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First Impressions

January 15, 1989

Toni Taylor's article on "Problems at Airports" (Dec. 4) prompts me to write regarding two annoying situations at the Tom Bradley Terminal, Los Angeles International Airport. Visitors from abroad, including the elderly, very young and handicapped, often not fluent in English, have to get themselves through Immigration and Customs.

They then find that they must pay $1 to obtain a baggage cart from the automatic machine. This requires that they have a $1 bill and that they read the instructions on the machine. After obtaining the cart they must push their way through the door of the terminal only to confront a very steep ramp to the passenger arrival area. Above this ramp is a large portrait of Mayor Bradley with the caption: "Welcome to Los Angeles."

First impressions are often important and long-lasting. I would suggest that some of the airport fees, such as the charge to passengers departing the United States, be diverted to provide free carts for arriving international passengers. Other countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia provide this service. Why not here in Los Angeles? In addition, an easier way should be provided to the passenger arrival area from customs. Perhaps a moving walkway or an escalator?

JEANE M. NUTT

Pasadena

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