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LAX: The Highs and the Lows

June 04, 2005

Re "LAX Braces for Summer Travelers," May 26: I frequently travel internationally from LAX. This airport is a global embarrassment. The article addressed arriving. To exit Los Angeles one has to put up with lines taking hours in the morning at Terminal 1 or hours in the evenings at Bradley just to check in. Then it's the ridiculous TSA screening rules (go to Hong Kong or London Heathrow if you want to experience safety and sanity in the same screening process).

Somewhere along the way the overstressed LAX staff is going to be rude and insensitive to the tourists and business people who Los Angeles really wants to come back. Funny how one will never see a high-ranking federal official, governor or mayor standing for hours to check in and be screened. Before 9/11 everyone saw the growth in traffic coming. Where was the leadership? Let the politicians stand in line -- no VIP treatment for a few flights, and I'm sure the fix (short- and long-term) would get fast-tracked.

David Morse

Santa Monica

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Your article quotes travelers who think the Tom Bradley International Terminal is the world's worst terminal. Not so! I was just there on my way to and from Fiji, and my impression was overall to give the terminal high marks. I am a travel consultant, so I pay attention to such things. I arrived at LAX from Sacramento about noon, and check-in for my flight to Fiji was about 7:30 p.m. With time to kill, I was dreading the wait. But it wasn't too bad at all. I liked the food court upstairs, above the ticket counters, although the food wasn't to my liking and was overpriced.

And I appreciated that I could find a nice table near electrical outlets for laptop connections while waiting for check-in time. There is also a wireless hub there, so I was able to check e-mails in comfort. There is even a lounge with comfortable chairs for hotel-lobby style seating. TBIT made a long wait much less grueling.

On my return, I found that the customs hall was very well organized and the process of reentry to the U.S. was painless. It was so efficient that it only took an hour from the time I got off my Air Pacific flight until I was checking in for my Southwest flight home.

TBIT is not perfect. There should be more baggage X-ray machines in the ticketing hall so that travelers can get bags checked onto flights more quickly. It was also so confusing about what to do that if I hadn't had plenty of time, I'd have been nervous about missing my flight.

Carole Brow

Clements, Calif.

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