View Full Version : West Coast Cruisers: which airport?

JC Butterfly
06-14-2004, 05:36 PM
Hello All,

I am definitely an OCD planner! If I want to go to Disneyland in combination with my cruise, what makes the most sense?

Fly into LAX?
into SNA (Orange County)?
into LGB (Long Beach)?

I assume I'll save distance to Disneyland by flying into Orange County but it will be a farther trek to go from port to there?

Also, LAX sounds so big so I would think it might be nice to avoid . . .but do the smaller airports have transportation options that will work? (taxi, shuttle, town car) as I have no intentions of driving myself!!

06-14-2004, 05:43 PM
We love SNA, Orange County. I've heard Long Beach is great but we don't have any of the airlines flying into there flying out of Wichita. SNA is about a 15" drive, of course depending on the traffic but so easy to get to DL. Stay in the diamond lane, if there 2 or more of you, and there is actually a diamond lane exit from the 55 to the 5 and then again directly into DL. You are right that LAX is much bigger. It is, however, much closer to the port.

06-14-2004, 06:07 PM
Come in to SNA (John Wayne) Airport and you will be glad you did! It is really nice and very easy to manuever. Also, right off the 405 freeway which you can take to the cruise!

We will be on the repo cruise--so glad you will be visiting CA--welcome!

06-14-2004, 06:27 PM
Fly into SNA! I live in Oregon and work in the LA area so I'm down there quite often. I only fly into LAX if I happen to be going to a meeting that is there at the airport otherwise I fly into Burbank. Burbank is a little further north if you don't want to be driving yourself, but it is right of the 5.

06-14-2004, 06:41 PM
avoid LAX at all costs!! :earseek:

SNA or LGB would be good :teeth: it'll ulimately depend on what airline you want to fly, if you want to change planes, what time you want to arrive, etc.

06-14-2004, 06:43 PM
If Jet Blue flies to your city, I'd fly into Long Beach. (I live near Long Beach, CA). I like flying Jet Blue and although the Long Beach airport is small, you won't be fighting with the crowds or traffic at LAX. The wait for your baggage and a cab is minimal compared to LAX and the drive from Long Beach will probably be a lot shorter (time wise). You can probably get to the port in 15 minutes from Long Beach.

If you fly into LAX, the time to the port (WITHOUT TRAFFIC) is approx 25 minutes.

From Orange County - at least 35 minutes (WITHOUT TRAFFIC).

Burbank and Ontario are even further away.

06-14-2004, 06:48 PM
I think this is a great question!
We are hoping to take ATA, so I'm going to have to see which airport they fly into (hopefully Orange County).

Horace Horsecollar
06-14-2004, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by inkkognito
We are hoping to take ATA, so I'm going to have to see which airport they fly into (hopefully Orange County).
The only Southern California airport currently served by ATA is Los Angeles International (LAX). The good news is the Port of Los Angeles at San Pedro is only about 20 miles from LAX. The port is also only about 20 miles from Long Beach Airport (LGB). The port is more like 40 miles from Orange County John Wayne Airport (SNA) -- but SNA is the nicest airport of the three, and the closest to Disneyland.
Originally posted by ivanova
avoid LAX at all costs!!
LAX is not that bad. Sure, LAX is a huge airport -- like O'Hare in Chicago or Hartsfield in Atlanta. But it has frequent service and lots of competition.

In the end, you'll probably want to base your choice of airport on airfares. There seems to be no logic to airfares. Any of the three airports can have the best or worst pricing, depending upon your timing and where you're coming from.

06-14-2004, 07:30 PM
Thanks, Horace...I'll be running the fares through Orbitz, as I have no problem with switching airlines for the best fare! But for us, it's hard to beat ATA because we get a free companion ticket for every three fights (no blackouts, so we use them at Christmas and Thanksgiving). The competitors have to beat their fare, plus the equivalent of 1/3 of a freebie to entice us.

jin diesel
06-14-2004, 08:41 PM
I usually drive down to Disneyland, but once I did fly. I flew into LAX and had no problems at all. We grabbed our baggage, stepped ouside, found a shuttle service - and 25 minutes later we were at Disneyland. (And this was on the 4th of July.)

06-14-2004, 09:01 PM
I would come in Orange County..in fact I am visiting family there right now! It is an easier airport to get in and out of, right off the 405, easy to get to Disneyland, etc.

Have a great trip!

06-14-2004, 09:12 PM
WHY is LAX so Bad yet it seems like the best one to use ??

We probably will be flying out of were ever it is that Southwest
Services... Since we have rapid rewards...tix


Horace Horsecollar
06-14-2004, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by Hygiene99
WHY is LAX so Bad yet it seems like the best one to use ??
The big problem with LAX is that it's a huge, busy airport. The walks can be long. The crowds can be big. The baggage claims can be zoos.

At other big airports, such as Atlanta, the majority of passengers are connecting to other flights. But in Los Angeles, most passengers are originating or terminating. This puts a big strain on ground resources, such as baggage claims and rental car shuttles.

Now, having said that, I really don't mind LAX as an airport. One of the great things is the frequent service on major routes. That makes it easier to stand by for earlier flights, and it means that if a flight is delayed or cancelled, it's pretty easy to get to your destination in a reasonable amount of time anyway. (That could be very useful for someone who is flying in on the morning of the cruise.)

I don't like LAX if my destination is coastal Orange County, because I hate the 405 freeway. But if I were going to the Port of Los Angeles, LAX would be my first choice from my home airport, Chicago-O'Hare.
Originally posted by Hygiene99
We probably will be flying out of were ever it is that Southwest
Services... Since we have rapid rewards...
Southwest Airlines serves LAX and Orange County (SNA), but not Long Beach (LGB).

JetBlue has nonstop service from Boston to LGB. Even if you're a Rapid Rewards member, you may find that a nonstop on JetBlue is better than a Southwest flight form Manchester with a connection and stops into LAX or SNA.

AmyJ of Ca
06-15-2004, 12:22 AM
Most of the time we fly out of LAX because it is a lot cheaper than SNA. SNA (John Wayne) is nicer but there are only a limited number of flights in and out and it closes at night and doesn't open until morning. The nice people that live in Newport Beach don't want to be disturbed at night. Also, with that thought in mind, it is quite a ride out of SNA because of the steep angle the planes take off at then they "reduce the throttle" according to my husband/ ...again to appease those in the multi-million dollar houses in Newport. What ever they do and for whatever reason they do it, they should make it into a ride at Disneyland. Can you tell I'm a white knuckle flier!! I like SNA for its convenience but it does have some draw backs. :earseek: :earseek:

jin diesel
06-15-2004, 12:46 AM
I just think it's funny that the name of John Wayne Airport (SNA) may soon be: "THE O.C." John Wayne Airport. :rotfl: (I actually like that show. :tongue: )

What Horace Horsecollar said about LAX is right on. Big city=big aiport. And LA is pretty much where it all starts or stops. Like I mentioned before, I never had any problems there. And it IS cheaper to fly into than John Wayne.

For example, SouthWest always offers really cheap specials from San Jose (bay area) to San Diego and La. But NEVER to Orange County. Orange County is ALWAYS excluded from those "fly anywhere within California, blah blah blah" specials. So if $$ is a consideration - LAX isn't such a bad choice. I flown into JFK and thought it was much more intimidating than LAX. :eek:

Horace Horsecollar
06-15-2004, 01:14 AM
Originally posted by jin diesel
And it IS cheaper to fly into than John Wayne.
Sometimes. But not always.

I just checked for some dates later this summer. From Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) to LAX, the cheapest roundtrip was 243.80. The cheapest roundtrip with nonstops both ways was 258.20.

From Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) to SNA, the cheapest roundtriop was 233.70 -- and that was with nonstops both ways.

I agree that LAX tends to be cheaper. But don't assume that LAX is always cheaper.

jin diesel
06-15-2004, 01:19 AM
Horace, I just meant within California on Southwest. I have never flown to ANYWHERE from Chicago - so I have no idea how much that costs! :p

06-15-2004, 05:53 AM
When we have cruised the Magic, we have flown the day before. I guess the same recommendation goes for CA too?

We would also rent a car for 24 hrs. Would this also be recommended for CA? or just take a cab/shuttle?

Just curious since we are also booked as of now on the July 2nd.

JC Butterfly
06-15-2004, 01:21 PM
Thanks for all the great replies so far!

I don't fly enough to be too loyal to any one airline and the pricing I've done so far is that there is little price difference flying into LAX versus SNA.

Can anyone comment on if there is sufficient ground transportation options (not renting a car) from SNA?

I do understand that LAX is an advantage in the if a flight is cancelled there are more options to getting me home. Also my husband is a white knuckle flyer so I'd have to not mention the thrill ride aspect of SNA if I went that route.

I'm just not comfortable in big airports. O'Hare and Orlando after years and years of flying I am finally warming up to. But Atlanta drove me nuts so just the "idea" of LAX makes me nervous!

Based on responses so far I would deduce that going from SNA to Disneyland is about 10 miles and from LAX to Disneyland it is about 25 miles?

And from the port to LAX is 20 miles and from the port to SNA is 40 miles, so as I suspected what I gain on one leg of the trip becomes the longer portion on the other.

If I plan on going home the day I get off the ship, anyone have any guesses for what the earliest time I could book my flight home would be?

I was guessing with LAX I would need to be there 2 hours prior but perhaps with SNA only an hour prior to flight time would be sufficient?


06-15-2004, 04:16 PM
I live right next to Ontario International Airport. A while back , the city wanted to rename it the Walt Disney Airport to encourage people to fly into Ontario who were visiting Disneyland. At the present, they are still using Ontario International!
Orange County tends to be more expensive to fly into. The only deal I have ever seen at OC is a flight on Aloha to Hawaii for a special promotional fare.
Ontario is farther than OC to Disneyland. During good times, it takes about 45 minutes to drive to Disneyland. During the "Orange Crush - excessive traffic that occurs M-F during the morning and afternoon hours" you have to take side streets to get through Diamond Bar and Fullerton. Jet Blue, American, United, SWA, and America West fly several times a day into Ontario. For us, it is cheaper to fly out of Ontario when visiting Disney World. However, this summer we will be using LAX to fly to Hawaii. Next year we will fly home from Orlando to Ontario after the Repositioning cruise on 9/3/05.
Super Shuttle can pick up or drop off at any So. Cal airport or dock. Rates are cheaper on their web site.
Good luck to all of those visiting the original- Disney Land! As an annual passholder for ten years, Disneyland is still my favorite. So much that we visit it about 3 times a month.

JC Butterfly
12-15-2004, 02:27 PM
this thread really helped me plan so thought I'd bump it in case others are still deciding on their plans :boat:

12-15-2004, 08:18 PM
you might want to visit the Disneyland (California) Forum on this disboards and ask the same question regarding which airport or estimated traveling time to/from port. there are some knowledgeable dis'ers who lives in So. CA and perhaps even do that commute to and from work on a daily basis.