Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Remind me to send a thank you note to Mr. Boeing."*

            I haven’t been to LAX in a while and my memories of it are hideous. If I can somehow manage to con one of my friends into giving me a ride, all I have to contend with are the long, snaking lines through security, the inevitably delayed flights, the ridiculous prices for water and food (I just paid $9.99 for a bag of beef jerky, for instance), and the epic wait at baggage claim.
            But today I have to say that the Los Angeles International Airport has really outdone itself. The terminal I’m in looks like a bomb went off: temporary plywood walls everywhere, long sheets of tarp taped over the windows, garbage strewn all over the floor, a very unpleasant stench AND my flight is delayed 45 minutes.
            But wait! That’s not the best part.
            In an effort to explain the appearance of the terminal, the powers that be at LAX came up with some clever catch phrases to slap onto the fake walls. Picture black lettering over grainy images of clouds and blue skies. These are little witticisms like,
            “Like a fine California wine, this airport is getting better with time. [Please excuse the construction.]”
             “Everyone wants to be an actor here. [Please act like you don’t mind the renovations.]”
Please forgive the graininess of these photos. I have a hand tremor!

            I really don’t mind the renovations, but why are there empty McDonald’s bags and newspapers and used syringes all over the floor? Are they somehow related to the construction? And why is my flight still delayed? Because it kind of seems like the first improvement this airport might consider making is figuring out how to get a plane to leave on time. I’ll drive to the smallest, ugliest airport in the world if my plane will actually take off at the scheduled hour.
            Okay, but in addition, there is one amusing sign that reads,
            “Look on the bright side. After this, coach will seem spacious. [Thanks for your patience.]”
            Um, screw you, LAX. First of all, way to admit that the seating in coach is a nightmare which should also probably be addressed before any new wings get added on to this inefficient behemoth.
            Secondly, how do you know everyone who reads your sign is flying coach? Are you just assuming that anyone willing to put up with these kinds of construction-related shenanigans must be poor? (Okay, they kind of have me on that one. If I were wealthy, I’d march myself over to a different terminal and get on the first flight out of this place.)
No. Thank you, LAX.
            And lastly, don’t thank me for my patience. You don’t know that I have any patience for this crap. And the more I write about it the less patient I am. A better thing to write might have been, “If you were to be patient, we’d be super grateful.” Then I might feel like LAX knew what a jackass it was being and felt really bad about it, instead of feeling cheeky and smug about having inconvenienced a ton of people and then pacified them all with some stupid signs.
            I know LAX isn’t a person, and so I’ve decided to take the high road and not be mad but—
            Holy shit! I just heard a rustling behind me inside one of those fake walled-off sections, so I have to move. I’m convinced it’s a rat coming after my raucously overpriced beef jerky. The little girl across the aisle is staring under my chair which makes it seem even more likely that Ratatouille is hanging out down there.
            I’ve relocated.
            Anyway. Not mad, just amused and baffled. And slightly grossed out (partially because in the grand tradition of Skateland, I’ve been sitting with the heinous odor so long that I honestly can’t smell it anymore. I was reminded of it when a lady walked into the terminal and was so overcome she had to cover her nose and mouth with her hand. Cringe.) Going to read a magazine and pray that my flight leaves soon.
Sad news: Skateland closed. About five years ago, apparently.
            Happy Thursday and if you’re traveling over the holidays, I hope it goes off without a single hitch.

*Quote from Captain Anson Harris (Barry Nelson) in Airport (1970).

1 comment:

  1. I think you should consider flying out of Burbank from now on, dear. LAX might just take revenge on you for your (however justified) complaints.
    Just sayin...