LAX has five [now four, per reader Kate's report (see below)] pet relief areas, and when we visited sunny SoCal last week I spent an afternoon visiting them all. Here’s what I’ve learned — and here’s a map of LAX to consult.
Between Terminals 1 and 2
Walking counter-clockwise around LAX’s arrivals level, the first pet relief area you encounter is located between Terminals 1 and 2. If you arrive at Terminal 1, exit the baggage claim area and turn right; if you arrive at Terminal 2, exit the baggage claim area and turn left. Against the wall, you’ll find a small fenced patch of Astroturf, containing a fake fire hydrant, a spigot and a water bowl. It turns out that four of the five LAX pet relief areas look just like this one (the bowl was missing from one, but they were otherwise identical, down to the odd bone-shaped patch of concrete).
The area is small but clean. Poop bags are provided. Chloe approved enough to pee in it, but if your dog is opposed to Astroturf, your best alternative is to cross the airport roadway and walk past the Bob Hope Hollywood USO to the futuristic Theme Building beyond (currently the home of the Encounter restaurant and bar). There are some lovely patches of lawn underneath it — be sure to keep them lovely by bringing your own poop bags with you.
Between Terminal 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal
If you arrive at Terminal 3, exit the baggage claim area and turn right. If you arrive at the International Terminal, exit the baggage claim area and turn left — the pet relief area will be just beyond the chain metal fencing backed with green cloth (it’s easier to find from Terminal 3, since the chain metal structure isn’t in the way).
The best alternative to Pet Relief Area #2 is across the roadway — there are several attractive bits of lawn in front of the parking garages.
Between the International Terminal and Terminal 4
As you can see from this picture, this pet relief area is just about identical to the ones you’ve already seen. To find it, either exit the International Terminal baggage claim area and turn right, or exit the baggage claim area in Terminal 4 and turn left.
Here too, the best alternative are the small patches of lawn across the airport roadway, in front of the parking structures. Here’s what those patches look like from the official pet relief areas:
Across from Terminal 5
This pet relief area is sometimes described as between Terminals 5 and 6 — in fact, however, it’s across from Terminal 5. If you arrive at Terminal 6, exit the baggage claim area and turn left. Look in the windows of Terminal 5 and locate Baggage Carousel #1 — using the crosswalk directly outside Baggage Carousel #1, cross the airport roadway and turn left. The pet relief area is located between the two parking structures, in a stand of palms. It looks so much like the three you’ve already seen that I didn’t bother to take a picture.
Your best alternative to this pet relief area (again, assuming your dog dislikes Astroturf — otherwise, there’s no reason not to use the official pet relief area) is the small patch of grass that surrounds it.
At the end of Terminal 7
[3/29/13 Reader Kate reported today on Dog Jaunt's Facebook page that this pet relief area is now closed. It cried out for closure, I told her, and she agreed -- but she misses the poop bags. If you are flying into/out of LAX on United or United Express (the airlines using Terminal 7), be sure to equip yourself with your own poop bags, and look for the alternative grassy area I mention below.]
This pet relief area is sometimes described as between Terminals 7 and 8, but for the life of me, I couldn’t see a Terminal 8. You’ll find the official area at the end of Terminal 7 (exit the baggage claim area and turn right). As you can see from the picture, it looks very different from the other four pet relief areas, and it turns out to be the original, lone LAX pet relief area. Frankly, it’s nasty. There are poop bags, and there is a water spigot and bowl, but once you’ve grabbed a poop bag and given your dog a drink, I’d go across the roadway to the grassy area under the curve in the overpass (you can see it in this picture, just behind the yellow arrow sign).
I’m really glad that LAX added the four other pet relief areas I’ve described, because they’re all a vast improvement over this one — as I mentioned above, they’re pleasant enough that the only reason I can see for you to try the alternatives I’ve suggested is if your dog just will not pee or poop on Astroturf. I’m grateful, too, that LAX now has pet relief areas sprinkled around the arrivals level, because it’s a long walk to the end of Terminal 7. Now we have to hope that the airport’s next step will be air-side, indoor pet relief areas, like the ones at Dulles.
This post is part of an ongoing series of reviews of airport pet relief areas we’ve visited. To see others, visit Dog Jaunt’s handy guide to airport pet relief areas.