What is the best time to schedule my pickup?
When is the best time to arrive at LAX?

I am taking off from LAX

When should I arrive at the airport?

Talk to any average person and they will say, “1 hour for domestic and 2 hours for international flights.” This is fine advice and will certainly work for most people. 

To help you better understand, let us also remember how much advanced time the airlines and TSA suggest you need to arrive before your flight.
Delta airlines suggests 45 minutes for domestic flights with baggage and 30 minutes with no checked bags. TSA says “As much times as possible” which is really, no help at all.

Interestingly enough, there is a simple formula to determine when to arrive at LAX or any other airport. In this article we will take a look at the formula and was to affect each element of the formula. Some of these can be modified depending on the circumstances. Some are fixed and cannot be changed.


What’s the formula?

  • Travel time to the airport +
  • Traffic inside the airport departures level +
  • Time to check bag and acquire boarding pass if needed +
  • TSA security time +
  • Personal time (Are you the type of person that likes to be at LAX early or do you want to get out of the car curb-side, rush through TSA and jump on the plane.)

Add all of these times together and you have your model.


Airport Car Service
First things first.

When should I book my outbound flight?

"Schedule your flight to leave the airport around 1:00 pm when possible"

If you really want to optimize the above formula, start at the begining with your flight.

By thinking about what time to schedule your flight first, you automatically cut most or all of the times in the formula down to a more manageable level and take a little control of your travel day.

Of course, sometimes this is not so easy when flying internationally, when there are not to many flights to my destination or if someone else is booking the flight for you. 

When you can book your own flight and have a lot of options of outbound flight times, there are 2 main points of consideration.

  1. How bad is the traffic on the freeways when I will be heading to LAX?
  2. How busy is the departures level at LAX at the time of my departure?
Often, we don’t think about the traffic to the airport so we book our flight in the mid to late morning assuming that there won’t be that many departures from LAX as they mostly leave early in the AM. This belief is erroneous and doesn’t take into account the facts.
The facts are: If your flight is scheduled to leave at 10:00 or 11:00 am, traffic to LAX will be brutal and you will need to schedule your car service to leave your home or hotel during morning rush hour.
Schedule your flight to leave the airport around 1:00 pm when possible. If your flight leaves LAX at 1:00 pm, you will leave your house or hotel at around 10:00 am at the end of  morning traffic. 
Depending on where you are starting from, this will get you to LAX at around 11:00 am and all the morning flights will have departed and you feel like will have an entire international airport all to yourself.

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