LAX is a fucking pit.
They don’t make information about flights and gates readily available and clearly understandable, they don’t have helpful people readily available, the terminal is dirty and smelly, the facilities suck, the Wifi sucks, all the people who work at LAX suck – everything about it sucks.
The indicator board for flights and gates was far away from the arrival gate. When I found it it said the gate for my flight was “T3″ – which doesn’t even sound like a gate, and there was no indication where it was. The airport cop I spotted didn’t know. All the lines were too long to hang around waiting to ask. (Further annoying details omitted for brevity.) Someone who seemed to know told me T3 is Terminal 3 (then why have it under “gate” on the board?) and to go to gate 44 and go down the escalator and take a shuttle bus – but when I got there there was no mention of T3 or Terminal 3 on the signs so I went back up, and after much struggle and repeatedly nearly falling over people’s fucking wheely bags when the people were struck by a thought and abruptly stopped moving along with their wheely bags, I found someone else to ask and he said yes, take the shuttle bus at gate 44, ask the people there – so I went back and the person there told me I had just missed the bus for T3 and it would be 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes of listening to her scream at everyone who came along (further annoying details omitted for brevity), I was enabled to leave that portion of hell in order to step into another, to wit, the shuttle bus, which drove all over the airport, crossing runways and taxiways with gay abandon, past myriad signs chirpily suggesting “watch for aircraft.” We arrived at the back of a vile warehouse or garage sort of place and sat still for several minutes breathing the refreshing jet fumes while the driver sat motionless and silent – then she opened the door and said we’d arrived, pointing at some stairs and saying the terminal was at the top. So we climbed about 3 stories worth of dirty metal stairs with our baggage. One rather large woman stopped after about ten steps, looking warm.
This sounds like a joke or parody but it fucking isn’t. I’m not kidding. The bus comes only once in 20 minutes; it traverses the whole airport in among the moving airplanes; passengers are dumped out and told to climb 3 flights of nasty stairs with their luggage; no one offers to help or says “sorry for the inconvenience” or “thank you for taking the shuttle bus with us today” or “was that a vision of hell or what” or “have you ever been in a worse piece of shit airport in your life?”
This is apparently something to do with the fact that Alaska has taken over some of American’s business. I surmise that the arrangement is recent and they haven’t quite figured out how to make it go smoothly yet. I could give them some advice.
[I’m writing this on the plane now. I wrote the first part in the inferno where I waited for the flight to Seattle, and I’m continuing it on the inferno that is the plane.]
I could give them some advice. They could put big signs up at the arrival gates telling hapless passengers that their connecting flights may be with Alaska AND THAT THEY HAVE TO GO TO A WHOLE NEW TERMINAL AND THAT IT’S A FUCKING NIGHTMARE. They could also give the essential details of how to begin the life-cheapening process. They could hire someone for The Shuttle Bus Waiting Room From Hell who wouldn’t see her job as screaming at everyone who makes the mistake of turning up. They could hire someone to drive the bus who would act like a human being. THEY COULD APOLOGIZE ABJECTLY FOR THE STAIRS and explain what they are planning to do about them. They could warn people about having to carry their luggage up – honestly, it was ok for me, though I made a great show of struggling up because I was so furious, but it was not ok for the large woman – it was not ok physically and it was totally humiliating. Jesus. I’m getting pissed off all over again. I think someone did go down to help her, but not before standing at the top of the stairs gazing down on us. Yes really: they did. Two employees of that (this) stinking airline – the one that used to hand out prayers, you know – stood at the top of those 30 or 40 stairs watching us climb. When I got to the top they were just getting around to deciding that one of them should do something about the large woman, at least I think they were – who knows, maybe they were just pointing out that she seemed to be finding it all somewhat tiring.
They could do all this, and they could apologize often and in detail for the whole thing. That would be a start. They haven’t done any of it. I would like to line them all up and kick them on the shins.
Now, to continue the joke, I’m on the flight from hell to boot. I’m in the very last row, row 30. I couldn’t get a window seat (even though that’s what I asked for a month or two ago – I’ve got to learn that when other people book a flight for me they ignore my window seats request), so I’m in the aisle. We are having the worst turbulence evarrr - so I can’t get up and stroll around, but other people feel that they can, and they keep pitching into me on their way to the toilet which is about 6 inches from my left elbow. There are eleventy seven children and babies. There are two children in the row in front of me – being “good” but making steady, relentless, busy noise. In front of them is a baby who roared and screamed for the first hour. I think it’s now dead.
I mean, could it be any worse? I suppose there could be a talkative missionary next to me who also smelled bad, but short of that…what’s missing? Ah the toilet just flushed. What fun this is.
Oh hooray! The two children and their mummy are now treating their seats as a trampoline – the mummy just leaped out of her aisle seat and slammed herself down in the window seat, shaking all three seat-backs and nearly catapulting the remains of my orange juice onto this blameless little notebook. The guy next to me has his elbow resting comfortably on my arm, despite the fact that I am holding it well over on my side of the armrest. The flight attendants, a few inches behind my head, are partying away as colleagues should – I can hardly hear myself think. Whee – bumpity bumpity! More turbulence.
Ah well. It’s so awful it’s funny, at least it is once I start turning it into a blog post.
The baby is alive. It’s roaring again.