What to Expect Traveling Through LAX
How the Nation’s Second Busiest Airport is Adapting to the Coronavirus Pandemic
At Airport Assistance Worldwide, we take great pride in providing our clients with first-rate concierge meet & greet services across the globe at over 500 airports. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which we proudly call our home base, is well known to be the second busiest airport in the United States. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been difficult to know what to expect when traveling to or from a particular airport. Some information out there is universally applicable, while other information may be specific to a particular airport. Today, we will focus on traveling through LAX for those of you with this stop on your itinerary.
Entering The Airport Premises And Parking
Concerning ground transportation entering LAX, no changes have been made. Taxis, limousines, Uber and Lyft drivers, passenger vehicles, or other private vehicles dropping off passengers are all allowed on the premises. Economy Lot E is closed until further notice, but all other parking structures remain open, so feel free to utilize them if needed.
The public address system will periodically repeat the message that those who are not passengers are not be permitted within the airport terminals. Only passengers, airport and airline staff, or other authorized personnel can be inside the terminals. Months before we even heard of Covid-19, LAX was in the process of drastically modifying its rules to offer more access to non-travelers. They planned to grant security access to passengers’ friends and family to boost sales of restaurants and other vendors. Assuredly, this plan will be put on hold for quite some time.
Restaurants And Other Airport Vendors
The following information was reported by one of our veteran concierge agents at LAX who has completed several meet & greet services during this pandemic. All restaurants that he observed on the secure side (post-security checkpoint) of terminals 2, 4, and 5 were closed. Other vendor shops where passengers can buy merchandise or packaged food items are still open. Pre-security, some food vendors have opened. Our concierge also indicated that Starbucks was open in Terminal 2, and that seems to be the case for Starbucks in other terminals.
Airport and Airline Lounges
Availability of the lounges is based on demand, so airline and private lounges will determine the necessity of reopening a lounge on a case by case basis. At the time of this writing, the Delta Sky Club is open in Terminal 2. Delta requests all guests to wear a face-covering when using the lounge.
American Airlines states their “customer service desk” will remain open in the Admirals Club lounge in Terminal 4. However, the Admirals Club lounge in Terminal 5 and the Eagle Regional Terminal are closed, as is the Flagship Lounge and Flagship Dining.
The United Club remains open in Terminal 7. All United Polaris Lounges are currently closed.
The oneworld Los Angeles lounge and the Qantas First lounge are both open in the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), level 5, after security.
Safety And Health Guidelines
The emphasis is on minimizing close person-to-person contact beginning with online check-in, digital boarding passes, as well as processing luggage, and this continues throughout your experience at LAX as social distancing is routinely practiced, including boarding passengers in smaller groups.
The Airport Authority at LAX issued the following face-covering guidelines:
“Face coverings are required to be worn by everyone inside public areas of terminals and office buildings. Anyone not wearing a face covering will be asked to put one on. Guests should bring a face covering with them. Face coverings can be cloth masks, bandanas, or scarfs, or can be made from a T-shirt, towel or other fabric held in place by rubber bands or fasteners. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.”
It was reported back in March of this year that 250 hand sanitizing stations had been installed throughout the airport, with 300 more on order. An additional 550 hand sanitizers have been distributed to employees. The custodial staff has been performing deep cleanings of bathrooms and other high touch areas. Signs are posted throughout the terminals reminding employees and travelers to wash their hands.
Enhanced Screening For Passengers Arriving From Designated Countries
On March 13 (and still effective as of May 31), LAX was designated as one of the thirteen U.S. airports to provide enhanced screening for Americans returning from China, Iran, and specific European countries known as the Schengen Area which includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
According to the CDC, foreign nationals who have been to these countries, with the addition of the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, and Brazil, may not enter the United States.
Other than the enhanced screening and restrictions just mentioned, we have not seen any reporting of compulsory quarantines on passengers arriving at LAX from any location. Of course, if any passengers are exhibiting signs of illness from the contagion, they will be subject to quarantine. Updates will follow if new information is discovered on that front.
As with many airports across the country and around the world, the changes at LAX will be evident and we will have to adjust to them accordingly. All in all, it seems that LAX and its family of airlines are being proactive to ensure your travels are as enjoyable and worry-free as possible.
Helping you Navigate Airports Safely
Our essential airport assistance services can help you navigate the airport safely the next time you’re traveling through LAX. We’ll assist you with the check-in process, direct you through security checkpoints, and get you to your boarding gate on time. Our agents know the least crowded sections of the airport, which terminals have more hand sanitizer, and where to find the one and only Starbucks that’s open. The health and safety of our agents and customers is our utmost priority. All our agents are required to wear face coverings for their protection and yours. When you’re ready, we will be here. If you do choose to travel, be safe, and have a pleasant trip!
Coronavirus and Travel Resources
- Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
- California Department of Public Health
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Information on travel to other countries
- U.S. Department of State – Travel Advisories
- To contact the CDC directly, please call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)