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The LAX airport has an official long-term parking lot near the airport terminals, Economy Lot C, which is a much cheaper option compared to parking in a terminal garage, and cheaper than many nearby private parking lots (with rates on par to private lots further away).

Unfortunately, a large portion of the lot has been closed off due to construction work as part of a massive modernization program. Also, LAX doesn't accept parking reservations, so if one turns up there and the lot's full, one has to search for a parking space at a private lot.

Is it easy to find a parking space at Lot C given that much of the lot has been closed off, or should I pre-book a space at a private lot? Most private lots with similar rates are much further away from the airport, closer to the 405 freeway, which thus means a much longer shuttle ride to and from the airport than with Lot C.

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In my case, I found it easy to find space at the lot. I came in when the site said that the lot was completely full beyond capacity, but I was able to find a space just as someone was backing out.

A friend of mine showed up to the lot with the site showing that only 25% of the spaces were occupied, but with a clear signboard indicating that the lot was full. However, he looked past the sign and saw an empty space. The automatic gate let him through, and he occupied that space.

In both cases, the site was fairly out of date. I'm not sure how heavily the site is cached, but you can't rely on it for up-to-date statistics.

My suggestion is that if you plan to park at LAX, make a reservation at a far-off private lot that does not require advance prepayment, and arrive very early to the airport. Take a chance at Lot C and see if you can find an empty space. If not, just go drive off to the private lot you reserved. You will probably be charged $4 for the first hour in Lot C, but this is way cheaper than arriving a little later and finding that Lot C is full, then being forced to park at a nearby private lot with much higher rates.

Note that if you're planning to travel during a holiday, when there is a higher-than-usual level of passenger traffic at the airport, it's probably best to simply make a reservation and park at a private lot instead of spending $4 at Lot C before heading to your reserved private lot.

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