LAX 7 hour International Stop Over

Aug 16th, 2012, 06:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 46
LAX 7 hour International Stop Over

Hi there,

I've had a quick search, but apologies if this has been covered before!

I'm travelling from Melbourne, Australia to Mexico City via LAX in late October.
I've never been to LAX before. Newbie to flying solo!

I have a 7 hr stop over here and would love your advice on whether leaving the airport for a little sightseeing is wise. (a walk to take some photos and grab some lunch along Venice beach or Santa Monica pier, nothing too ambitious!)

My flight from Australia lands at 10:20am
The flight to Mexico departs at 5:46pm. So just over 7hrs.
Both flights are with United Airlines if that helps.

Other threads comment on domestic flights but I'm curious about an international stopover? Whether it is any different getting in and out of the airport.
I've been told if your flights are in two different terminals, I'd have to leave security and pass through again anyway.. and of course immigration!

Thanks a bunch x
giggleguts is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 07:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,657
It helps that you are on United as I assume you will check luggage through to Mexico. Pick it up before customs and then drop it off for your connection.

United uses terminals 6, 7, and 8. You will go through security at T6 or T7. All three terminals are connected airside and close to each other streetside. If you have Premier or Star Gold status then you can get dropped off at the United Premier entrance between T7 and T6.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,574
Realistically you're looking at something like 3-4 hours instead of 7; probably closer to 11:30 out of immigration/customs, due back around 3:45 for the MEX flight.

If you're okay with a taxi, I'd recommend getting a cab from LAX and go to the Manhattan Beach pier, around 15 min. from the airport. Walk out the pier, watch the surfers, get some lunch (numerous good cafes/bars near the pier) and walk a little along the Strand (beachfront walkway.) Then get a cab back to the airport (you may need to ask a cafe to phone for one to get you) and off you go. Probably around US$20 - $25 each way.

It's closer (and IMO more interesting) than Venice or Santa Monica, and more easily accomplished in your time frame.
Gardyloo is online now  
Aug 16th, 2012, 09:04 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 46
Cheers to you both!
All I've heard is awful stories of how long it takes to get through customs/immigration so your advice puts a good time frame on things for me, thanks!
I had in my head I'd only get 2 hours to look around, so looks like I'm safe. Probably would aim to get back before 3 just to be safe. (Being the worry-wort I am!)
Thanks again
giggleguts is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 09:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
You should be through with immigration, customs and luggage drop off by 11:30a. You'll be fine arriving back to LAX by 4p.

I also agree taking a cab to Manhattan Beach is best use of your time.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:46 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 66
Sounds like giggle guts has been given some great advice. I'll keep it mind since we go through LAX enroute to Australia and sometimes think it would be good to allow a little time to see at least something of a city where we have never been.
ELiz_Travels is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,745
We like Manhattan Beach alot and have spent time there in between flights, there are lots of eating places and a small shopping mall. Love Santa Monica as well but the traffic between the airport and SM is scary, plus it looks close on the map but doesn't seem to be.
Odin is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 04:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,826
giggleguts, I'm posting mainly to tell you I love your screen name!!

I also love Manhattan Beach. We enjoyed an Italian restaurant called Mamma D's but of course there are many more.
P_M is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 07:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 46
Oh wow, I appreciate all your input!
Be prepared for the Central America posts to flood in also haha.

And look at all this love for Manhattan Beach! I think you've swayed me ladies and gents. Seems far easier to get to traffic wise and best use of my time. I'll save Venice beach and Santa Monica for another proper visit to the area. Cheers!
giggleguts is offline  
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