While planning our trip to Hawaii, I had to figure out the best way to get to LAX – have someone drop us off? Shuttle? I saw the tiny Flyaway ad on LA Observed (see, advertising on blogs does work!) and inspiration struck. I didn’t have to book any reservations or anything – Trinity and I just showed up at Union Station, lugged our luggage through the tunnel to the Patsaouras Transit Plaza (the bus depot at the other side of Union Station) and waited. Of course, there was a moment of confusion for me – we took the escalator up to ground level (where the buses make the pickups) and didn’t see any signs for LAX or the Flyaway. We waited a little bit, and I even left for a bit to get change for a $20 bill. But then I saw the huge, baby blue bus, very much resembling the picture above, and waved and nearly chased after it. I didn’t – not really.
Turns out the Flyaway has a little booth to the left of where we had come off the escalator, but again, there were no signs that let us know that. Anyway, we quickly paid for our tickets ($3 each for a one way trip – you can’t beat that!), got our luggage loaded and boarded the bus. We got on the 101 freeway during 4 p.m. rush hour traffic – but once we got onto the 110 carpool lanes, it was smooth sailing from there. I even fell asleep, it was so nice, comfortable and air conditioned. All we had to do was let our driver know what airline we were going on, and that was it. An easy drop off right in front of Delta, no harassment from the airport cops because your ride parked haphazardly to drop you off and unload your luggage, no headache.
The return trip was just as good. We got our luggage and were ready to catch the Flyaway by about 6:30 a.m. We didn’t wait long before the bus came by and we had another easy (especially at 6:30-7 a.m.) ride back to Union Station. It was also on this ride that I discovered I left my purse behind at Honolulu Int’l Airport, but that fact has nothing to do with the Flyaway service. Back at Union Station, we got off the bus, Trinity went to go pay for our tickets at the booth, and we took our luggage and we were off to go home.
Verdict? Love the Flyaway. In fact, I’d say it’s about time! Don’t a bunch of other major cities have city-backed shuttles from their airports? Flying out of LAX is a much more attractive option now that there is a Flyaway. Having the Flyaway come out of Union Station was pure genius, too – it’s so much better than driving all the way to LAX. The only things I’d say need to be improved are the signage at the Patsaouras Plaza and advertising – more people need to know about it.