The best places to catch the myriad of aircraft landing and taking off at LAX.
Today we will look at the best places aviation enthusiasts can go planespotting at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Since it’s located right by the beach, winds blow in from the Pacific Ocean most of the time. Because of this, aircraft typically fly over the city to land and take off over the ocean.
Hotels for planespotting at LAX
Embassy Suites (South)
If you have a stopover or plan to stay in a hotel before or after your flight, the Embassy Suites (South) is a great option. Make sure you book a room on the upper floors on the north side of the hotel. A subsidiary of Hilton Hotels, a room at the Embassy Suites (South) will cost you anywhere from $180 to $350 a night.
H Hotel Los Angeles, Curio Collection by Hilton
Situated at 6151 West Century Boulevard, the H Hotel Los Angeles offers guests a complimentary shuttle bus service between LAX and the hotel. From the rooftop bar, you can watch plenty of widebody aircraft on final approach and preparing for departure. You have to be a guest in the hotel to access the bar, which will cost you around $250 a night.
LAX planespotting locations
Located close to the corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and Westchester Parkway (92nd Street) near In-N-Out Burger is a small park aptly named “Airplane Landing View Point.” It’s about a 15-minute walk from the terminal and, while not the best spot for photography as planes landing on runway 24R pass directly overhead, you almost feel like you could reach up and touch them.
Located in El Segundo on the south side of the airport, on a hill overlooking Imperial Avenue highway, is Clutter’s Park. It’s perhaps the best place to see planes take off from LAXs southern runways 07/25. Don’t be fooled by the name “Park,” as it’s just a narrow grass strip. On the plus side, though, it does have public benches.
Proud Bird Restaurant
Located on Aviation Boulevard parallel to Sepulveda Boulevard, the Proud Bird Restaurant has a north-facing terrace that offers views of planes landing on runway 25L.
Primarily serving the city of Los Angeles and the surrounding metropolitan area, LAX is one of the busiest airports in the world, the third-busiest at the beginning of the year by ASMs.
In 2019, LAX handled nearly 90 million passengers, many of whom arrived on long-haul flights from overseas. While the big three: American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines, all serve LAX; smaller carriers also offer flights to Los Angeles. Travelers with Southwest, Alaska Air, Spirit, JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, Sun Country, Breeze Airways, and Allegiant Air all have options to get to the massive airport.
Most larger international carriers fly to LAX, like British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, Qantas, ANA, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Korean Air, and KLM. A few lesser-known airlines will appeal to plane spotters, such as Spain’s Level, Japan’s Zipair Tokyo, France’s French bee, Tahiti’s Air Tahiti Nui, and Fiji Airways.
Photo: STARLUX Airlines
Starting in April 2023, Taiwanese STARLUX Airlines will begin flights from Taiwan. Starting June 30, 2023, Norwegian low-cost carrier Norse Atlantic Airways will fly between London Gatwick Airport (LGW) and LAX using Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Los Angeles International Airport
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- United States
- Justin Erbacci
- Passenger Count :
- 48,007,284 (2021)
- Runways :
- 6L/24R – 2,721m (8,926 ft) |6R/24L – 3,318m (10,885 ft) |7L/25R – 3,939m (12,923 ft) |7R/25L – 3,382m (11,095 ft)
- Terminal 1 |Terminal 2 |Terminal 3 |Tom Bradley International Terminal | Terminal 4 |Terminal 5 |Terminal 6 |Terminal 7 |Terminal 8