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Hassle-Free Ways to Get to and From the Airport

March 23, 1986|JACK FRANCOIS | Francois is an El Segundo free-lance writer.

Soon summer travelers will be heading for Los Angeles International Airport by car, bus, door-to-door van services and taxi--using the new congestion-free two-level road system, the upper level for departing passengers and ground level for arriving travelers. New international and domestic airline terminals have doubled the capacity of LAX's passenger-handling facilities.

Think back to the three-year construction period when--to avoid the horrendous airport traffic congestion--an unprecedented number of motorists used public transportation that connects LAX with many Southland communities. Many travelers were favorably impressed with this hassle-free way of getting to the airport. Best of all, bags and passengers were delivered to each airline terminal for quick curb-side baggage check-in.

But once the new facilities were completed, with everything functioning efficiently, particularly the double-decked road, travelers deserted airport bus and van services and returned to their cars.

Still, with the increase in automobiles, traffic flows with relative ease.

A Place to Park

Exceptions include peak travel times during the holidays when LAX runs out of public parking spaces. The world's largest airport parking complex, with more than 26,000 parking spaces, was inundated last year. Even private parking lots and garages near LAX were full. As a result, some passengers missed flights.

Department of Airport officials can't predict whether airport parking will be filled to capacity during peak periods this summer but they do know that LAX passenger volume jumped about 10% last year, and that upward trend is expected to continue at about the same rate in 1986.

So if you want to avoid the hassle, here is a list of scheduled bus/van services, and door-to-door van services to LAX and the communities they serve:

Scheduled Bus/Van Services

The Airport Bus, (213) 596-1662 or 855-1727, (714) 776-9210 or 581-5780, and (818) 796-9108--Orange County, Long Beach, Los Angeles/downtown and Wilshire District, Pasadena, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, Universal City. Fares range from $6 one way and $10.80 round trip to $9.80 one way and $16.65 round trip, with children 5-11 half-fare and younger than 5 free.

FlyAway Bus, (818) 994-5554--San Fernando Valley. High frequency, with $1-a-day parking (15-day limit) available at FlyAway Bus Terminal, Woodley Avenue at Saticoy Street, Van Nuys Airport. Fares: $4.50 one way, $8 round trip; children 2-12, $2.25 each way, and children younger than 2 free.

Airport Coach, (800) 772-5299--Palm Springs, Ontario, Orange County, San Diego. Fares: $8 to $20; children 3-11 half-fare and younger than 3 free.

Airport Bus of Bakersfield, (805) 395-0635--Bakersfield area. Fares: $25 one way, accompanying spouse half-price; children 11-16 half-price, 10 or younger free when accompanied by adult.

Airport Lounge Cruiser, (714) 995-8610--Anaheim, Buena Park. Fares: $11 one way and $20 round trip; children $7.50 one way and $13 round trip, younger than 5 free.

Antelope Valley Airport Express, (805) 945-2529--Newhall, Palmdale, Lancaster. Fares: $10 to $18 one way, with reduced rates for additional family members; special rates for senior citizens.

Celebrity Airport Livery, (800) 235-3248 or (213) 278-2500--West Hollywood, Westwood, Santa Monica. Fare: $8.50 one way.

Fun Bus, (714) 635-1390-- Anaheim/Buena Park. Fares: Adults $8.75 one way and children $6.75, younger than 4 free.

Glendale/La Crescenta Air Van, (818) 240-5045--Glendale and Burbank. Fares: $15 one way and $5 each for additional passengers at same address; children younger than 10 no charge. (Also, door-to-door van service.)

Great American Stageline, (818) 991-9611 or (805) 449-1995--Woodland Hills, West San Fernando Valley, Ventura County. Fares: $7 to $16 one way; children 5-11 years half-fare, 4 or younger free.

Santa Barbara Airbus, (805) 964-7374--Santa Barbara, Buellton, Solvang. Fares: $10 to $22 one way for adults; $8 to $16 for children younger than 12, no charge for children younger than 2.

Sims Executive Van Service, (213) 971-8265--Santa Monica, downtown Los Angeles. Fares: $8 one way and children younger than 6 free.

Door-to-Door Van Services

Reservations are required for these home-to-airport services:

AirporTransportation, (714) 558-1411--Orange County area. Fares: $28 to $42 one way, $5 each for additional passengers at same address.

AM-PM Airporter Transit, (213) 947-3111--Whittier, Downey, Montebello. Fares: $26 to $28 one way, $5 for each additional passenger at same address; children younger than 5 free.

Golden Coachcraft Limo, (714) 990-8470--San Gabriel Valley, Pomona, Chino. Fares: $33 to $36 one way, $5 for each additional passenger at same address.

Green Flag Airport Shuttle, (714) 991-5660--Orange County area. Fares: $28 to $56 one way for as many as three passengers at same address.

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