Disneyland Resort and Southern California LIVE! Guidebook
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Air travel is the best way for many to get to Southern California—and it’s a great way to strengthen the air travel industry and the U.S. economy. Plus, air travel may be less expensive than you think if you know the tricks to getting an affordable flight.
First, be flexible on the day and time of departure and return—fares differ greatly depending on when you fly and how long you stay. Second, take advantage of the many “fare sales.” To learn more, visit airlines’ web sites or travel sites like Expedia (http://www.expedia.com), Orbitz (http://www.orbitz.com), or Travelocity (http://www.travelocity.com). Third, try alternate airports when researching fares—Los Angeles International Airport (see below) is the most popular, but Ontario airport (see page 18) and John Wayne Airport (see page 18) are actually closer to Anaheim, and Long Beach Airport is another possibility (see page 18). Fourth, be persistent. Ask for the lowest fare and work from there. When you find a good deal, put it on hold immediately (if possible), note your reservation number on page 24 or at DisneyPlanner.com, and cancel later if necessary. Finally, don’t stop shopping. If your airline offers a cheaper fare later, you may be able to rebook at the lower rate (watch out for penalties), or you may be able to receive credit toward a future flight on that airline. Consider researching fares on your airline’s web site—you can experiment with different flights and may get a discount for booking online. Priceline (http://www.priceline.com) is another option where you name your own price for a round-trip ticket, but you cannot pick your specific flight times, and once your price is met, you can’t cancel.
Once you reserve a flight, make a note of the reservation numbers, flight numbers, seat assignments, and layovers on your first PassPocket or at DisneyPlanner.com. To arrange ground transportation from the airport, see page 20. For help getting around once you arrive, see page 21.
GETTING AROUND THE LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (LAX)
The granddaddy of California airports, Los Angeles International Airport is the third busiest airport in the entire world. It’s located about 30 miles from both Disneyland or Universal Studios, but you should allow one hour of driving time (or two hours if it's rush hour). When you arrive, your plane docks at one of the eight domestic terminals or the international terminal (see map on page 17). From there, follow signs to baggage claim. Most ground transportation, including rental cars, is located on the Lower/Arrival Level. Details are on pages 20–21.
Alas, Los Angeles International is not always user-friendly. Some airlines require a $10 fee for curbside check-in (inquire with your airline). Security lines can stretch out of the terminal, so arrive early. If you set off the detector, security personnel can be less than friendly—make sure you’ve got all metal items off. Some airline personnel will require that you match your luggage to your claim tickets before you leave baggage claim, so make sure you know where your claim tickets are (they are often stapled to your ticket jacket).
Meeting up at this sprawling airport can be troublesome as most of the terminals are not connected. If you must meet another traveling party at the airport before taking ground transportation, check which terminal you’ll each be arriving at and decide on one for your meeting location. It’s easiest to meet in baggage claim. You can move from terminal to terminal via the free shuttles—go to the Lower/Arrival Level, stand under the blue Shuttle and Airline Connections sign, and watch for the Airline Connections “A” Shuttle. Shuttles arrive every 12–15 minutes. Note: The “Encounter” restaurant in the round Landmark building closed in 2014, but the observation deck is still open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
For details on Los Angeles International, call 310-646-5252 or visit http://www.lawa.org and click the “LAX” tab. Airport address: 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 52020) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx
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