In a little over 24 hours I'll be landing at LAX from an international flight and have 5 hours to fill before my connecting domestic flight. I'd like to get out and see some local shops, particularly REI which is 4.5 miles away. I think a Lime scooter (other brands too, that's the only one we have here in Auckland) would be the best way to go. Are un-docked e-scooters available in LAX and can I legal ride one on the footpath with no helmet?

clarification I am not suggesting riding a scooter inside the terminal. I am talking about finding where they might be parked outside so that I can get to and from some shops 4.5 miles away.

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    The terminal area explicitly bans them and it's very likely because of that there won't be any outside. As this is conjecture, I am not putting this as an answer.
    – user4188
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 21:09
  • Make sure your travel/health insurance is up to date first...
    – Doc
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 22:03
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    Be careful with electronic scooters. I've fallen off Lime scooters at fairly high speeds twice and gotten injured both times, one of which required an emergency room visit. Also, 4.5 miles is a long distance for an electric scooter; I'd recommend just taking a taxi instead.
    – gparyani
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 23:21
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    Also note time spent clearing immigration, customs, and security: if you have five hours between your international flight's arrival time and your onward domestic segment, subtract 3 hours for all of these, plus boarding time for your onward flight.
    – gparyani
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 23:24
  • @gparyani Depending on how many other planes land at the same time, its reasonable to get through security and customs at LAX in an hour and I would say 90 minutes tops. But yes, the OP would have to be through security for his domestic flight at least 30 minutes before it takes off, and it could take a long time to get through security (I've caught flights at LAX where the security line was down the steps, out the door and along the sidewalk)
    – Peter M
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


No airport in the US in their right mind is going to allow un-docked scooters to be left lying around their property.

Look at it from the TSA security point of view - dropping a scooter off is tantamount to leaving a suspicious package (full of wires and batteries to boot) lying in the middle of a vulnerable location. And even if you had docked scooters, there is no way to validate that a scooter brought into the airport has not been tampered with. So again that won't fly.

The TSA is very nervous when it comes to security, so anything that could even appear to compromise that stance is not allowed (even if those policies are full on cray-cray at times).

That being said, an airport such as LAX is not really a suitable location for scooters in the first place (and I know LAX from many trips there). You have thousands of people in a rush to get from ground transportation to gates or from gate to gate, and a large number carrying large amounts of luggage with them. And did I mentions the stairs? None of that would suit itty bitty scooters which nominally only support riders under 200lbs (and the average weight of adults in the US is 180lbs - but I swear that there must be a lot of skinny people in the US hiding in the woodwork)

So forget the scooter and do what everyone else in LA seems to do - use a car or a bus.

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    Most airports allow cars to park on their property and they would be much more dangerous in terms of being able to conceal a boot (trunk?) load of scooters. It wouldn't be unreasonable to have a parking bay for scooters and a sign saying not to go any further into the property.
    – Craig
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 3:40
  • @Craig there is a difference between something happening in a parking lot at LAX (several hundred metres away from the gates) vs something happening in the middle of a line of people at the curbside. And restricting the scooters to a "safe" area would make them useless
    – Peter M
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 4:20
  • @Craig No airport that I know of lets cars park near the terminal. Many of them don't even allow private cars to drop people off at the terminal, these days. Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 13:38
  • I don't think this kind of airport security is TSA's responsibility but, rather, the airport's and/or the local police. But that doesn't make any material difference. Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 13:39
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    @PeterM You've said scooters don't go on stairs, so I should use a car or a bus. My request was definitely about getting away from the airport, not moving between passengers within the terminal or even between terminals.
    – Craig
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 0:40

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