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Fly into LA On-Time and Avoid the Hassle of LAX

By mileage, Hollywood is probably equidistant between LAX, the massive monstrosity of the Los Angeles International Airport and BUR, the Burbank Airport now named for long time celebrity resident Bob Hope. But if flying to or from the heart of LA’s entertainment centers and tourist meccas of the “boulevard” where Hollywood, Sunset or Ventura, I find it always preferable when possible to fly into the little airport in the San Fernando Valley. For about 80 years, the airport known to Southern California travelers as the most convenient for flying to or from Los Angeles. Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport is served by Alaska Airlines, American AA, JetBlue, SkyWest - Delta Connection, United, Southwest Airlines, and US Airways, providing frequent flight schedules along the West Coast; with direct or connecting flights across the U.S. and non-stop flights to New York. Ticket prices for flights are comparable to LAX, to some destinations a bit higher, but can save on transfer costs and worth the difference in convenience factor.

The Bob Hope Airport is the only terminal in the entire Southern California region that has its own Amtrak train station with connections to downtown Union Station and the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Santa Barbara. I often hear questions of how to get to Disneyland from LAX - by pricey bus through backed up traffic on the 405 Freeway. From Burbank, take the train to Anaheim. Stay at a hotel near LAX and you’re an hour away from anywhere you might want to go (except the beach). From Burbank its 15 minutes to the movie studios and amusements at Universal, with the subway line into Hollywood – or with a rental car 20 minutes drive to tinsel town and the sidewalk stars of Hollywood Boulevard.

Most of the flights into and out of Burbank are Boeing 737s and Airbus A300s. Burbank’s runways are on the short side as major airports go, so landing is always a bit of a thrill, with the air back brakes kicking in as soon as the wheels touch the tarmac, readily demonstrating the theory of mass x energy. A brief thrill ride you don’t have to go to Universal Studios or Six Flags to find, though those two amusement attraction are nearest the Burbank Airport should more thrills be in your plans. The Bob Hope Airport in Burbank is the closest airport to Downtown L.A. and Staples Center, Hollywood, Disney Studios, Warner Bros., NBC, Universal Studios, the Rose Bowl, Dodger Stadium, Griffith Park and the Los Angeles Zoo, the Autry Museum, and Magic Mountain.

Everything is in close proximity at Burbank – no long concourses or long check-in lines, the TSA security check is usually a breeze, with the economy parking lots, with a $9 daily rate, a 4 minute shuttle ride away, or valet parking right at the terminal door. No long taxis around the countryside to get to the gate, as soon as the plane touches down its at the gate. And Burbank still uses roll up ladders for exit, so you can get in and out through the front or back doors. With Southern California weather, there’s really not much need for those covered airport gantry cattle shoots, and rental cars are just steps from the baggage claim.

Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport has a unique history. It was originally the main airport for Los Angeles. During World War II the airport was bought by Lockheed, with its factories nearby turning out the thousands of B-17 and B-34 bombers, and 10,000 "Fork-Tail Devil" P-38 fighters that helped win in Europe and the Pacific. After the war, the major airlines moved operations to the Los Angeles Airport by the sea, leaving Burbank as the local sleepy secret of private aviation. But with the development of jet aircraft which could land at shorter runways, commercial aircraft returned to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport, then renamed in honor of legendary entertainer Bob Hope in 2003. Many of the early aviation pioneer heroes of aviation have passed through the doors of the facility, Amelia Earhart who flew Lockheeds, frequented the factory (see Museum of Women Pilots), as well as Wiley Post, Charles Lindbergh and Lockheed Aircraft chief “Skunkworks” test pilot Tony LaVier. So imagine yourself as part of the legacy as you’re pressed against your seat belt with the roar of back brakes, testing the theory of momentum deceleration. But don’t worry, Burbank has one of the safest landing records - except there was that one time… © Bargain Travel West

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