Base Feature: Compass’ Crew Guide to LAX

Los Angeles, the City of Angels, La-La Land, LA… whatever you call it, Compass Airlines is happy to call LAX one of our West Coast bases. As one of the top three busiest airports in the country, LAX provides our crews with a diverse on-the-line experience and helps prepare them for their move to the majors.

LAX airport sign
Airport code sign in front of Los Angeles International Airport.

However, here at Compass we understand the need for a healthy work-life balance and the City of Los Angeles does not disappoint. Whether it be breathtaking skylines, unique food, outdoor activities or a variety of entertainment options—read further to learn more about the city, fun things to explore, and what LAX has to offer our crews!

With more than 40-years of residency in Los Angeles, Captain Andrew O’Donnell shares a wealth of knowledge about the uniqueness of the city and what it has to offer. Captain O’Donnell says it’s impossible for crews to experience boredom in Los Angeles, because there’s so much to do.

“The best thing about Los Angeles is that you don’t have to be someone you’re not. If you have a hobby that you really like to do there’s a huge chance that you can go places specifically for your hobby,” Captain O’Donnell said. “You can be an outdoor enthusiast, a movie lover, shopping addict, a surfer, or even a sailboat skipper.”

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Captain O’Donnell happily poses with all of the things he relates to LA.

People don’t always realize that when you’re based in LAX, there’s not only exposure to the bustling downtown of Los Angeles, but also the individuality of the surrounding neighborhoods and cities.

Hollywood is the obvious go-to for all things entertainment-related ,whether it be the star-filled walk of fame or several historic theaters and music venues. West Hollywood (affectionately referred to as WeHo) offers an exciting nightlife where rainbow flags can be seen lining the streets. No surprise, WeHo hosts the LA Pride Parade every year!

Hollywood sign.

Marina and Playa del Ray are popular for boating and water sports, calming even the most stressed with the serenity of the water. Long Beach is a sea port city South of Los Angeles, offering crews a more relaxed alternative if LA isn’t their specific cup of tea.

Malibu is West of Los Angeles. Besides being known for numerous celebrity homes, it tends to be the go-to spot for surfing. Being based at LAX means having numerous unique communities all within a 35-mile radius!

Being such a diverse city, it doesn’t come as a shock that Los Angeles offers top-notch dining options as well as several local watering holes. Whether a foodie, craft beer connoisseur or wine enthusiast, LA has something to offer our crews.

la beach
LA is filled with beautiful beaches.

Captain and Assistant Chief Pilot, Luis Perea-Rodriguez likes to enjoy the diverse eateries available to him in the area listing “The Attic, El Portón, Long Beach Thai and Hak Heang” as his favorites along with his go to brewery being the very popular Ballast Point.

With more than 20 breweries and more than eight thousand restaurants within the City of Los Angeles there’s something for everyone! If all else fails, grab some fries animal style at the LAX In-and-Out and watch the planes come in to land on runway 24R.

First Officer Matthew Ayer tries to combine his passion for veganism with staying active outdoors, which he says [Los Angeles] is a major perk for people with his similar interests.

First Officer Matthew Ayer, pictured right with his colleague, First Officer Riggs Oliva.

“I love being active and doing things that keep my adrenaline pumping. Since I’m vegan, I not only see the importance of cleaning eating, but exercising as well,” Matthew said. “If you’re like me and you’re very health conscious, LA is definitely the place to help support your lifestyle.”

Preferring land or sea won’t make a difference, there are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from! There’s no shortage of hiking trails within the San Gabriel mountain range just north of LA. Lime bikes and scooters make it cheap and easy to explore the area without the hassle of driving or finding an elusive parking spot. If a combination of both ocean and land is the preference, take a stroll along numerous piers and boardwalks to soak up the views and shop with local vendors.

Flight Attendant, Indaca Brown moved from Wisconsin to Los Angeles and shares how she managed to adapt well to her work hub.

“When I first moved to LA I noticed it was a huge difference from my hometown. The weather is much warmer and there’s more things to do in your leisure time,” Indaca said. One of my favorite things to do when I’m not flying is going to the beach. I find it to be very therapeutic. I love listening to the sound of the ocean and watching the sun set in the night hour.”

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Indaca Brown poses in front of our mainline partner, American Airlines’ aircraft.

If  you’re similar to Indaca and enjoy taking advantage of LA’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean, you can relax on the many public beaches or get a bit more adventurous with surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and sailing opportunities all around!

Not considered the outdoorsy type? Don’t fret! Los Angeles wouldn’t be the international hub that it is without being well-rounded. There’s world famous shopping to partake in on Rodeo Drive. Family fun can be had at the renowned Universal Studios, Disneyland, LA Zoo or the Griffith Observatory. Wanting to experience the finer things in life? See live music performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall or catch a movie premier at TCL Chinese Theatre. Classic or modern art enthusiast? Los Angeles is home to more than 20 museums, each one offering a unique art experience.


Walt Disney Concert Hall.

If you’re interested in Compass Airlines but not sure about making the move to Los Angeles, you’re not alone. Being new to a job and a city can be challenging for some to adjust to. Captain Amy Doolittle moved to Los Angles from the East Coast when she started with Compass back in 2016.

“I was a little concerned I wouldn’t know anyone but I realized pretty quickly how tight-knit and welcoming the Compass family is.” Captain Doolittle said.

Utilizing the company travel benefits is a top priority for Captain Doolittle. “Los Angeles is a portal to the rest of the world. You can hop on a flight out of LAX and get anywhere!”

la palm trees
Beautiful weather in L.A.

Whether you’re a Los Angeles native or new to the city, there’s plenty to keep crews occupied in their free time, there’s something for everyone to make the city feel like home! Our recruiters and LAX crew are happy to answer any questions you have about the city. Visit our careers page to learn more about open positions in LAX!

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