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Friday, January 18, 2008

Airport by Hieronymus Bosch

posted by on January 18 at 14:19 PM


Gawd, LAX is the ugliest, most depressing airport on earth. Here’s something I never got around to mentioning on my trip to Vegas with Kelly O: The Luxor’s nightclub used to be called Ra, which makes thematic sense. They changed the name, for some inexplicable reason, to LAX—and, yes, after the airport. The slogan is “take off for glamor” or some such bullshit.

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Gross. People.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 18, 2008 2:37 PM

LAX is where I was able to bring a ceramic bottle of sake in my carry-on through customs without a peep. I declared it on my form and all, but the security dude didn't even look at the second sheet.

Posted by Greg | January 18, 2008 2:40 PM

Maybe they re-named the club in honor of all the laxatives cut into the drugs everyone is doing.

Posted by pablocjr | January 18, 2008 2:41 PM

Well, T3 is pretty ugly. But if you fly on United, T6-7-8 are pretty nice and spacious. Looks like a bad day for Alaska, though.

Posted by brappy | January 18, 2008 2:43 PM

Dan: this is why airlines sell club lounge memberships: so you can minimize interacting with the proletariat! Airlines know their basic product is substandard so they create alternatives at higher prices! Hence first class and lounge memberships.

Go buy your self a Board Room membership or day pass!

Posted by atlsea | January 18, 2008 2:50 PM

@4 - Yes, T3 is a disaster.

With 8 terminals in a big horseshoe shape, LAX is like 8 different airports. Of course, this makes it a total pain in the ass if you have a connection on a different airline.

The International terminal isn't bad.

Posted by Mahtli69 | January 18, 2008 2:52 PM

When I was a tween in the early 80's taking red-eye flights a couple times a year to visit far-flung family, LAX was the coolest place on Earth.

Alas, Dallas-Fort Worth airport was and is the Earth's smelly armpit (and also a major transfer hub).

Posted by lostboy | January 18, 2008 3:04 PM

LAX is the most disorganized airport I've ever flown out of. First off they don't have room for the baggage screening machines, so you can't just drop off your checked bags and go -- you have to wait in line to check your bags, then you have to wait in ANOTHER line for a screening machine. When I was there I had to wait in three separate screening lines because people kept going on break and abandoning their machines.

Posted by Orv | January 18, 2008 3:05 PM

In the last two weeks, I've been in seven airports. I can say that the worst of these is the Tijuana airport, which reminds me of an ER during hurricane season.

In my lifetime, though, honors go to the Portland airport (which is nowhere near Portland) and the Sacramento airport, which is smaller than my apartment and is apparently built out of a shipping container, and the Houston Bush airport, as it has a nine-foot tall bronze statue of the first President Bush, who's from Connecticut.

Posted by Matt Fuckin' Hickey | January 18, 2008 3:11 PM

Orv, I've never had that problem, and here's why: I routinely fly with guns. The minute you tell them you have guns, TSA pulls you out of the line and gives you very personal service all the way through the process.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | January 18, 2008 3:15 PM

DFW has to be way up there as well, but ALL airports are an integral part of the various circles of hell...

Posted by michael strangeways | January 18, 2008 3:18 PM

When in LAX, best to look out the window at this

and have a little Pan Am dream of jet-set-era glam.

Posted by Eric F | January 18, 2008 3:23 PM

I've been unlucky to experience this very terminal Dan snapped a photo of, but I do hear that, much like L.A. itself, it's interesting once you know where to go to see the interesting stuff.

But yeah, the Alaska terminal for LAX is even worse than Oakland's, which says a lot. When your only vegetarian option is an de-chickened chicken quesadilla at Home Turf, you know that you're not going to have a decent meal, vegetarian or not.

Posted by mackro mackro | January 18, 2008 3:41 PM

It's ugly AND inconvenient. You land there, think you're in LA, and have to drive an hour, an hour-and-a-half, before you're home or where you need to go - usually driving on the 405 which is always congested. Nobody uses it unless they absolutely have to. It's why Bob Hope, John Wayne, Ontario, and even Palmdale Airports are becoming more popular if somewhere in LA is one's destination.

Posted by Bauhaus | January 18, 2008 3:56 PM

Yup, just flew through there, and the whole family (who are all well-traveled) all agreed that LAX is one of the worst laid out and designed airports we had had the misfortune to be trapped in.

And to think they renovated this P.O.S recently...

Posted by Mr. X | January 18, 2008 4:08 PM

Those crazy terminal ROOMS - I can remember flights from when I was a toddler, out across Greenland to our (my fatherīs legal) refuge in Europe, and the long white tunnel to baggage claim - I flew through there last year, and it was all the same (except big multistorey parking garages and viaducts stood where in the 70s it was just the flat lots surrounding the symbolic revolving restaurant - I heard the revolving part broke a while back).

I was trapped in one of the rooms a few years back waiting for a flight several yards from Stephen Malkmus, who I kind of knew 15 years ago but really donīt, and I was remembering taking off from there in 1973, discovering the Reeseīs Peanut Butter Cup which I didnīt know about because we lived in France, was weird.

OK, now I have to go to a cockfight.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | January 18, 2008 4:34 PM

I agree with @4 and @6 - but it still exhausts me way more at LAX than at SFO when I fly to Santa Barbara.

Chantico at LAX Starbucks were good tho. Too bad they got rid of those ... only reason I went into Starbucks.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 18, 2008 5:20 PM

Say, while we're on the subject, is San Jose ever going to finish their new terminal? The old one is a joke. It's about the size of a DMV office, and has the same decor. There are no jetways, you have to go down a set of airstairs and walk across the tarmac. Meanwhile you're looking at the new one under construction, and it looks abandoned...tarps flapping in the wind, no one in sight.

Posted by Orv | January 18, 2008 5:30 PM

LAX is bad, but DFW is the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth semi-circles of hell.

LAS is the dive bar of airports. Only with less character than a dive.

Worst airport, though? TUL, which I flew into today. Only ten gates still in use -- on TWO concourses. Food is awful. Decor is straight out of 1965 (the bad part). Bags take 20 minutes to arrive at baggage claim -- your could WALK them from the plane to baggage claim. And $10 for wi-fi?

Posted by dw | January 18, 2008 8:30 PM

Yes, LAX the airport is unpleasant. Yes, it is actually more like 8 separate airports. No, it doesn't get shut down nearly as often as SEA for security breeches.

As for the nightclub in Las Vegas called LAX. UGH. I was trapped there for about an hour on a Saturday night. Worse than being trapped at the airport.

Posted by jim | January 18, 2008 11:54 PM

the non-NWA terminal of DTW and the NWA terminal at narita are the two gateways to hell.

Posted by Judith | January 19, 2008 4:25 AM

Like health care, infant mortality, life expectancy, obesity, education, quality of journalism, gun violence, America's airports rank with the worst in the world. South East and east Asia's airport have surpassed America's by leaps and bounds. Many of America's better ones still rank better than those in developing countries, for now.

I just had gone through security at LAX where they did some crazy drill where they all scrambled away from there posts and pulled their guns. Freaked everybody out. Then after that I got to sit in the international departure lounge, which felt like Siberia.

Posted by slim | January 19, 2008 11:14 PM

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