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San Fran to LAX - Traffic

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Buffalo
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San Fran to LAX - Traffic

We will be traveling by car from downtown SF to LAX on Sunday April 20th (Easter). We are staying in a hotel near the airport in El Segundo and fly out on Monday at 1 pm. I am afraid of running into tons of traffic on a Sunday night. We are flexible on what time we leave SF. Will we encounter tons of traffic on that route to LAX? It doesn't look like there are very many options of expressways if we do run into tons of traffic. Any suggestions as to time to leave or alternate travel routes? Thanks!

Santa Clara...
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1. Re: San Fran to LAX - Traffic

Really no alternative route. Fastest way is 5 South - leave SF, cross Bay Bridge, 580 to Livermore, to 5 South. Then 405 South. Leave as early as you can in the AM to avoid the holiday traffic. Should be about 6.5 hrs if no horrible accidents along the way.

West Hollywood...
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2. Re: San Fran to LAX - Traffic

If you're not driving the coastal route (for the views), why not fly to L.A. (1 hour, 15 minutes). Southwest.com is showing 3 morning flights for $70 (taxes included) into LAX from OAK (easily accessible from downtown SF via BART or if you will already have a car, you could drive to OAK).

Similarly, there's a $69 departure from SFO to LAX (as well as other more expensive flights).

The cost of the car rental plus the gasoline will cost almost as much as the airfare. I'd fly.

Santa Cruz...
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3. Re: San Fran to LAX - Traffic

So would I. Just be aware that Southwest doesn't use third party booking agents, you need to go to their own website. I don't have time to look it up, but I think that SWA.com will work.

Dallas, Texas
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for Boston, Orlando, Walt Disney World, Las Vegas
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4. Re: San Fran to LAX - Traffic

I agree with Hop I would fly Southwest.

Edited: 26 March 2014, 01:05
Los Angeles...
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5. Re: San Fran to LAX - Traffic

If you can't fly, I'd say driving I-5 S is your best bet as mentioned. If it's not about the drive, but you just need to get there quickly, I-5 is what you want. There is also the PCH which is a few hours longer, but more scenic. There is also technically 99, if there is some major problem on 5, which will take longer and is still a long boring route.

I don't see any major traffic that day, despite it being Easter. It's not really a big commute holiday, unlike some others like St. Patrick's Day where you don't really want to deal with driving. My parents are actually driving from LA to Sacramento that same day, and we're not worried at all. I'd say leave whenever is best for you. If you're not familiar with driving in LA I'd try to arrive before around 7 when it will be dark.

Manhattan Beach...
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6. Re: San Fran to LAX - Traffic

Are you traveling with a family, or just a couple of you? If you have a car full, driving might be the best. Our son drives home from SF all the time and usually holiday weekends. If he drives straight through he makes it in 5 1/2 hours, with a quick gas stop. If you stop to have a sit down meal add an hour. The 5 is a boring drive but it is the fastest.

Will you be returning car to LAX rental agency where you picked it up or is this a one way rental from SF?

Buffalo
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7. Re: San Fran to LAX - Traffic

Thanks for all the suggestions. We are flying in/out of LAX and the drop charges on a one way car rental were outrageous (thus our driving back to LAX instead of just flying out of SFO). We are driving up the coast from LAX to SFO therefore, we just want to get to LAX fast on Sunday.

8. Re: San Fran to LAX - Traffic

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