Call me crazy, but from arrival to departure, I was less than amazed with my first encounter of Los Angeles International Airport. Amazingly, with the amount of traveling I do, I’ve never flown through LAX and apparently, I was missing little and gaining a great deal by flying out of SFO.
LAX is just old. It feels like it was built in the 1960’s (1961 according to Wikipedia) and has never since been remodeled or even really cared for. I experienced two fronts of it, arriving in a domestic terminal and departing from an international terminal. I have yet to really understand how this slab of concrete moves nearly 62 million people a year through it while a place like SFO moves only about half that (37 million) yet feels a lot more like a proper airport.
Things that made the airport feel paltry to me were:
- Trash and uncleaned floors in many places
- Schedules shown in housings from the 70’s
- The really crappy bus system to get between terminals which is seriously unneeded
- Bathrooms that feel like they’re about 20 years past a remodel (I mean, no auto-flush? I’m not a germophobe, but come on!)
- Ghetto maintenance, such as a row of tiles that were knocked out in a restroom that left a gaping hole in to the interior of the wall, which look like they’re been that way for years.
Then of course there is the staff. While I’ve never been a fan of airport staff, those at LAX appeared to be some of the worst. They are not friendly at best. I saw two French women in front of me when going through security who didn’t understand that they needed their boarding pass instead of the piece of paper that they were presenting. The woman at the gate just kept yelling at them in English to get our their boarding pass. We have an international “gateway” here and the staff don’t know how to ask for basic things in any other language than English, which I might add is not the official language of the US no matter what any hick thinks.
Unfortunately, I have to fly back in to LAX in about two months, which I pray will go well despite all the ugh that is LAX. From this point forward, I’m going to make every effort to fly from SFO and avoid the funktastic dip to the south, even if it costs me a bit more money.