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BONUS! UPDATE EDITION! Updates are in bold for those with little time, or poor eyesight.
Or maybe "Ex-LAX", or "LAX is their service motto", or "insert witty LAX subject line here." Alternatively, "Here is Your Hard-Hitting, Jounalistic, CNN Level of Research Story About What Makes LAX Suck. With In-Depth Reporting, Footnotes, Bibliographies, Pie Charts, Links To Other Blogs, Hotlinks Galore, and The Use of BOLD Fonts For Extra Emphasis!"
Granted, Los Angeles has one of the ugliest airports in the United States. Possibly even the world. Plus if you've ever been to an airport like DFW or JFK, it's hard to believe how small LAX is. Basically just a big "U" that you drive in and out of, although that's never really easy either, what with shuttle buses and taxis screaming by at Mach 1 speeds on the left, and on the right. They sure didn't drive like this in Hicksville. In fact, the only car in town was operated by Mr. Olsen, the town constable, and he never drove it over 35, even on a hot day.
This is also the first thing people see when they fly into the city for the first time, unless they've been smart and chose to fly into Santa Ana or Burbank. Give us those airports any day over the souless , THX-1138 world of LAX. In fact, on a list of airports to be stranded in, LAX has to be near the bottom of the list, topped by other more appealing places like Denver's massive mall-like airport, the sprawl of BBQ, bookstores, and gift shops that is DFW, the tram-riding funtacular experience of IAH in Houston, or even the Muncie, Indiana municipal airport.
They've tried to make the airport a bit more appealing over the years, starting with the revamp of the "Encounter" restaurant/bar (the big spidery looking thing in the middle of LAX that reminds you of an evil overlord's lair in a James Bond movie, which has been there since the airport opened. Scholars maintain that the original purpose of the building has been lost.), and of course the new LAX sign and those pole light thingamabobs. But the problem is that neither of those did anything to the interior of the place. Do you ever call up your friends and say "Hey gang! Let's go have dinner at Encounter!" Neither do we. Apparently, there is a "Master Plan" to bring LAX into the present day, and beyond, but it's been in the works for umpteen years, has a price tag of (currently) 9 billion dollars, and will, judging by the imagery on the LAX Master Plan site, bring LAX into a Shag-like 50s retro existence with whooshing shuttles, giant skylights, and a sharp style of fashion. The airport hasn't been updated since 1956, so the redesign should put the place right back into that timeframe.
LAX is just not an attractive airport. This is based on personal observation, and no scientific tools (like calipers), nor studying of architectural plans were used during this assessment. LAist carefully looked at LAX from several angles, and then, after seeing other more attractive airports, deemed it ugly. We are available for local beauty pageant judging, art show critiquing, and yes, we'll read your screenplay.
Additionally, the place is just DEAD after 10pm. On a recent trip, LAist waited patiently for their 2 1/2 hour delayed flight to board, and we noticed that every single business nearby was shuttered up, locked tight, and closed down. This while at least 300+ passengers were wandering the hallways in search of something to cut the boredom. Ever the bar was closed. And in a shocking turn of events we were booted out of the airport Starbucks so they could close down and lock up. There have been many times when we have come through LA in the evenings, although we're not talking 1 AM here, and everything is locked up. Do these people only sell things from 12 PM to 3 PM?
The worst thing about it is that, given the fact that LAX is in, well, Los Angeles, they had to go and make a television show about it. About the airport. The non-stop action adventure lifestyle of intrigue and espionage that is...the airport. Which was apparently cancelled 9 months ago. LAist was sad to learn this fact, because we really wanted to watch it. We need to keep up on the Heather Locklear career-reporting section of this site a lot better. According to the NBC website, this show "explores the behind-the-scenes dramas and conflicts of both travelers and staff transpiring daily at the bustling Los Angeles International Airport. We've never seen this but BOY does it sound exciting! LONG lines at the metal detector! SUSPICIOUS BAG left near a bathroom entrance! PEOPLE buying See's Candies for loved ones! GRIPPING gate change announcements! Why wasn't this made into a drama earlier? Maybe they had to wait for Heather Locklear to become available.
We can't wait for what's next. Our money is on "SAN PEDRO - detailing the hustle and bustle that makes up one of the busiest ports on the west coast." You heard it here first. Look for our next post about how ugly that place is too.