I finally experienced picking someone up at LAX and also using an uber at the airport. Man it is an experience. As someone who was new to both things, here are a few of my tips.
1. Most times, the inner circle along the side of the airport is packed and slower to than the outside ring.
2. There are entrances and exits between the inner and outer ring for the arrivals level. Be prepared that you can use them but you have to be careful and agressive at the same time. They alternate between exit and entrance so if you miss, the next will pop up shortly after.
3. The shuttle buses don’t care about you. They create their own lanes and hug the inner/outer circle boundary. This is where the hotels and rental car shuttles pick up. If you’re driving on the outer circle, do not hug that lane. The middle is better to be in.
4. If someone is coming into terminal 2, then walk all the way to the front end of terminal 1. It’s empty over there.
5. If you plan on getting an uber home, go upstairs to the departures. Look for the ‘Ride Share’ signs. There’s one per terminal. This is the only location that Uber and Lyft can pick up. When you pull up the app, it’ll allow you to set your location as specific doors but LAX does not actually allow them to pick you up from those doors. They have to pick you up from the ‘Ride Share’ signs. Note: if you’re in a rush, a taxi will be faster. If you aren’t, an Uber or Lyft is totally worth it.
6. If your gate number is 3 digits, assume it is the international terminal. Otherwise the first number designates which terminal you are going to.
As I get to learn this airport, I’ll share more tips on how to deal with it and cope with the craziness that is LAX.