LAX Meet-up: Is this doable?
December 11, 2017 4:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm arriving at LAX on Sunday at Terminal 3. My partner is departing LAX on Sunday from Terminal 4. (About 3 hours later) We want to meet for drinks or dinner at the airport before he leaves Sunday. Is this doable?

Neither of us are checking baggage if this helps. Will security let us do this? I feel like this should be much easier to figure out than it is.

Seasoned travelers - thanks for your help!
posted by Space Kitty to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Terminals 3 and 4 do not connect inside security (some terminals do --- you can go between 2 and 3 without security, for example).

Your partner _might_ be allowed into terminal 3 (even though its not their terminal) --- I accidentally went into T2 instead of T3 last week and security didn't notice/care, although again T2 and T3 connect. You will definitely not be allowed into T4 after exiting T3.

So your best option is something outside security.

The good news is the International Terminal has several eating/drinking options pre-security. AND its right between T3 and T4.

I'd plan to meet up at Tom Bradley International Terminal.
posted by thefoxgod at 4:37 PM on December 11, 2017 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Cantina Laredo is at arrivals at Tom Bradley International Terminal and is accessible to the public. If you both land and walk there it's an easy journey from both T3 and T4. I've been a few times and it's quite nice, with good margaritas and some nice touches on the menu.
posted by mdonley at 4:44 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

It might be easiest for you both to hop the same hotel shuttle and eat in one of the hotel restaurants on Century. There's a Daily Grill in the Westin and a steakhouse in the Mariott and a bistro in the Sheraton. And others I'm forgetting about.

Three hours is enough time to get/check bags, shuttle there, eat and for your partner to shuttle back and clear security (just don't linger over dinner, and check outgoing bags first). Then you get your ride from the hotel (faster than waiting for a car at the airport).

It will be a lot more pleasant and likely better food than staying in the airport, certainly less overpriced, and by going to an airport hotel restaurant on the hotel's shuttle you can keep your bags with you, he can have his carry on with him, you'll stay close to the airport and won't have to pay for and wait for additional Uber/Lyft rides.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:57 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

primethyme's link says it's possible to get from 3 to 4 (and vice versa) staying inside security.
posted by at at 3:35 AM on December 12, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone - looks like we'll be meeting up at Tom Bradley International Terminal! (I'd prefer Cantina Laredo but it looks like departures might be easier than arrivals?)
posted by Space Kitty at 1:20 PM on December 12, 2017

Response by poster: So, it turns out my partner got caught up in the Atlanta airport shutdown and his flight was cancelled. What I did learn:

The LAX website and the airline websites differ on which terminals each airline belongs to, so it's better to count on the airline websites for current information. Also if you are arriving late, call the restaurant for their hours - there's conflicting info there as well. For future reference, it really looks like Tom Bradley Int'l is the way to go - not all terminals are accessible inside security.

Thanks everyone for your input!
posted by Space Kitty at 10:09 PM on December 20, 2017

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