Is Burbank Airport Busy?

So many people never question the X when they consider flying into Hollywood. Originally, airports simply had a two-letter code. LA airport made sense.

But, in the 1930s (yes, that early on!) they changed airport codes to three letters and several places simply threw an X on the end. It’s important to know the history of airport coding, as we don’t want you to be confused. Los Angeles International Airport is anything but lax.

Many people don’t know that it’s not your only gateway into Tinseltown, though. Hollywood Burbank Airport, formerly Bob Hope Airport, is also in L.A. and gives Los Angeles International a run for its money.

is burbank airport busy

(photo: Minnaert)

Is Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) easier than Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)?

Yes, according to a 2019 news report by ABC 7 that reported on the rankings released by Fodors Travel Guide who ranked the airports across America from best to worst according to a survey. The best airport on their list? BUR. The worst? LAX. What are the odds?

BUR is allegedly “free of most of the hassles of travel” compared to other airports nationally, but especially LAX, it’s closest rival by proximity but not by standards. It’s considered easier due to its easy access from the airport shuttle and its affordable parking options. LAX is not easy because of its congestion, the major factor that put it at the bottom of the list.

Is Burbank Airport busy?

It’s generally agreed that Burbank Airport is generally not busy and has no wait time, especially if you compare it to its rival. Most airport users recommend arriving an hour before your scheduled boarding time, though many say they got through check-in and security in under 20 minutes.

Obviously, traveling without a checked bag can speed up the process. Plus, wait times are generally longer for international flights, so anything domestic should be a breeze in comparison.

How far is BUR from LAX?

To drive, it takes just over an hour to get from one airport to another. The trip would take you through central Los Angeles, so it’s likely the drive would take considerably less time without traffic.

There are routes to take from one airport to the other on public transit, but you would have to change once at Union Station in the center of the city. It would take about an hour and a half to make the trip.

Which airlines fly out of Burbank Airport?

Ten airlines fly out of BUR. Domestic airlines include:

  • Alaska

  • American Airlines

  • Avelo Airlines

  • Delta

  • Frontier 

  • Jet Blue

  • Southwest

  • Spirit

  • United

Its only international airline is Flair Airlines which services Vancouver and Edmonton, Canada.

Is BUR a major airport?

BUR is an integral airport for the southwest states, servicing many of California’s neighbors. It also offers non-stop flights to Nashville, Chicago, and New York, putting it in the spotlight.

While it may not be considered “major” as it only flies to 13 states and two Canadian cities, its connection to New York (read: the opposite coast) is integral for an airport that can serve as an alternative to LAX.

Is it cheaper to fly to LAX or BUR?

According to SkyScanner, if you wanted to fly in August (prime vacation season), a flight from New York to 

  • LAX would cost you about $250 if you stayed for a week.

  • BUR would cost you about $290 if you stayed for a week.

According to SkyScanner, if you wanted to fly in August (prime vacation season), a flight from Chicago to

  • LAX would cost you about $226 if you stayed for a week.

  • BUR would cost you about $360 if you stayed for a week.

At BUR, parking daily rates range from $13-$24 depending on the lot. If you take public transport to get to L.A. Union Station, you can choose between the Metrolink Ventura County or Antelope Valley bus lines – it takes 28 minutes and costs $6 each way. Another option is the Pacific Surfliner route on Amtrak which takes the same amount of time and costs $11 each way.

Meanwhile, at LAX, daily parking starts at $30 and can go up to $60 depending on what lot you’re in. LAX only has one public transport option to Union Station: the LAX FlyAway Bus. It costs $9.75 each way.

While flights to BUR are more expensive than flights to LAX, the transport costs of getting to the airport are cheaper for BUR. If you manage to magically find days that work for you, flying from BUR seems like a better deal, but it’s more likely to be more expensive.

Which is closer to Disneyland?

LAX, depending on your mode of transport.

LAX to Disney takes over two hours and several transfers if you take public transport. It’s only a 45 minute drive if you have a car, though. BUR to Disney is the same amount of time and hassle for public transportation, but would take over an hour to drive from, making LAX ever so slightly closer to the most magical place on Earth.

What do residents say about BUR?

While Yelp is more commonly associated with restaurant reviews, it has got the major airports on it. The lowest rated by far is LAX, with a mere 2.5 stars from over 6,000 reviews.

JFK in New York, Chicago O’Hare, Orlando International, and Washington Dulles airports all share a 3 star rating. Then BUR comes in at a full 4 stars from over 1,600 reviews. Suffice to say the people are happy with BUR.

In post-COVID travel times, many reassure that BUR is just as good as ever, with little to no lines and wait times. Reddit users insist that it’s a small airport that’s easy to navigate.

Some have even been the only single person in the terminal before (and no, their flight wasn’t cancelled)! In fact, BUR is so good that people go out of their way to convince others that LAX is better in the hopes that people will still book flights out of LAX and leave BUR calm and empty.

One tweet tried to spread this joke on twitter, prompting 33,000 likes and 2,800 retweets. Perhaps he’s providing a service for us all – BUR is a great airpot to fly into, just don’t tell your friends!

Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

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