Over the years Los Angeles International airport has been described by visitors in many ways none too flattering.As a travel blogger I pass through the airport at least once a month since it is my hometown airport but in all honesty, I cringe every time.There are so many things that are wrong with it.
As one of the top tourist destinations in the U.S., the city of Angels should have an easy to navigate, visitor-friendly modernized facility.And maybe someday it will. Until that happens; here are my top eight reasons why I advise readers to avoid flying through LAX when possible.
Many other airports tend to see an increase in passengers come holidays and the vacation season. At LAX, the crowds are a non-stop challenge. There are no breaks or slower times. So, naturally, passengers can expect traffic when arriving or leaving the airport.
Old fashioned terminals
The terminals at LAX are still mostly small and unaccommodating. True, there has been an ongoing effort to update some areas but it is happening very SLOWLY. It isn’t uncommon to see people waiting at the gate having to sit on the dirty floors, as there is not enough seating. Oh and don’t expect any rocking chairs or outlets to juice up your devices!
Trying to get from one terminal to the next at LAX is a nightmare. Parents trying to navigate the long exhausting corridors will have a tough time. You may find yourself running for anywhere from a quarter of a mile to a full one depending on the airline on your own with no transportation. That could easily become a 45-minute ordeal. If you are on a tight schedule, a 45-minute walk could cause you to miss your flight.
Transportation between terminals doesn’t exist
Both the traffic getting to and from LAX is a nightmare. When you are headed to or from LAX make sure you allow plenty of travel time, this may help you from missing your flight. Traffic in LA could be backed up for hours.But wait – it hardly ends there. The lack of transportation BETWEEN the terminals will totally break your spirit.
Long waits on the tarmac
Once you board your flight, you should expect to be in the air in no time at all.
Well, not at LAX, prepare to be sitting on the tarmac for a while. The tarmac wait times for departing and arriving flights can get disheartening. Over the two decades of travel, I’ve sat anywhere from 15 minutes to 90 minutes on LAX’s tarmacs. I can easily understand if a plane has broken down, or weather conditions, but this is a regular occurrence here.
Poor dining choices
The food choices at LAX are mediocre at best but quite expensive. There are quite a few of the dining options before you go through TSA security. But after the TSA checkpoints not so many! As a parent, I have had at times to choose between feeding my kid first before going through the TSA even though we were pressed for time or facing a screaming kid that hates the poor food choices after the checkpoints. Tough choice- I know!! Also, most restaurants close by nine PM so there’s basically nowhere to eat if you are taking a night flight.
Badly designed restrooms
LAX is way behind the learning curve when it comes to adult changing stations.So parents to disabled adult kids are out of luck! There is currently one, yes only one adult changing station. The only adult changing station is located in Terminal One. The airport’s bathrooms are also quite archaic. Airport announcements advise you to watch your luggage at all times but most stalls don’t even accommodate a carry-on trolley suitcase. So, unless you travel with a companion I guess you are out of luck when it comes to using the facilities.
Lack of space between luggage carousels
With my travels, I have seen a lot of baggage carousels. LAX is probably the worst. The carousels have little space between them and passengers literally have to pry their way through fellow passengers to get their suitcases. We learned our lesson after waiting multiple times for a good 40 minutes to get our luggage and now we travel with carry-on luggage only.
Where are the children play areas?
Unlike other many international and domestic airports, LAX has a lack of children’s play areas. I’m always envious when I pass through SFO, Boston Logan, and Chicago’s airports and see their designated fun kid play areas. If you are looking for rocking chairs for your kids to relax in before a long haul flight you are totally out of luck.Needless to say the picture below is NOT from LAX.
Zero shopping and entertainment options
Stuck at the airport with time to kill? You are best-served leaving. LAX doesn’t really offer any entertainment or shopping options like SFO (see below.) It certainly doesn’t have shopping malls or movie theaters like its some international counterparts.The closest place to entertain kids is Westfield Culver City with multiple eateries and an active Dave and Busters.Of course, you’ll need to store your luggage somewhere while you are at the mall but that is a different problem.
LAX is by far one of worst airports that we have encountered.
What is the worst airport you have been to, and why?