I really dislike LAX (Los Angeles Airport). It's crowded, outdated, and just a pain to navigate. Everything about it annoys me -- from the lousy shuttle bus configuration to the freaky color changing pillars at the entrance. So I avoid it whenever I can.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other options for flying in to SoCal -- SNA (Orange County), ONT (Ontario), LGB (Long Beach), and BUR (Burbank). SAN (San Diego) is even an option depending on where you need to be.
Today, I flew into BUR. BUR (AKA Bob Hope Airport) has the worst airport website I've seen in ages. It looks like they hired a high school student to put it together in 1996 and haven't changed it since. I'm sure if I look hard enough, I'll find a tag somewhere on the page.
But that's not the point.
I flew into BUR and had to rent a car from Budget instead of Hertz. When I rent form Hertz, I step out of the terminal and am in my car in 3 or 4 minutes. With Budget, I had to do extra paperwork. Then I had to catch a shuttle. I missed the first shuttle and had to wait another 20 minutes for it to come back. Then it took them awhile to find the keys to my Ford Taurus rental (I have now driven 86% of all the Ford Taurii registered in the state of CA).
Next I headed out to my hotel on the rush hour freeways of CA. My 24 mile drive took about an hour. And where was my hotel?
Three blocks from LAX.
From the time the plane landed to the time I got to my hotel was about 2.5 hours.
And for all the hassle -- it still beats flying through LAX.