Thursday, March 17, 2016


Still Sad After All These Years

Nearly a decade ago my family toured Japan. And, much of the time we spent was in densely populated, yet remarkably clean, Tokyo.

Our return home through LAX included a significant layover. During the layover my "America is Best!" son (after experiencing very clean Japanese cities, transit and airports) blurted out something to the effect of "Americans are slobs - this airport is gross".

His assessment was a completely honest response to Terminal 1's filthy carpets, inadequate and broken seating and the piles of litter abandoned in any direction.

Fast forward to 2016 and, after passing through LAX, (including its brand new Bradley Terminal) on my journey to Singapore, I could not help but notice how awful LAX is still cared for. 

And my son's comment came back.

This huge airport still has no coordinated sky train. To get from International Arrivals in the Bradley you have to get a cart and maneuver through narrow sidewalks to your next departure terminal. In my case it was to T-6.

LAX is still scuzzy. It is awful from the street to the seat.

And at Gate 60 / 61 I defy anyone to find a single line of seats without broken armrests, wobbly seat cushions and free of seriously ripped upholstery.

And, while I realize the furniture is another overt gesture, during a time of record profits, of how little American Airlines cares about its passengers, when I finally sat down and saw the pile-o-dust under all those broken seats even I, in a state of epic jet lag, was amazed.

Just Gross Neglect
An Accumulation of Dust That is Heroic

Then I looked up and noticed the broken, stained ceiling tiles literally falling out of the grid. They were accompanied by public address speakers and fire detectors that were also hanging down. All electrical outlets were deactivated (God forbid the passengers steal some juice to recharge their low voltage laptop or cellphone). So I went to Wolgang Puck's cafe and used an outlet (Puck's cafe was also dirty).

LAX is America's busiest destination airport.

It should be great.

It is the first impression of the United States (and certainly Southern California) for millions of global visitors.

Yet for decades it has set the bar for consistent awfulness. And, despite the billions being pouring into it over the past decade, once anything is built, LAWA just lets decay begin.

A sweep here, a changed trash can liner there. That is kinda it. Bring travel size purell.


Roadboy's Travels © 2016

No comments: