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My Upgrade for an In N Out Burger

a cheeseburger with a drink in the background

When planning my last minute mileage run to Los Angeles last weekend I had to make a tough decision. Did I choose the flights that would almost guarantee an upgrade on the outbound? Or did I choose the flight that would give me a long enough layover that I can catch the bus and grab a quick burger at my favorite fast food place?

I was booking the flights on Tuesday for a straight turn on Saturday, which, incidentally would be only my second mileage run where I did a mileage run that didn’t have me leaving the airport. One flight, which left at a respectable 8:32AM and routed through Philly, was showing plenty of first class inventory, but would only arrive an hour til my return flight.

The other, routed through Charlotte, left at 6:45 and gave me 2 hours to sprint for the In N Out. But it was showing only one first class seat available. My chances, even as a Chairman, would be much slimmer.

A tough decision – more sleep and guaranteed upgrades or a chance to sit outside in the California sunshine for at least 30 minutes and enjoy a burger off-site.

One of the “secrets” to a layover at LAX is that there’s a free way to get from the airport to the nearest In N Out Burger, if you have at least a 2 hour layover.  The Parking Spot on Sepulveda Blvd is located right next to the nearest In N Out.

a map of a city

Supposedly you can just take their free shuttle to that location and then walk next door. According to the website, shuttles run every 5-7 minutes. So assume you wait a full 7 minutes, calculate 10 minutes (probably less) to the location, and you’re looking at most at 34 minutes in transit to get there and back. Just make sure:

1). You get on the shuttle to the Sepulveda and not the Century Blvd location.
2). If you’re there during the lunch rush, you leave enough time to order and get your food.

But back to my saga, I booked in favor of the upgrade via Orbitz, then waffled, finally deciding to go for the burger. But when I went back to buy that flight and cancel my other within the 24 hour period, my return flight was gone. Upgrade it was.

But fate had other plans. As I was driving to the BWI hotel I was overnighting at (and doing a mattress run) before my flight the next day, I got a phone call that my flight to PHL had been cancelled. I immediately got on the phone to customer service, and you can probably guess what flight they rebooked me on.

The flight through Charlotte, which was no showing 0 First Class. But at least I’d get a burger!

a woman eating a burger

And as luck would have it, a friend happened to be free over lunch and picked me up! Increasing my outdoor time (and fun). It was right around 12:30 when we arrived, and though the drive through lane had about a 30 minute wait, it was only about 5 minutes to place our order inside, though it took another 15 minutes to get the food because of the lunch rush.

While we were waiting to order, there was a sudden buzz and people were pulling out their cameras. A celebrity sighting! I was so excited until the man turned around and it was Newt Gingrich. Out of all the people to see having just flown from DC, it had to be a politician. Invalid request error occurred.


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  1. I am doing a mini-RTW in August and have 5 hours to kill at LAX after the TRANSPAC segment. Can’t wait to eat my first In N Out burger!

    1. Keep it mind it won’t be the best burger you’ve ever had, but it’s likely to be the best fast food burger!

      1. Uhhh…. didn’t I tell you? We’ve had them for over a year now. Not in Denton (of course), but in the DFW area in general. It started with 5, now there’s 18; I think the closest one to us is in Grapevine. There’s three in the Austin area now too!

  2. If I had someone picking me up at LAX, In-N-Out down the block on Sepulveda would be one of the last places I’d choose to go.

  3. Just walking over (via sidewalk) doesn’t take me more than 15 minutes each way, and burns off at least one or two fries worth of calories…

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