Sleeping In LAX – New Year’s Eve Edition

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Sleeping in LAX Airport.
Jasmine and Shawn Reece prepare for a long night of sleeping in LAX’s Terminal 4.

Sleeping in LAX On New Year’s

We just spent the night sleeping in LAX following a flight from Hawaii and before our flight home to Las Vegas.  This is not the first time we have spent the night at an airport this year.  In fact, back in January, I asked readers if they would be willing to sleep in an airport.  At the time of that post, we were sleeping in London’s Stanstead airport before boarding a flight to Rome.

The reason I bring this topic back up is because it is a favorite of mine.  Tonight we arrived in LAX at 11:35pm with a 9:45am flight back to Las Vegas.  At best we would have had about six hours to spend at the hotel after getting out of the airport and taking a shuttle.  Additionally, being New Year’s Eve, hotels were expensive.  Sure I could use points, but I hate wasting them on such a short stay.

With it being New Year’s Eve, we had mixed emotions about sleeping in LAX.  While it sounds adventurous to sleep in an airport on such a day, in reality it is anticlimactic at best.  In lieu of being at a party with friends, we had to settle for watching local Las Vegas television on my laptop via my Slingbox.  At least it provided a taste of home.

Sleeping in LAX airport.
We watched the local Las Vegas New Year’s Eve coverage on our laptop.

At Least There is a Lounge

Travel hacking has allowed for an overall better airport sleeping experience though.  For example, now that I am AA Platinum, we were able to enter the Admiral’s Club at 4:30am.  You see, our flight back from Hawaii was tacked onto our flight to Tokyo in April.  Since AA Platinum members get lounge access on international flights and since the trip to Tokyo is on the same ticket, we were permitted entrance.  Jasmine and Shawn Reece are enjoying the added comfort of the lounge as they sleep right now.

To conclude, I am sure as I get older, it will be less and less desirable to sleep in airports. In fact, it can be one of the worst experiences ever.  With that said, if it allows me to travel further, longer and cheaper, I am willing to do it.  At least for now. It also gives my son a unique experience and gives the three of us a family story that we can tell forever.  Everyone can talk about staying in a hotel, but only a select few hardcore travelers can talk about sleeping in LAX on New Year’s Eve!

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  1. I actually have the exact same dilema coming up in February with about 7 hours between flights from LA to Maui. I was considering just sleeping in the airport for the same reasons (not much time and don’t waste points on a room). So what are my options for sleeping at LAX, just the benches or can you spend overnight in an AA or UA lounge, any other ideas?

    • LAX has so many terminals that it really depends on which one you fly in to. (Some are old and outdated and some are nicer.) If you are getting in late, it will be impossible to switch terminals since security will close and you have to go landside to get from terminal to terminal. In our case, we were flying American Airlines so we landed in Terminal 4. This terminal only has chairs with arms, which makes it impossible to lay down. We took some blankets from our plane (and returned them on the next flight) and ended up laying on the floor at Gate 40 which is across from the Admiral’s Club. (Some people slept in the glass enclosed customer service office which looked to provide a quieter experience away from the cleaning crews.)

      The Admiral’s Club closes at 12:15am and reopens at 4:30am. Since we were on an international itinerary and I am AA Platinum, at 4:30am we were allowed into the Admiral’s Club where there are some couches. If you want to pay I believe it is $50 for a day pass. There is a great website that has some reviews of sleeping in some of the terminal in LAX. Good luck!


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