Wednesday, December 16, 2009

LAX is not Even Kidding About Being There Two Hours Before Your Flight

The airport. I almost always try to fly out of Burbank airport whenever possible [side note: I know it's Bob Hope Airport, or "Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport" but no one ever EVER calls it that...just "Burbank", because? It's in Burbank]. I do this because it is small, and quaint, and you kind of don't mind being there. I mean, there's only one baggage claim! You can't get lost. You don't get tired walking from your car to the building. Or from the ticket counter to your gate. You get what I'm saying. But! Airfare being what it is (or was), my recent trip to visit family back east meant if I could afford to fly, I was flying out of LAX. And I hate just about everything there is to hate about LAX.

Exhibit A) American Airlines is located in the international terminal and I couldn't believe my luck when I found a parking spot at the mouth of the bridge that would take me exactly where I needed to be! Except that it wasn't until I reached the other side that I learned the ticket counters and baggage check were DOWNSTAIRS. The only elevator in sight was equipped with a keyhole and not a single button. There were escalators! Except I had to go down a mid sized flight of stairs to reach them. With my very heavy and equally awkward suitcase.

Exhibit B) At the ticket counter there is First Class check in, Priority, some special "I paid too much for my ticket" club, and self-check. The self-checkers make up about 90% of the travelers and not all of them can operate a credit card swipey machine at the grocery store let alone a "print your own ticket" kiosk. So this involves a lot of patience and waiting, and wanting to rip their itinerary out of their hands and JUST DO IT FOR THEM FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET ME OUT OF HERE AND TO THE SECURITY CHECK POINT.

Exhibit C) It is the international terminal so I understand that in many cases there is going to be a language barrier. But I imagine that a line looks like a line in just about every country and if you see one that you are pretty sure you need to be in? You go to the end. Not wander to the front and try to be next....I'm looking at you little old Asian woman. And if you weren't about one hundred and twelve years old and look as if you might turn into dust right on the spot from the wind streaming from my lungs as I spoke to you, I might have said something. And because I'd been standing in line for a half an hour and only moved fifteen feet, I was cranky and anxious with nothing but time to think of reasons why you don't recognize a line when you see it and I decided that you use your age an frailty to your advantage and you're just a manipulative old lady. And I don't want to think like that...SEE WHAT LAX DOES TO PEOPLE?

Exhibit D) Finding your gate. Mine was gate 47A. I follow the sign for gates 40 through 49. And I'm walking....Gate 40. And walking...Gate 41...42...43. And walking...Gate 44...45. And walking...Gate 46...and then? Gate 49. W. T. F? Which stopped me dead in my tracks. How could I have fucked this up? Oh. I didn't. There was 47A, tucked away in the far right of the cul de sac at the end of the terminal...like an afterthought.

Exhibit E) People who insist on standing in line to board the plane even if their group number hasn't been called. They stand at the ready. In the line. Except they don't move. Waiting for their number to be announced. And it's a full flight.

Exhibit F) There is always that one person on the plane...or in my case: that one couple. Their seats were not together and none of y'all will mind IF WE JUST SHOUT TO EACH OTHER DO YOU? UNTIL ONE OF Y'ALL CAN'T STAND IT AND GIVE US SOME SEATS TOGETHER? Obnoxious and obvious and the wife even louder than her thundering yeehaw husband. He was enormous and she was a twig. A twig with a beak like nose and exactly zero lips. And dressed in red jeans and a turtle neck, long sleeve t-shirt covered in a pattern of little reindeer. And I would bet my very last dollar that an identical outfit exists in the girls department in a size 6x.

20 comments:

smalltownmom said...

Gaaaah. I have spent too much time hauling my kids to and from LAX. My airport of choice is Santa Barbara, but now they are embiggening it so it won't be sweet and quaint anymore.

Karen said...

Sounds like Boston's Logan airport. We try to fly out of Manchester, NH.....but now that's known as Manchester/Boston (even though they're 40 miles apart).

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

meh. Just punch em in the neck. Especially the old lady.

Can you tell I have just braved the hell of Christmas shopping?

Jason, as himself said...

I, too, MUCH prefer the BURBANK airport. And I prefer the old name of the BURBANK airport, because, you're right, it is in BURBANK.

LAX is a crazy, crazy place. But I always feel so exhilarated when I go there.

Amanda said...

I just plain hate traveling. I agree with the theory of always choosing the tiniest airport. It USUALLY works to your advantage.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

This is enough to make me never travel again ever.

The Girl Next Door said...

Dare I tell you it never gets better? I fly for my job a couple times a month (not enough to get me out of the "regular people" lines) plus going to see the Long distance BF. And everywhere? People are stupid. But only you could make me laugh at it!

Louisiana Belle said...

This sounds exactly like DFW in Dallas. Flights to my small hometown result in me being treated like a red-headed step child. The gates are located several moving walkways away from all the other gates. And lately, there have been silent-but-deadly farters on the last two flights. What is wrong with people? Not that it's the airport's fault, but still...

Burgh Baby said...

LAX is the hellmouth. True story.

MommyTime said...

Oh, do I have sympathy. I was once in a line like at in Detroit -- a security line that stretched the entire length of the terminal and then doubled back on itself. I was there at the a$$crack of dawn with a toddler in tow. It was good times, I tell you. I hope you made it where you were going in one piece. And somewhat happier thanks to the in-flight beverage service.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Louisiana Belle, my layover was in DFW. I'm actually a fan of DFW because of the train thingy. At least it gets you to your terminal without having to walk the length of the airport (I'm looking at you, LAX). But the restaurants close way too early. All I could find was a sandwich when I landed at 9:15pm-ish. And I really wanted some Sour Patch kids too. And a Glamour magazine.

Martie said...

Yeah. Yuck. Exactly why I never moved away--and family that did has to come HERE to visit. I am stressed to the max at home--the extra stress of airports, luggage and sleeping on an air mattress in someone's living room would do me in. Hope your visit is a good one.

The Introvert said...

Yes, I live ten minutes from DFW, and it is heaven compared to Bush Intercontinental in Houston, which is heaven compared to Hobby in Houston. You know what? Just try to avoid Houston at all costs. I do.

Al_Pal said...

Ewww, LAX. Heh. I never had that bad of a time at it, but then, we hardly ever flew at holiday time. :P

PS: please add me on twitter? I sent you an @reply then realized you wouldn't see it cuz I'm private. :P
Ta! -@al_pal

JoeinVegas said...

Some Asians don't queue, in Japan you rush for the subway door or just crowd around.

Swirl Girl said...

At Burbank, you get B list stars, and fun people going to Vegas! I met a women carrying a homemade beer bong once!

kanishk said...

I prefer the old name of the BURBANK airport, because, you're right, it is in BURBANK.
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Nishant said...

Sounds like Boston's Logan airport. We try to fly out of Manchester,

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JCK said...

I adore Burbank. For all of the LAX reasons you mentioned. 6X indeed! LMAO.

The Gold Digger said...

OK, but nobody really pays for first class tickets, do they? They are all people like my husband who has to travel all the time for his job and so has a gajillion FF miles and gets upgraded. He is already one of those priority club people who gets to go in the special line, which makes him happy, because that little old Asian lady ticks the heck out of him. He doesn't like traveling with amateurs, which, if I had to spend as much time in an airport as he did, I wouldn't either, I suppose. Bless his heart.