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First time Flyer!

Australia
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First time Flyer!

Hi! Ive never be to the US before and Im excited and nervous at the same time!

I am travelling from Australia to LAX in July, staying in an airport motel (Marriot) and flying out to Lexington Kentucky the next day. Im staying in Kentucky for a week and a half, then flying back to LAX then Sydney.

My question is, When I fly from Kentucky back to LAX, I have a nine hour wait before my flight back to Sydney. So I will be arriving at 10.22am at LAX and leaving at 10.35pm for Sydney.

Can anyone give me any suggestions as to what I can do for nine hours? Will I have time to go and do or see something? If so, where is a nice "safe" place to go?

Thanks, Tanya

Los Angeles
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1. Re: First time Flyer!

Hi Spike - 9 hours is plenty of time for a quick excursion, but bear in mind you'll likely need to carry your luggage with you, as usually you can not check it in that far ahead.

In any case, you could easily take a taxi to one of the nearby beach communities: Santa Monica (pier w/mini amusement park, beach, 3rd Street Promenade for shopping and restaraunts - all located within walking distnace of each other), Venice Beach (beach, boardwalk, "muscle beach", Abbot Kinney and Main St. for shopping & restaurants) or Manhattan Beach (pier, beach, lots of shopping & restaurants).

You could also catch a cab to Beverly Hills and explore Rodeo Drive (high end shopping), or head over to Hollywood & check out the Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater, Kodak Theater, see the Hollywood Sign, etc.) - to get to Hollywood no need for a taxi - take FlyAway bus from LAX to Union Station, then from Union Station take Red Line subway to Hollywood & Highland Station. Or you could head over to the Getty Museum in Brentwood - great views, great architecture, lots and lots of art.

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2. Re: First time Flyer!

Stowing your luggage will be your only real obstacle. If you're able to do so, then I would suggest catching the "Beverly Hills / Hollywood City Tour" offered by Grayline Tours, which picks up from the Radisson Hotel next to LAX (6225 W Century Bl) at 11:40. (It also picks up at the Marriott -- where you will have stayed -- but the Radisson is a little closer to the airport so if your flight from Kentucky is delayed, you won't have to rush as much to meet the tour. Info about the tour is here:

grayline.com/Grayline/…

Be sure to make a reservation that requests a "hotel pickup" at the Radisson. Now, here's why you'll need to do when you arrive at LAX from Kentucky.

Pick up your luggage, and exit the terminal. In front of you, you'll see a roadway with a narrow "island" in it over which there will be color-coded signs. Look for the RED overhead sign that says "Parking Lot and Hotel Shuttles". You may need to walk to the left or right along the island in order to find this red sign. Once you do, stand under it on the island.

Assuming your flight arrives at 10:22, you should be out of the terminal and onto the island by 11 a.m., the latest. The hotel shuttle vans pull up every 15 or 20 minutes and the ride to the Radisson is just a few minutes so you should arrive at the hotel by 11:20, or so.

When you get off the shuttle van, walk up to the uniformed porter (what we call 'the bellman") in front of the hotel's main entrance (unless he greets you at the van) and ask him if he could hold your bags for you for a few hours. This is a common request since guests arriving at hotels in the morning, often, have to wait for their rooms to be ready. He will assume that you are a hotel guest and take your bags for you. He will give you a ticket by which to identify your bags.

You can then ask him where the Grayline Tour Vans pull up or, if you prefer, enter the hotel (where you can use the toilet, if you wish) and ask the concierge or someone at reception about the van pickup location.

Once you are aboard the Grayline Van, it will take you to the city of Santa Monica (a 20-minute ride, unless it stops to pick up other hotel guests). The tour commences at Grayline's depot in Santa Monica at 12:30. You will be transferred to a coach bus for the tour.

The tour takes about 4 hours. After the tour, you'll be transferred back to the hotel, arriving at around 17:15 or 17:30. Since you'll need to be at the airport by 8:30, at the latest, to check in for your evening flight, you'll have about 3 hours to spare.

I would recommend the following:

Transfer to the Ocean Express Trolley which picks up at the corner of Century Bl and Vicksburg Av -- just a minute's walk east of the hotel. The trolley runs once every 30 minutes and goes to the Manhattan Beach Pier and the Manhattan Village Mall -- a pleasant, mid-sized outdoor shopping mall with plenty of dining options in all price ranges. The trip takes about 20 minutes to the pier, then 10 minutes more to the mall and then 30 minutes more for the return to Century Bl.

Info on the trolley is here:

www.gatewaytola.org/new_pdf_M/OE_sked_08.pdf

You must purchase tickets for this trolley at the hotel. I would recommend doing so before getting on the van for the Grayline tour. The trolley departs from the corner of Century and Vicksburg at 17:40 and arrives at the Pier at 18:00. You'll need to be back at the hotel to get your luggage by 20:10, affording you time to wait for the free shuttle to LAX which will stop at a number of terminals at the airport before reaching yours.

In order to be back at the hotel by 20:10, you'd have to pick up the 19:30 trolley from the pier. This would give you 90 minutes at the pier -- not a lot of time but doable. Alternatively, you could take a taxi back from the Pier. This would speed things up for you since the return trolley takes a different route which takes 40 minutes whereas a taxi would take about 15 or 20. Taxis don't roam the streets so you'd have to have the restaurant you dined at call one for you.

If you do decide to go to the Pier, consider having dinner at The Kettle. Here's their website:

http://thekettle.net/

This is an informal place and a bit of an icon in Manhattan Beach.

Have a great holiday

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3. Re: First time Flyer!

I do NOT envy you that flight back. Before I got on the flight from LAX to Sydney *I* would find a place to get some sleep. As you know you have a LONG flight ahead of you. I hope it is at least fairly comfortable.

KG
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4. Re: First time Flyer!

Are you sure you cannot check your luggage in that early - I think you can as long as the ticket counter is open. I would get outside and enjoy myself - you will be cooped up in the plane long enough. Get yourself some noise cancelling headphones!

Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: First time Flyer!

And a comfortable pillow! I want desperately to go back to Australia, but am dreading the 13 hour flight.

Mission Viejo...
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6. Re: First time Flyer!

Be sure to stop at In n Out Burger...if you check the Flyertalk forums (LA) or CruiseCritic (West Coast forum) there is lots of info on In n Out. One is located right outside LAX. Also you will find LA and Hollywood tour recommendations on CC West Coast forum.

You may be able to check your luggage from LEX straight through to SYD. Then you don't have to worry about it at LAX. However, any bags checked all the way through will not be accessible to you until you arrive in SYD. You can check some to LAX and others all the way. (If you're flying Southwest, they do not interline baggage and you will have to transfer it yourself, I presume you're flying Qantas?)

You will enjoy Lexington, beautiful countryside and horse farms. Be forewarned it will be very hot and humid!

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7. Re: First time Flyer!

Spike - Are you flying with a through ticket from American to Qantas? If so, you should be able to check your bag(s) straight through. Do keep in mind you won't be seeing it/them for a while!

Puter - I wish the flight to Australia only took 13 hours! Although hours are just a number after a while... (The flight SFO-SYD is closer to 15 hours, for the record.) And you should go, it's so cheap these days...!

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8. Re: First time Flyer!

We went to Australia a few years ago. We flew from

San Francisco to LA. It was the LA-Sydney leg that was 13 hours. We tried to break the flight by going via Hawaii, but could not make that connection for some reason. Pure torture.

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9. Re: First time Flyer!

Thanks! sounds great and Im going to be doing a lot of research online before I go! Much appreciated! :)

Australia
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10. Re: First time Flyer!

Im actually flying United Airlines, not Qantas. I took advantage of a bargain flight offer. I hope its a good airline!

When I saw the prices of flights I just though, wow, Ive really got to give this a go, so I went ahead and bought a ticket.

Im going to a model horse festival in Kentucky, and the weather wont bother me as I get hideous temperatures where I live. My father in law calls our place the end of the earth because it gets so hot. Our winter here at the moment is more like spring!I was getting around in shorts today! ridiculous!

I can imagine the 13 hour flight is not going to be much fun, but as long as I have food and scotch! I will be right. lol! Surely it cant be as bad as a flight from Sydney to Europe? they are usually 24 hours and that would be bad!

I will have to find out if United Airlines will let me check my baggage in early. Will get travel agent to find out for me. She told me there would be lockers at the airport. I checked out the LAX website to find out there werent any lockers. So as long as I can get the luggage arranged I will feel more relaxed about going out to look at some sights.

Thanks to everyone so far for your comments.