A reader asked about her daughter’s upcoming overseas travels. The young woman will be flying to Fiji, departing on a late-night flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The night before the flight, she’ll stay at a hotel near the airport, which has a checkout time of 11 a.m. — nearly 12 hours before the Fiji flight. She plans to spend the day soaking up the SoCal sun before getting cooped up in coach and wants to shower before her late-night, 10-hour, overseas flight. “Should she ask for a late check-out,” the mother wanted to know.

That would mean paying for an additional night at the hotel, or at least a fee for the extra time. Typically, courtesy late checkouts grant an hour or two. When a traveler wants to hang around until the sun sets, that limits the hotel’s ability to sell the room for the night. In this case, the Westin near LAX charges $50 to check out at 4 p.m.

I first searched for a spa at LAX that offers showers. There are none for the general public. That surprised me, especially since the XpresSpa Regis Salon at our own, smaller Minneapolis-St. Paul International offers showers (the one located at the entrance to Concourse D). The only way to get a shower at LAX is to pay $50 for a day pass to the Delta Sky Lounge or be a member of the military and head to the airport’s USO.

I discovered this via LAX’s website. All airports have one (the one for MSP is particularly easy to navigate). Anyone who has a layover can do advance planning for restaurants, children’s play areas and even showers.

My next hope was a hotel near LAX that offers a day pass at its gym. Again, I came up empty-handed. But since the young woman is staying at the Westin, she is going to ask if she can use the gym facilities even after she checks out. It has a shower. If that fails, she’ll hit a visitor-friendly gym after her day in the sun.


Reach Kerri Westenberg at travel@startribune.com; follow her on twitter @kerriwestenberg.