Have I missed my flight?

If you’re flying out of LAX, you’ll want to get to the airport in time to check in, check your bags and go through security. Sometimes going through the various checkpoints can be a breeze, but at other times the airport can get very busy. You don’t want to miss a flight because you underestimated the wait time, but is it really necessary to arrive at the airport 3 hours in advance? When should you get to LAX? The answer depends on if you’re taking an international or a domestic flight. If there are weather alerts, you should always arrive at LAX early at check with your airline for delay and cancellation alerts. Likewise, construction and other complications can slow down your anticipated arrival time. You can check the LAX live map here and get driving directions to lax here. When in doubt? Get to the airport a little earlier. Spending a little extra time at the airport is an easy trade-off for not missing a flight.Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. We take our recommendations very seriously, and we may receive a small commission from certain sales (without any extra cost to you). This helps us continue to create free, high-quality content to serve you better.

How early to arrive at LAX for domestic flights

When flying through Los Angeles to other cities in the United States, the time you arrive at the airport will depend on when you’re flying out. Most airports recommend arriving at least two hours before your flight. If your flight is between 6:30- 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 8:00-11:00 p.m., you’ll be traveling during peak times. You’ll want to arrive at the airport a little earlier than normal to account for the extra busy lines. If you’d like to get estimates based on past wait times, you can download the MyTSA app from the Apple Store or from the Google Play store.    

How early to arrive at LAX for international flights

If you’re flying out of LAX to catch an international flight, the commonly recommended time to arrive at the airport is least three hours before your flight. Flying between 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. or 8:00-11:00 p.m.? You’ll want to have a little bit of extra buffer time for the flight as these are the LAX international travel peak times. Additionally, if you want to gain a better sense of what wait times will be like, you can also check the MyTSA app as well. 

How early to check your bags

Checking bags at the Los Angeles International Airport? The allowed check-in time will vary depending on the airline you take. For example, if you’re checking in with a bag through Delta at LAX, you’ll want to check in at least 30 minutes before your flight. For international flights, the recommended time is 1 hour before your flight. The specifics will change depending on the airline and the airport.

What time is security/TSA open

Although LAX is open 24/7, the actual terminals only operate from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m., depending on the terminal. According to the official LAX site, the operational hours for the check-in desks and security for each terminal are below:

LAX Terminal 1 Operation Hours: 4:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

LAX Terminal 2 Operation Hours: 4:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.

LAX Terminal 3 Operation Hours: 4:15 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

LAX Terminal 4 Operation Hours: 4:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

LAX Terminal 5 Operation Hours: 4:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

LAX Terminal 6 Operation Hours: 4:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

LAX Terminal 7 Operation Hours: 4:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Tom Bradley International Airport South Operation Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Tom Bradley International Airport North Operation Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.