The LAX In ‘n Out Trick Dies on Monday. Here’s a Workaround.

The Parking Spot garage at Los Angeles International Airport on Sepulveda is right next to the In ‘n Out Burger at the edge of a runway.

There you can sit outside and watch planes land. Savvy frequent flyers with long LAX layovers have been known to take the free Parking Spot bus to the Sepulveda location as a way of getting to and from In ‘n Out for free.

I first wrote about this trick and idea for an LAX layover seven years ago.

The era comes to an end for some although there’s still a workaround.

Effective Monday May 4 you will need either your Spot Club card or your parking stub in order to board their shuttle. (HT: Mitch H.)

It doesn’t sound like enforcement is going to be too tough at the outset, the message from Parking Spot includes that in transition over the next couple of months,

our drivers will also be able to provide you with a ‘boarding pass’ if you forget your ticket or Spot Club card in your vehicle after parking.

Want to still ride the shuttle to In ‘n Out for free? Just join their loyalty program. It’s free and you get a Spot Club card.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Or people could walk. It’s only about a 15 min walk from the Southwest terminal, if the sun is out, a very pleasant one.

    Better than going great lengths to con Parking Spot employees and total time is going to be similar anyway.

  2. I wonder if its wise for them to crack down like this, because now many more people might sign up for the loyalty program, and get the card solely for the free rides.

    Conversley, if they kept it quiet, bloggers would not be writing about this situaiton likely and new members who do not intend to park would not be signing up for a loyalty card generating extra printing costs for this company.

    I think now the “trick” might be more on the radar than if they just left it alone? No?

    And wouldn’t the same kind of person who used the trick be the same kind of person who tends to read either BoardingArea or Flyertalk, etc.?

    Was this well thought out, or not?

    This makes me really want to try it now like a 7 out of 10 interest, where as although I read about it before, before it was like a 4 or 5 out of 10 on the interest scale. So the crack down makes me more motivated and likely to try it? I’m sure thats not what they had in mind in creating the crack down?

    Also wouldn’t it have been smarter to quietly do the crack down instead of sending out emails, and drumming up the interest of the miles and points & aviation geeks?

  3. If you choose to walk, I’d recommend maintaining awareness of your surroundings and wouldn’t do it at night. The neighborhood around LAX is not the greatest and there are a lot of touts in the area. I hated when I forgot to refuel my rental car and was forced to stop at one of the Century Blvd. stations. Inevitably 2-3 people would walk up while I was at the pump with some lame story trying to get money or offer services that I did not want. Most were harmless but some were on the aggressive side. I also remember staying at one of the airport hotels and being warned by the manager about walking across the street to a restaurant at night…because of recent mugging activity. YMMV.

  4. Another option is to respect the wishes of a private business who don’t want to waste their money and resources ferrying people for fast food

    This should fall under the “want first class, but first class” mantra. Want to get to in and out burger? Pay to get to in and out burger

  5. I’ve never run across a tout walking to In N Out, the walking route is basically just following the airport perimeter, so I don’t even know where they’d hang out. The roads you have to walk along are busy but the sidewalk is wide and you get a lot of sunlight.

  6. I second the comment regarding the touts, some aggressive, hanging outside the terminal and along the airport perimeter. They are usually hawking overpriced taxi services, but some also specialize in fake watches, sunglasses or handbags. I’ve seen some get very confrontational if you politely decline their goods or services. Keep your wits about you in this area, and I would never EVER attempt this route on foot after sundown.

  7. This “trick” died because of the abundance of bloggers recently posting about it trying to generate page clicks.

  8. What’s ironic is that for CrankyFlier’s Dorkfest in 2013, they specifically told us we could use their shuttle to get to In ‘N Out. And I used it.

  9. Ive done the walk from IN n out to lax a bunch of times, I dont think I’ve ever even walked by a single person the whole way. It’s a bit of a pain if you’re hauling heavy luggage though 😮

  10. What’s next? Hotels asking to room keys so you can’t walk in off the street and eat a free breakfast?

    I second the recommendation to walk. You will burn about 5 french fries’ worth of calories.

  11. Bet the drivers wouldn’t bat an eye if that parking stub was a couple of dollars. I like In n Out, but the complete craze over their food reminds me of how everyone outside of the West wanted a Coors in the early ’70s. There’s a chain in Oregon and Washington (Burgerville) that’s much better.

  12. I’m not a fanatic of In N’ Out, but one of the selling points is it’s damn cheap. If you don’t waste time with fries, a burger is like <$2.50. For this reason, I understand why the "free"-ness of the shuttle is important. It justifies the trip somewhat. That said, I'd walk if I cared enough to eat a cheap burger (and I don't care).

  13. I would feel bad about taking advantage of a private business just so I could get a burger. I would recommend instead (as I have done) take the C bus to the economy parking lot, this puts you about 3 blocks from In-N-Out, giving you a way to work off a few of the calories you are about to ingest. Based on their website, you are allowed to take the C bus, even if you are not parking at this lot, as the LAX World Airports website says you can use the C shuttle as a method of connecting to the LA City Bus service.

  14. Their allowing spot club members to uses their buses is intentional. They get to market to you. That’s what they get in exchange for letting you ride the bus.

  15. Burgerville is not better than In n Out.

    The one time I didn’t just walk (realized that I was running short on time), I tipped the Parking Spot driver a $5 for letting me ride back. The C lot shuttle is a good idea – I think I looked into it and didn’t think there was a convenient way to walk out of the lot once dropped off. Many fences.

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