This post is now out of date. For updated information on how to take Uber from LAX, visit this post.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced that Lyft and Uber may be able to begin picking up riders at LAX in the future. Right now, the ride sharing services can drop off, but only a limited number of Ubers are allowed to pick up at the airport and none of them the budget-friendly UberX.
Luckily, however, it’s still pretty easy to get a regular UberX, or the super cheap UberPool, if you follow this easy trick:
1. From baggage claim, follow signs for courtesy shuttles/hotel shuttles. Shuttles pick up from the center islands on the ground level of the airport.
2. Grab the first shuttle that comes by.
3. Get off airport property. Most hotels and car rentals are located off airport property so the shuttle will drop you off outside of LAX and you’re all set.
Some shuttles go to hotels and car rentals that are on airport property — meaning Uber and Lyft still can’t reach them. Destinations in this category include Embassy Suites LAX North, Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Airport, Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles, and others. However, all of them are near LAX’s borders.
If I end up at one of these places, I just walk off of LAX property. An easy way to do this is to walk toward the Renaissance hotel, which is a large building you can either locate on your phone or (depending on where you are) by just looking up.
4. Once off airport property, it’s just like any other Uber ride. Open your Uber app, request an Uber, put in your destination, and take your ride.
Note: LAX sometimes has terrible traffic, which means it can occasionally take a long time to ride the shuttle out of the airport. This is especially true if you arrive at terminals 1 or 2, which are at the beginning of the pick up area.
If you arrive and see that there is a lot of traffic, and you want to shave a few minutes off your time in the shuttle, try walking to terminals 7 or 8:
The fastest way to do this from terminals 1 or 2 — which are served by Southwest, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Virgin Atlantic, Hawaii Air, and others — is to cut through the parking areas. From there, follow the steps above to get an Uber or Lyft.
UPDATE: Many airports have rules prohibiting Uber and Lyft from picking people up. Using free shuttles to get off airport property is a work-around that can be used almost anywhere.
— Laura Rowley