First Impressions from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX, ICAO: KLAX) is the largest and busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area and the state of California, as well as one of the largest international airports in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually. In 2016, LAX handled 80,921,527 passengers, an increase of 8% from the previous year, making it the world's fourth busiest airport by passenger traffic. The airport holds the claim for "the world's busiest origin and destination (O & D) airport," and has for many years. Relative to other airports, many more travelers begin or end their trips in Los Angeles than use it as a connection. The airport also was the world's third busiest by aircraft movements. It is also the only airport to rank among the top five U.S. airports for both passenger and cargo traffic. While LAX is the busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, other airports, including Hollywood Burbank Airport, John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport, and Ontario International Airport, also serve the region. It is also notable for being one of the few U.S. airports with four parallel runways. LAX serves as a hub for Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Virgin America. The airport serves as a focus city for Allegiant Air, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Volaris. LAX serves as either a hub or focus city for more Mainline US Carriers than any other airport in the Country and is the only airport that four legacy carriers have designated a hub. As the largest and busiest international airport on the U.S. West Coast, LAX is a major gateway to and from Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Oceania. With its deep connections to Asia and Latin America in particular, LAX is considered to be the premier "Gateway to the Pacific Rim."
LAX has nine passenger terminals arranged in the shape of the letter U or a horseshoe. The terminals are served by a shuttle bus. The Tom Bradley International Terminal and Terminals 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are all connected airside via an overground passage between Terminal 4 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal, an underground tunnel between Terminals 4, 5 and 6 and above-ground walkways between Terminals 6, 7, and 8. An additional airside shuttle bus operates among Terminals 4, 6, and the American Eagle remote terminal. There are no physical airside connections between any of the other terminals.
In addition to these terminals, there are 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2) of cargo facilities at LAX, and a heliport operated by Bravo Aviation. Qantas has a maintenance facility at LAX, even though it is not a hub.
Terminal 1 is exclusively used by Southwest Airlines.
Terminal 2 is used by Delta Air Lines and several foreign carriers not handled at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
Terminal 3 is exclusively used by Delta Air Lines.
Terminal 4 is exclusively used by American Airlines.
Terminal 5 is used by American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue, as well as low-cost and regional operators.
Terminal 6 is used by Alaska Airlines (including its subsidiary Virgin America), Air Canada, and several smaller operators.
Terminal 7 is exclusively used by United Airlines.
Terminal 8 is also exclusively used by United Airlines.
The Tom Bradley International Terminal (or TBIT) handles most foreign carriers.