How to Use Metrolink to Get to LAX

FlyAway provides transportation to LAX, home to the iconic Theme Building.
FlyAway provides transportation to LAX, home to the iconic Theme Building. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

With so many residents married to their cars, Los Angeles has a reputation as a city with subpar public transportation. In actuality, however, Metrolink, which travels through six counties and across more than 500 miles, is the nation’s third largest commuter rail system. While none of the lines travel directly to Los Angeles International Airport, connection service from Union Station to LAX is available via the FlyAway shuttle.

Purchasing and Fees

All but one of the Metrolink’s lines travel to Union Station, starting from such far-off cities as Lancaster, Oceanside, Riverside and Ventura. When purchasing your ticket at the originating station’s Metrolink vending machine, choose LAX as your final destination and the cost for the FlyAway shuttle service will be added directly to your train ticket. Metrolink fares eligible for the transfer include one-way and round-trip tickets, both of which may be purchased up to one year in advance. Monthly Metrolink pass holders with a valid airline boarding pass can ride the shuttle at no added charge. The Metrolink vending machine accepts cash or credit cards but you can only buy tickets on the bus with a credit card. Three children, age 5 and under, can travel for free with a paying adult.

Detailed Directions

Take the train from your original location to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Once arriving at the bustling train station, exit the tunnel and follow the signs up the escalator to Pastsaouras Transit Plaza. One you’re in the plaza, make your way to Bus Bay 9 and look for the LAX FlyAway shuttle. Upon arriving at the airport, the shuttle will make stops at every terminal on the departing level.

Keep to a Schedule

FlyAway shuttles are operational 24/7. The buses depart from Union Station every 30 minutes and, on Monday through Friday, every 20 minutes between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. The shuttle offers regular service out of Union Station on holidays but Metrolink itself has limited service on New Year's, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Depending on the traffic, FlyAway typically reaches LAX within 30 to 50 minutes after departing Union Station.

Baggage Handling

Luggage on FlyAway is stored below in the shuttle’s cargo area. The driver will load your bags for you at pick-up. Passengers are allowed up to three pieces each and no bag can exceed 70 pounds or the combined length, width and height of 62 inches. Small items, such as purses, laptop bags and briefcases, should be carried onto the shuttle.

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