It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is infamous for its inefficiency, especially when it comes to its lengthy customs and immigration wait times. Over the years, this has made arriving at the airport as early as possible a must for international passengers, to the point where booking a car service from Carlsbad to LAX is seen as the norm.
While this situation is frustrating at the best of times, it can get downright dangerous during the coronavirus pandemic because spending multiple hours at a crowded place like LAX increases the chance of infection.
In order to help you minimize risks and make your time at LAX easier, we’ve written a short guide on how to get through the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) at Los Angeles International Airport with minimal hassle. Keep reading to learn more.
How long does TSA take at LAX?
It takes roughly 30-90 minutes to get through immigration and customs at LAX. This time can be shortened or further lengthened depending on the number of passengers that are currently waiting, how many TSA agents are on the job, and how many flights have simultaneously landed at the airport.
If this sounds shocking to you, you should consider yourself lucky that you didn’t visit Los Angeles Airport before the new automated screening lanes were implemented. Back then, the average wait times were at least a few minutes longer.
Here’s how to (maybe) shorten the wait time:
- After you check in, look up at the mezzanine level of the terminal. If there aren’t a lot of passengers already waiting in line, you probably won’t have to wait very long, so you can go up there right away.
- If there are a lot of passengers on the mezzanine, you can shorten the wait by going to Terminal 4 (it’s connected to the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT)), and passing through the security there, as it usually has a smaller line. Afterwards, just take a 5-7 minute walk back to TBIT.
- You can also use the “secret” checkpoint at the southern end of the baggage claim level instead of going to Terminal 4. This checkpoint has briefer opening times than the other checkpoints, so keep that in mind if you choose this approach.
How do I get TSA PreCheck at LAX?
The TSA PreCheck program is used to verify which passengers present a low risk to flight security, and can therefore be allowed to pass through security checkpoints without having to take off their belts, jackets, and shoes, or take liquids and laptops out of their bags. In other words, it helps you get through security faster.
Here’s how to obtain a TSA PreCheck at LAX:
- Step #1: Visit the official website of the Transportation Security Administration, click on the “Apply Now” button, and follow the instructions.
- Step #2: You’ll be invited for a 10-minute in-person appointment that includes fingerprinting for a background check.
- Step #3: If you pass the PreCheck, you’ll get a Known Traveler Number that you can add to your airline reservation and enjoy quicker, more comfortable screening.
Where can I book a high-quality car service from Carlsbad to LAX?
As the leading private transportation company in Carlsbad, Stay Classy Transportation prioritizes your safety and comfort above all else. We especially pride ourselves on our punctuality, our fleet of top-of-the-line vehicles, and our extremely well-trained and knowledgeable chauffeurs.
Schedule your ride today, or get in touch with us if you’d like to ask additional questions and learn more about what puts us so far ahead of our competitors.