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Clearing Customs

March 14, 1993

Regarding John H. Heinrich's defense of clearance procedures at LAX (Letters from Readers, Feb. 21)--one could only wish that LAX was half as efficient or pleasant as European airports. I have arrived and departed at international airports in Rome, Milan, Athens, Frankfurt, Berlin and London (both Heathrow and Gat-wick), and have never waited as long as I have as an American returning to LAX to clear customs. On my last flight into LAX, during the summer of 1990, I stood in line for nearly an hour--in a hall empty except for passengers on my flight--while there was one officer checking declarations and passports. At another time, I had to play "What's this?" with the customs officer over every article in my suitcase. Not to mention the shameful practice of charging for luggage carts--which are provided free at all of the above mentioned airports.

LAHNEED GALLO

Rialto

Editor's Note: For a related story on LAX, see "How to Improve LAX? Readers Present Views," Travel Insider, L2.

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