No More Free Rides To In-N-Out LAX

I’ll be the first to admit my food tastes are a bit odd. I hate bacon with a passion, and I don’t like burgers either. So In-N-Out as a chain is a bit lost on me, though I certainly recognize they’re better than the other fast food burger joints out there.

That being said, I always appreciated the In-N-Out on Sepulveda Boulevard, near LAX airport. That’s because the In-N-Out is immediately below the final approach course for one of the airport’s runways, so you can enjoy some sunshine while sitting just a few hundred feet below all kinds of heavy aircraft.

Many have planned long layovers at LAX simply to visit In-N-Out, and the way many would get to In-N-Out is by taking The Parking Spot shuttle, since it’s located immediately next to In-N-Out. This was always a bit shady, since presumably they’re not running a shuttle in order to transport people to a fast food joint.

TheParkingSpot

Well, I guess this has been taken advantage of a bit too much, because The Parking Spot shuttle is now verifying that people are actually renting from them in order to use the shuttle.

Via Fly&Dine reader goheerow:

Important Information: New Pick-Up Procedures at LAX

We have some new procedures to share with you at The Parking Spot Century and The Parking Spot Sepulveda at LAX.
Over the past few months, we have noticed more and more people who are not parked at The Parking Spot riding our shuttles to and from the airport grounds. Because these non-customers did not park with us, they are taking seats on our shuttles from you, our guests.

In an effort to improve your experience and to make sure that only guests of The Parking Spot are using our shuttles, we have adjusted our pick-up procedure. Starting next Monday, May 4th, 2015, please have either your Spot Club card or the ticket you pulled at entrance handy to show the shuttle driver when you return back home from your trip. Either of these items will act as your “shuttle boarding pass.”

To help create an easy transition for you over the next couple 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.

Thank you for your cooperation as we implement these new procedures to help improve our shuttle service!

It has been close to five years since I’ve visited the In-N-Out LAX, so this doesn’t impact me much personally. That being said, I’m sure some people will be quite sad about this.

Bottom line

On one hand I’m surprised it took The Parking Spot this long to crack down on people using their shuttles. On other hand, ultimately it probably generated goodwill and tips for their drivers, and I doubt people headed to In-N-Out were displacing parkers, so I’m not sure there was much downside.

Nowadays you’re best off walking to In-N-Out or taking an Uber.

Comments

  1. Maybe In-and-Out should make some kind of advertising arrangement with The Parking Spot. Unless other commenters report that there was a serious problem it would be mutual beneficial.

  2. Interesting. I always see those vans there, so it makes sense. Since UberX cannot pick-up at LAX, it is quite common for people to take any shuttle (hotel, rental car, parking) to get far enough away from the airport that UberX can pick-up.

  3. No problem. I’ve always taken the free Parking Lot Shuttle “C”. Get off at the parking lot then walk a pleasant two blocks down Sepulveda to Inn-N-Out as planes fly over your head. Then get back to LAX the way you came.

  4. If you are coming from the western end of LAX the Lot C shuttle will get you there halfway. Walk west towards Pacific Coast Highway and then make a right. There is a crosswalk in front of In N Out.

  5. I always walk. It’s not that far and I feel a walk is necessary to work off all those calories!

  6. As a native Californian, I’ve never gotten the allure of In N’ Out. It’s decent but Shake Shack and Five Guys are much better although admittedly at a higher price.

  7. No Uber @LAX. This might really be what is driving (pun intended) this change. I have been guilty of taking the Parking Spot shuttle to the Century location and meeting my Uber across the street at Carl’s Jr.

  8. @Jamie – this native New Yorker lives ~5 minutes away from the original shake shack in Madison Square Park. And all I can say, in the nicest, most respectful way possible – is that you’re freaking nuts if you think the Shake Shack is better than In and Out.

  9. “ultimately it probably generated goodwill and tips for their drivers”

    Seriously? If you are so cheap to jump on a parking shuttle to go to In N Out, you aren’t tipping the drivers in a big way. Stop giving the people that follow your blog so much credit. This blog is all about how to get the most by spending the least. Not about how to be a big spender.

  10. I would not advocate taking advantage of their shuttle if you are not a paying customer, but, as a regular parker at the Parking Spot in the ATL, they run enough shuttles that I have never been on a completely full one. Don’t know about LAX. I can’t fault them though…I am a very satisfied and loyal customer! They run a great service and you can get points for parking! Whooohooo!

  11. I’m on the Sepulveda Parking Spot shuttle all the time as a paying customer and only once have I ever taken it where there has been less than 5 empty seats. Their shuttles come and go with great regularity.

    The death of this trick is due to the excessive amount of bloggers that have written about it in the past year trying to generate clicks for their page, some even claiming it’s ok because there is a door directly from the Parking Spot garage to In N Out with an arrow saying “In N Out this way.” I don’t have an interest in this as I can just get in my car and go through the drive though when I arrive, but this is just another example of greed killing another deal.

  12. I’m a regular paying customer at the Sepulveda Parking Spot and have on multiple occasions had to wait for a second shuttle because the first one that passed me was full. I’m pretty glad they’re cracking down on this! 🙂

  13. Jaime is spot on. In-n-Out has to be the most overrate, overhyped burger chain in the country. It’s good, but not exceptional. Certainly a notch below Five Guys and Shake Shack (among others).

  14. Is there any hotel within easy walking distance to this In and Out? I have a stopover for 1 day and won’t be renting a car, pretty much just hang out at whatever hotel. Would be cool if there was an In and Out nearby.

  15. I tried this In ‘n’ Out last time I picked up a hire car at LAX. Supremely unimpressed I’m afraid – the chips (fries) were limp and the burger had a weird pink sauce that overpowered any flavour from the beef. Overpriced and overhyped I’m afraid, definitely won’t be heading back!

  16. Well, the timing of this is pretty funny. I literally just took the Parking Spot shuttle yesterday and noticed BIG signs on-board that I hadn’t seen before stating, “Shuttle for The Parking Spot customers only, and, as mentioned above, showing the ticket stub or Spot Club card was required for riding on the shuttle.” I figured something was up. I always tipped the driver a $5 bill as a gesture of good will and never ever had a problem. While I, too, have never seen the LAX shuttles full – or close – I can’t say the same at DEN. I love the Parking Spot at DEN, and use it regularly, and those shuttles are routinely much fuller than LAX.

    Can anybody say where the “Lot C” bus picks up from? Does it pick up from each terminal?

    I am a Spot Club member so may try just using my card in the future, too.

    I LOVE In-N-Out and purposely fly through LAX to get some. Riding on the shuttles in the first place was what endeared me to using the Parking Spot in Denver.

  17. @Ray – he’s referring to increase in tips and goodwill from the Parking Spot patrons, not from the In-n-Out stowaways.

  18. Come on guys, it’s not that hard to get uberX pickups at LAX. Just set your pickup location to just outside the airport and then text your driver with your actual terminal. It’s worked every time for me.

  19. Me thinks I should set-up one of my employees with a boring Mazda 5 (the one with the sliding doors) and run a $5.00 round-trip shuttle service between the terminals at LAX and In-N-Out on Sepulveda (or as one of my new to California employees says…SEP–LOO–VEDA…too funny).

    I’ll call it the “Up-N-Down Express”, and even expand it to other nearby burger joints. I should probably design an Uber-esque app for it as well. I’ll include the “wink” feature so that my driver will actually pick you up at the terminals – instead of having to schlep out to the corner of Sepulveda and Century.

    If the service proves popular – I’ll start an “elite” level. After every 10 paid shuttle trips in a calendar year – you will receive – one free order of In-N-Out Animal-style french fries, and you’ll ride in style in the front passenger seat! (subject to award availability).

    SO_CAL_RETAIL_SLUT

  20. It’s truly shameful that people lie just to get on the Sepulveda Parking Spot Shuttles just to catch an Uber Car or to go to In N Out ! Or just to go to the Shopping Center ion It’s truly shameful that people lie just to get on the Sepulveda Parking Spot Shuttles just to catch an Uber Car or to go to In N Out ! Or just to go to the Shopping Center on Sepulveda !! As an X Shuttle Driver most of them NEVER TIp!!! !! As an X Shuttle Driver most of them NEVER TIp!!!

  21. It’s bad when Lax employees are rushing the shuttle driver to hurry When they are loading a paying guest from the Parking Spot because they are late for work! Lax employees are the worst ! They never tip!! Well I’ll take that back many 2% of them do! It’s truly shameful that people lie just to get on the Sepulveda Parking Spot Shuttles just to catch an Uber Car or to go to In N Out ! Or just to go to the Shopping Center on Sepulveda !! As an X Shuttle Driver most of them NEVER TIp!!! !!

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