to Union Station to catch the Flyaway. There are also Flyaway hubs in Van Nuys and Westwood. Here's the link: http://www.lawa.org/welcome_lax.aspx?id=292
brad September 29, 2012 at 04:49 AM
Since this is Weho Patch, just wondering does anyone had advice as to Weho central to LAX? LaCienga sounds like the obvious choice, but then not when conceivably everyone coming down the 405 usually might find their way on to it as well. Thanks though for the flyaway tips!
Laurie Malley September 30, 2012 at 01:15 AM
What total nimrod scheduled a triathlon on Venice Blvd. this weekend. We should know their names and positions. It's always a nightmare when it happens on a regular weekend. As Jimmy Buffet sings, "you'll never work in this business again"!!! Lets get names!
Sara Fay September 30, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Laurie, I hear your frustrations. The triathlon was actually scheduled long before the dates of Carmageddon II were announced. Talk about frustrating for the organizers...


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