Photo Credit: Gigi Griffis

Los Angeles International Airport

LAX, as Los Angeles International Airport is so commonly called, is one of the busiest airports in the world and the third busiest in the United States, handling about 62 million passengers annually. Several major American airlines use the airport as a hub, including American, Horizon Air, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines. International carriers like Qantas and Air New Zealand from Asia and the South Pacific use LAX as their main connection to the United States.

The facility boasts nine passenger terminals, which generally serve a designated purpose. Terminal 8 is dominated by United Airlines, while Terminal 1 handles flights from Air Trans and US Airways. Getting between the terminals, which are built in a horseshoe-style design, is by airport shuttle. Duty Free Shoppers is the main store offering tax items such as perfumes, souvenirs, and accessories. Dozens of fast-food and sit-down restaurants abound including McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks in Terminal 1 and El Cholo Cantina, Malibu Al’s and California Pizza Kitchen in Terminal 5. Other services include ATMs, wireless internet, baggage storage, and a lost and found.

The Los Angeles Metro almost connects to the airport via the Green Metro Line and shuttle buses can be picked up from outside the entrance. Buses run every 10 to 15 minutes through various providers: Torrance Transit, Beach Cities Transit, and Culver CityBuses all connect to downtown. Taxis are in abundance, and car rental is on site. LAX is connected to downtown LA through several highways, including Interstate 405 and State Route 1, but be warned, traffic is notoriously terrible so allow for extra time.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport

The second busiest airport in America, O’Hare International Airport in Chicago is an important hub for both international and domestic travelers and a regular stopping point when traveling between coasts. Handling more than 66 million passengers a year, Chicago’s main hub is often regarded as the best airport in the country for its efficient and clean facilities. United Airlines and American Airlines both base their northern operations here. There are four terminals with all international flights served at Terminal 5. United Express, United Airways, and several smaller budget carriers connect the airport to almost every region of the United States or abroad.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Currently the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the east coast gateway into the United States. Welcoming more than 92 million passengers annually, Delta is the dominant provider, connecting Atlanta to several dozen cities across the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The airport only ranks seventh in terms of international passenger throughout put in America, which means a good majority of the flights served are domestic. There are two terminals and more than seven concourses connected by a high speed tram.

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