Local

Epic layover at LAX? Here are some ways to pass the time

Los Angeles International Airport is estimated to contribute $2.6 billion to the local economy according to a report by the city controller's office.
Los Angeles International Airport is estimated to contribute $2.6 billion to the local economy according to a report by the city controller's office.
Thomas McConville/Getty Images

Long layovers are an inevitable part of the holiday travel season at Los Angeles International Airport. The sheer volume of people combined with the logistic chaos that comes with air travel – delays, cancellations, changing flight times, weather – can lead to some people stuck at the airport for hours on end, perhaps even for most of the day. 

So what do you do if you find yourself with too much time on your hands at LAX? There's only so much shopping you can do or massages you can get.

One of the first things to know is that if you have a same-day boarding pass, you can access any terminal in the airport, said Mary Grady, spokeswoman for LAX. And that can be a starting point for one of several items to check during your "stay."

  1. Art walk, LAX-style: There are a variety of art exhibits scattered throughout the airport in every terminal, courtesy of the airport's art program. A majority of the exhibits are beyond the screening areas, but some can be found before you face the scanners.

  2. The new Tom Bradley International Terminal: This is being emphasized as a legitimate destination point for waiting travelers. If you find yourself on the south side of the airport (like Terminal 7), you can actually walk to the new terminal without needing to be screened again, since the Terminal 4 connector links all of the southern terminals to Tom Bradley International. Once you get there, you'll be exposed to an avalanche of restaurants that add "that Los Angeles flavor" to LAX. If you have kids in tow, there's also a children's play area. 

    http://www.lawa.org/uploadedfiles/lax/pdf/tbit.pdf

  3. Take in some history: For anyone who wants to nerd out about aviation, the Flight Path Museum and Learning Center is about 5 minutes away. You can learn about the history of LAX or check out the recently opened space exploration gallery.

  4. Manhattan Beach: If you have a nearly day-long layover, you're actually only a few minutes away from being able to check out Manhattan Beach or just hang out and do beach things. Hop in an Uber, Lyft or taxi and explore away. 

  5. Golf. Yes, golf: This is another option to consider if your layover is extremely lengthy, otherwise you risk missing your flight. Westchester Golf Course is about 10 minutes away from LAX and is likely used to fielding layover-stricken golfers whose flight just got delayed until much, much later in the day.