Leaving Airport - Bad Idea?

 
Old Sep 13, 09, 3:33 am
  #1  
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Leaving Airport - Bad Idea?

Probably yes, but I'm curious as to what my options are.

I have a long layover in LAX on the 23rd, and was considering spending a little time outside of the airport. But what happens if an equipment change ends up getting everyone rebooked on an earlier flight? What would my options be in this case if I come back on time but there's no flight for me?

I'm considering Standby/Flynow (it's NW metal) for a later flight so I have more time about the town, but I'm not sure how that works out since my check-in is with Alaska/Horizon.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 8:36 am
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-How long is your layover currently?
-What are you considering when you want to leave the airport?
-When you say everyone is rebooked into an earlier flight, are you talking about you and those in your traveling party or you and those on your plane?

If there is a layover of 6+ hours then leaving the airport is advised. Anything less and I'd be hesitant (other than a trip to maybe In 'N' Out). A change of equipment on the same day is VERY unlikely so an earlier flight is highly unlikely.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 8:36 am
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Rarely on the day of the flight does a flight change gets the depart time moved up. In my experience it might leave early by 10-15 minutes.

When you get off your incoming flight check on your out bound flight's status and plan accordingly (especially the time for TSA inspections).
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Old Sep 13, 09, 9:45 am
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Advanced schedules for the 23rd are set now so the only thing that would impact you would be day-of-departure delays due to weather/ATC/maintenance.

I've left LAX before on long layovers (going to/from Australia). One time we went to the beaches south of the airport such as Manhattan Beach. I've also left the airport to go to In 'n Out Burger for a tasty lunch and plane watching.

My suggestion would be sign up for flight alerts to give you some piece of mind. In the rare event your flight is delayed significantly or cancelled, you will know before getting to the airport.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 10:22 am
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Think about it this way: Assume you live in L.A. and were going to take the flight you're worried about. You check in online several hours ahead of your flight and note that the plane is still scheduled to leave at the same time you expect it to leave. You arrive at the airport on time only to find the plane has already left well ahead of schedule. Does this ever happen? Not that I'm aware of. I have had the flight canceled in this window, but I'm then rebooked on a later flight, never on an earlier one.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 11:13 am
  #6  
fti
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I have left the airport during long layovers, both in LAX and other places. In fact, I am planning on doing it again on Saturday with a 6 hour layover.

I would have no problem doing it but would hesitate to tell any airline or airport employee about it. Once in Europe, the airline was hesitant to through-check my luggage when I mentioned I "might" leave the airport. They said something like "What if you don't make it back in time?" I don't think the US airlines are so paranoid though.

So just do it and keep it to yourself.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by fti View Post
I have left the airport during long layovers, both in LAX and other places. In fact, I am planning on doing it again on Saturday with a 6 hour layover.

I would have no problem doing it but would hesitate to tell any airline or airport employee about it. Once in Europe, the airline was hesitant to through-check my luggage when I mentioned I "might" leave the airport. They said something like "What if you don't make it back in time?" I don't think the US airlines are so paranoid though.

So just do it and keep it to yourself.
Huh? Last time I checked we still live in a free country. One is free to leave the airport at any time for any reason. What's the difference of someone leaving for 5 minutes for a smoke curbside or 5 hours for a tour of the city? Each is just as likely to miss their connecting flight given the amount of time, distance from curb to gate, lines @TSA, etc.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 12:26 pm
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I usually leave LAX to pick up some In n Out burger as well. Get on the Parking Spot's free Sepulveda shuttle at the red "Hotel and Courtesy Shuttle" sign outside of any airport terminal. It takes you back to their garage which is RIGHT next to In n Out.

Now, technically this is exploiting the Parking Spot but I use them all the time in ATL (they're always putting out 20% off coupons) so I don't lose any sleep over it.

More info: http://www.gadling.com/2008/01/15/fr...n-out-burgers/

EDIT: As the linked site says, if you are using the Parking Spot Shuttle be sure to:

1. Use the SEPULVEDA shuttle and NOT the century shuttle
2. Allow PLENTY of time as you may wait 15-20 minutes for a shuttle (though I waited 10 min at LAX and less than 1 at in n out since they had a line of 3 or 4 shuttles waiting to leave).

Last edited by nfg05; Sep 14, 09 at 12:08 am
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Old Sep 13, 09, 12:46 pm
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Originally Posted by fti View Post
I have left the airport during long layovers, both in LAX and other places. In fact, I am planning on doing it again on Saturday with a 6 hour layover.

I would have no problem doing it but would hesitate to tell any airline or airport employee about it. Once in Europe, the airline was hesitant to through-check my luggage when I mentioned I "might" leave the airport. They said something like "What if you don't make it back in time?" I don't think the US airlines are so paranoid though.

So just do it and keep it to yourself.
I beg to differ about US airlines not being as paranoid. Yesterday I was on a plane at the gate in ATL and we were sitting there nearly an hour for a mechanical. I called SMS to see if I could be protected on the next departure to the same city. There was a plane directly across the concourse that had plenty of seats and was departing in 25 minutes. The SMS agent was ready to rebook me and asked if I checked a bag. I said yes -- I checked one -- and he said "sorry -- you can't fly without your bag."
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Old Sep 13, 09, 12:50 pm
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The In n Out Burger thing is hilarious.

I'm considering leaving LAX in a few weeks. Get in from SYD at 6am, depart Detroit at 1PM. However, for that trip I was thinking of getting a rental car.... Maybe we'll hit up In n Out burger on the way back.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by syrwhizzy View Post
The In n Out Burger thing is hilarious.

I'm considering leaving LAX in a few weeks. Get in from SYD at 6am, depart Detroit at 1PM. However, for that trip I was thinking of getting a rental car.... Maybe we'll hit up In n Out burger on the way back.
Remember that you have to go through Immigration and Customs so your free time is going to be cut down. May not be worth renting a car.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by AndyTLe View Post
Remember that you have to go through Immigration and Customs so your free time is going to be cut down. May not be worth renting a car.
Yeah, between that and the horrible delays I'm hearing regarding clearing T5 checkin/security at LAX sounds like it might be more trouble than it's worth.

I made a reservation for a car, we'll see how it goes. I'll play it by ear. If I'm sitting there at 6:30AM twiddling my thumbs bored out of my mind, I might just take that car to get a few hours off site.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 1:12 pm
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I would not be too hesitant in leaving the terminal at LAX if I had a lot of time. It would depend on the layover and one has to take into account that the line for TSA can be quite a pain at times in T5, even with status....
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Old Sep 13, 09, 1:26 pm
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AFAIK, there is no free wireless internet access at LAX. There *may* have been some Tmobile thing but I'm on AT&T so I could not access that. Last time I was there with some time but not enough for In n Out, had to tether the iPhone's 3G internet connection to my laptop.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 1:43 pm
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I've left HNL a several times on long layovers -- sometimes a friend picks me up and we've gone "away" from the airport to eat. Other times, I've walked to the L+L just across the parking lot. In fact, the ladies in the old WC even had a map to L+L that they would photocopy and you could leave your bags in the WC (well maybe you weren't supposed to, but.... that was once of the many joys of the HNL WC).
And in AMS, you are encouraged to leave -- they even run some sightseeing trips from the airport.
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