Whether you want to refer to it as a “hack”, “tip” or “fucking brilliant idea”, I am about to tell you THE MOST IMPORTANT piece of information EVER regarding getting to and from LAX in what is both a reasonably priced AND hugely enjoyable fashion. (And yes, you should consider using it if you’re planning on hitting Coachella this weekend or next.)
Why am I an authority on this matter? Well, I made my first trip to Los Angeles (in the history of my entire life) on March 25th for what ended up being a disturbingly enjoyable six day trip; I, like many before me, had been led to believe LA was a horrible place WHEN ON THE CONTRARY (with the exception of a very Lynchian homeless population, traffic for the 9-5ers and the absence of good pizza) it is actually kind of super wonderful…not only do palm trees and In-N-Outs abound, but swimming pools and taco trucks are ubiquitous, even the “gross” beaches are great, and the Ubers are (in comparison with NYC, anyway) HELLA AFFORDABLE. It is a combination of the previously stated positive factors that lead me to discover the airport hack you have so patiently been awaiting, which I will divulge RIGHT NOW:
I love In-N-Out. I also love taking cars to and from airports, but only when the price is right. As such, I began to research 1. the closest In-N-Out locations to LAX, and 2. the price range to take an Uber from the airport to a friend’s in West Hollywood. Much to my dismay, there is no In-N-Out located inside LAX, BUT there is one that’s VERY close on Sepulveda Boulevard. Similarly much to my dismay, you can’t take an Uber Pool or Uber X (the two cheapest service options) from LAX due to some bizarre law (both can take you TO the airport, just not from), thus leaving only the fancier options like XL and Black, which (being the cheapskate I am) did not seem wildly appealing. Just as I was about to book a peasant seat via Super Shuttle, however, I stumbled upon the fact that there was a SECRET FREE SHUTTLE TO THE SEPULVEDA IN-N-OUT! This is a very sneaky hack in and of itself, and it appears to have been designed by people who were looking to make the most of long layovers at LAX, but with some easy tweaking it made my first few moments in LA the happiest (and most affordable) of all time!
SO, there is a parking service called The Parking Spot (a nationwide chain) that is located directly next to the In-N-Out in question, and shuttles (yellow with black spots) drive past the Ground Transportation waiting area red signs (which read Hotel & Parking Lot Shuttles) every couple of minutes at LAX. You will likely have to wave one down seeing as the drivers don’t seem to give two shits, BUT if you make a small effort to grab their attention they will stop for you. You will also want to be sure to flag down the one that says “SEPULVEDA” and NOT “CENTURY” or else you will wind up stranded sans burgers.
Round Two, the Palm Tree Paradise Edition
The driver of the shuttle may ask you “Valet or regular?” when you enter, to which you should just say “Regular,” and pretend that you really did park your car inside the massive structure, which takes just a few minutes to reach from LAX. DO NOT say “OH HAI I AM GOING TO IN-N-OUT!” because you will blow your cover and that would be really dumb. (If you feel weird about exploiting this free service without having paid to park, you can pretend to be on your phone when you get off the shuttle and say something like “Hi, I’ll be there soon but I just need to run by Staples really quickly before I hop in the car,” because there is a Staples located down the block and it’ll look less strange that you’re not getting into your imaginary vehicale // SO DETAILED!)
If you double back to Sepulveda Boulevard from the parking structure, you’ll want to hang a right and walk mere steps to end up at the glorious beacon of hamburger hope that is In-N-Out. From there, order as much or as little as your cholesterol-laden heart desires! (I went with two double-doubles, animal-style fries and a vanilla milkshake, because I am single and lovin’ it LOL!) It seems that most people opt for the drive-thru option rather than the indoor and outdoor seating, so there was plenty of space for me and my luggage to set up shop and soak up some sunshine ‘n burger grease.
Once I was just about done looking like a fucking savage in public, I loaded up the Uber app to see what my options were, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW, there were PLENTY of Uber X’s just minutes away that could take me the 30-40 minute drive to WeHo for an estimated fare of less than twenty bones! In fact, when all was said and done, I paid just $17.68 for transportation from LAX to my destination, which is even less than what I would have had to pay if I’d crammed into the Super Shuttle with all the other miserable travelers! And maybe you’re going, “But MEGAN, you had to pay for food at In-N-Out, TOO!” to which I reply, “Umm…yeah, and it was fucking worth it, slash everything on the menu at In-N-Out is pretty much under $4 so CALM DOWN, OLIVER TWIST!”
Is this the ideal option if you’re in a mega-hurry after your flight’s arrival? Obviously not! But if you can afford to take your time getting into Los Angeles and/or are on a budget, this is the perfect option sent from Jesus himself. (Jesus was my Uber driver, PS, but Jesus-Jesus probably approves, too.)