Transport from LAX to the Catalina Island Ferry on Super Bowl Sunday?
February 12, 2022 11:56 AM   Subscribe

I don’t really follow sports at all and only just realized that tomorrow is super bowl Sunday and it is being held in LA. I’m supposed to land at 12pm pacific time and then need to be on the 2pm Catalina Island Ferry from Long Beach. What’s the best way to make this happen?

My friend and I will be doing the trans-Catalina Island trail so we will have backpacking bags with us (though, they are repacked for travel). Is there something better than Uber/Lyft that we can plan for? If we go with Uber/Lyft and guidance on best approach with that? I’m not sure what terminal I’ll be arriving in but it would be a domestic arrival on American. Thoughts?
posted by raccoon409 to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (12 answers total)
SuperShuttle has shut down in LA but there are several other shuttle services. PrimeTime appears to specifically serve the Long Beach and San Pedro Catalina terminals.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:44 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]

Best answer: So LAX is usually a mess...but honestly it's just a 24/7 mass of people coming and going, so I don't think it'll be any worse than usual since you're arriving when the football game's start time is just a few hours away, and most of those people will have already arrived.

Purely in terms of how to get from LAX to Long Beach:

For Uber/Lyft at LAX -- all the pickups now happen in one central area (called LAX-IT). You can catch a free shuttle in front of every terminal, or you might just choose to walk since you're an intrepid backpacker.

In theory, you can also take the train, which involves getting on the Green Line shuttle from the airport to the station, then take the Green Line to the Rosa Parks station, then the Blue Line to Long Beach. Not sure how close it'll get you to the ferry.

**However** you will really be pushing it, timewise. Your plane might land on time, but you still have to taxi, get off the plan,get your bags, navigate to your preferred transpo option, and get down to Long Beach. On a good day the drive will take 30 minutes or so.

(Lastly please just confirm that you're taking the ferry from Long Beach and not San Pedro -- would suck to mess that up.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:55 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]

If *everything* goes right (plane lands early, does not get stuck in runway traffic, deplanes quickly, you're out at the curb before 12:10), you could conceivably do public transport and be at the Long Beach ferry by 1:50pm. But an hour and 40 minutes is probably the minimum travel time you're playing with there.

So, probably nothing better than Uber/Lyft/Taxi, which will probably get you there 30-60 min.

The only reason I'd consider anything else other than rideshare/cabs is the superbowl... plus talk of trucker blockades, which could make a target of the LA ports (which is what some are doing w/ Canada) a turn auto traffic where you're going into a Real Big Mess™.

If you get off the plane and you check news/traffic and hear the roads are horrifying down to Long Beach, you *could* hedge by having your ride take you a blue line station and catch the train down. Kindof complicated, though.

That may not happen, though. If it doesn't, probably nothing is going to do you better rideshare/cab from LAX-IT to the ferry terminal.

Be aware that Terminal 4 is pretty much the farthest spot from the LAX-IT pickup point, it'll probably be a half hour from deplaning to when you get in a car. You may even want to consider scheduling your ride ahead of time (though that can always get dicey if the flight is delayed, but if that happens you will probably not be in Long Beach on time anyway).
posted by weston at 2:47 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]

I live in LA, roughly between the airport and the port to which you are going to to get to Catalina.

Don't rely on Los Angeles public transportation under time constraints, particularly busses, ESPECIALLY tomorrow.

Take an Uber or Lyft.
posted by Temeraria at 3:58 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]

Unfortunately nothing better than Uber/Lyft/Taxi. It will be an incredibly tight squeeze on time if you need to retrieve checked bags, hopefully your backpacks are carryons. If you don’t need to be on the trail at a certain time, I would rebook for a later sail.
posted by gryphonlover at 5:40 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I've literally been thinking about this for a couple of hours (you're welcome) so I'm back to say I think the fastest thing is for you to speed-walk to LAX-IT and take a taxi -- taxi because you can just take the first vehicle in line with no waiting whatsoever. There are always plenty of taxis.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:03 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you all! I really appreciate all the feedback and details offered up. We are definitely leaving out of Long Beach, but that is a mistake that I could easily make.

I ending up booking a car company/private taxi. It looks like they will be able to meet us at the terminal rather than having to get over the LAXit (though perhaps I’ve misunderstood?). With the surge pricing going on for Uber and Lyft, it ended up being about the same price/maybe cheaper. At the very least we won’t be won’t be held up on an Uber line for an hour. I am prepped to run with my bag as needed a la amazing race to make it in time though!
posted by raccoon409 at 6:41 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]

A friend of mine who has to travel with annoying connections on a regular basis (at least pre-covid) swore by private cars/limo service for this stuff. And I would assume any driver would be utterly grateful to NOT be dealing with fucking superb owl traffic.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:03 PM on February 12

You made a good choice. I have once spent 40 minutes in the bus going from the airport terminal to the Uber pickup spot. I could have walked, if only i knew how long the bus was going to wait and wait. that's super stressful when you're on a time constraint.
posted by andreapandrea at 8:58 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]

I hope you come back and tell us how it goes! Good luck!
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:20 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]

I assume the OP made it since we would be seeing a post of lamentation while they cooled their heels in the ferry terminal. In case anyone else is reading this, the stretch of the 405 between Westwood and Long Beach is the most godforsaken hellscape of the many godforsaken LA freeways. And LAX is one of the most difficult airports to navigate. I went to school down there, truly, no higher power can help you. The trip is only 20 miles but I would leave myself a solid hour, plus the 30 minutes to check in to the ferry, so getting off the plane and to a taxi in 30 minutes is really pushing it, even if the flight isn't delayed. One tip, make your reservation for the last ferry of the day, you can move it up pretty easily, but the reverse is hard. Also, if you're desperate there is a helicopter but they may not take heavier bags. The cost is like 5-6x the ferry, but it only takes 15 minutes.
posted by wnissen at 11:38 AM on February 14 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Hello all! My flight ended up getting in about 20 minutes early and the desk agents had kindly put a “priority” tag on my bag so it was third off the luggage carousel. Given these factors we probably could have gone over to LAXit but since we already had hired a taxi we stayed put.

The private taxi ended up getting there around 12:25 which was reasonable given my original prediction of landing later. However the driver did miss our exit which added about 10 minutes on to the drive. We ended up getting to the ferry with plenty of time to repack and manage the backpack though so it all worked out.

I also learned that driving in LA is something I would not touch with a 10 foot pole- those highways are wild!

Thank you again for your help, it’s been a great trip
posted by raccoon409 at 3:57 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]

« Older The Almost Technologies (ancient to ~1940s)   |   How X Shaped the World Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments