fly LAX-SAN or just drive?

Discussion in 'United Mileage Plus' started by aspro2, May 1, 2006.

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  1. aspro2

    aspro2 Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    Hi folks. Visiting a friend in San Diego in September. Flying into LAX on UA from MEL/SYD. He's happy to pick me up from LAX, or I could get a connecting flight down to SAN. That short hop would earn 500mi, but which is more hassle -- connecting, or making my mate drive through LAX?

  2. NM


    Aug 27, 2004
    Flight Map:
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    It would be quicker to drive. And depending on the time of day, and the day of the week, its really quite an easy drive.

    You are already going to have to collect your checked bags at LAX anyway. And you will need around a 2 hour connection time, plus the flight time, plus arrivals procedures at SAN. You could be at your destination in San Diego area in about 90 mins after clearing customs, so long as you avoid the freeway rush periods.
  3. aspro2

    aspro2 Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    Thanks NM! Flying down sounds too painful. :)
  4. sadlier

    sadlier Intern

    Aug 17, 2004
    Melbourne and ASEAN
    NM is right - definitely drive.
    And it might be easier to meet your friend at a LAX hotel that you can get to by shuttle such as Westin or Rendezvous that have nice lobby bars.

  5. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    I've flown this leg a few times, both back in the '80's. One was LAX-SAN in a TWA L1011 (an almost empty flight), and the other was SAN-LAX in a UA turbo-prop! :shock:

    Suffice to say that the guys are right - driving is much easier and I have done this many times since. The freeway is a good run and you will have no problems. Renting a car is pretty straightforward and the roads are well signposted.

    If your friend is picking you up, traffic can get quite clogged up coming in to LAX, especially during late afternoons. Another idea to avoid this would be to take a Super Shuttle (blue minivans that you'll find on the kerbside) to a location outside of LA. For example, you could take a shuttle to Orange County, which is on the way to San Diego, and get picked up by your friend from there. South Coast Plaza shopping mall and the Westin South Coast Plaza are right on "the 5" at Costa Mesa - very easy for your friend to pick you up.
  6. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    Even taking a shuttle to one of the airport hotels would make a difference and save parking hassle (since they can't sit outside arrivals waiting) - just agree which one you meet at first.
  7. aspro2

    aspro2 Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    Great tips about escaping LAX for the rendezvous, thanks!
  8. uncawes

    uncawes Newbie

    Feb 9, 2006
    I wouldn't do either if it were me. What I usually do for SAN is fly SYD/SFO/SAN. SFO is way less busy than LAX and the Red Carpet club in SFO is much nicer than LAX too (the international RC in SFO before the flight home is one of the best lounges I've been in anywhere).
    Then again, I'll do almost anything to avoid LAX - it's my least favourite airport in the world. I even hate it more than I do LHR.
  9. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Canberra / London
    Well. I have to say I don't mind the RCC at LAX (although the new Mexican barman is a bit of a pain), but I would caution against driving to San Diego (if your friend's driving that's OK I guess). There can be some awful traffic jams on the Interstate when you near SD, which can spoil the whole experience.

    Never had a problem with flying it myself.


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