(this entry was delayed a couple days. Oops.)
I have an intense dislike for LAX. It's not a good airport to move through at all. It wasn't built for the huge pretense-of-security that goes on today. I tried being smart and went towards the end of the terminal where I last checked in for a Toronto flight. All the signage said "Tokyo Narita". Fair enough, so I joined the massively long check-in line for Domestic/International (whatever). Since I'm crossing a border, no express check in for me. Ten minutes into the line up, and some AA-droid (albeit with a pleasant people personality) checks tickets of the people in the line, and directs me back to the (empty) Tokyo/Narita line. once there, I see one sign facing to the wall, mentioning Toronto and Cabo San Lucas departures.
Still no problems, eh. Get the bag tagged, then have to haul it the full length of the ticketing area of the terminal to be x-rayed. Another line up of course. A helpful LAX-tagged employee was taking unlocked bags from people in the line up and depositing them near the X-Ray machine so they wouldn't have to stand in line. Two problems with that. I always use a zip-strip (zip-tie for some of you) on my baggage, just in case. Plus, I'm not letting Random Airport People handle my luggage on the outside of the security area. While there's a lot of projection of the illusion of security in this post 9-11 world, not every bit of it is feel-good. So I stood in line and watched it go through, etc etc. They must have found the gift from Kishor and my Zeta Toys uninteresting, because there was no TSA inspection tag inside the luggage. Aw...
Now, after going to one end of the ticketing area to get checked in and to the other end to get the baggage cleared, I had to go back to the first end to go upstairs and stand in the long (and not terribly well-managed) lines for the security checkpoint to get to the departure "lounge". A fair amount of queue-jumping by people who were convinced that if their plane departed in 60+ minutes they were still entitled to the expedited service. I did get the slight good luck of getting to be the first through a new scanning line that was opened. Dubious and short lived that luck was.
Total time from being dropped off by </a></a>kayotae at the airport to the inside of the airport security: 65 minutes. Fortunately, I've done LAX before, and had left plenty of buffer.
The departure waiting area in LAX is... okay. They seem to have lost a good portion of it to shops recently, though. And the intercom system needs some work. I got to hear lots of announcements for gates at the other end of the concourse, but only got to hear the pre-boarding and final boarding call for my flight. Nothing in between. No problems though.
Flight was fine. Got a half-row to myself, so I got out the notebook and tapped on the keys a bit.
Customs in Toronto was... empty. Through the process and to pick up my bags in about 60 seconds, actually. Quite impressive. I like Terminal 3.
Getting home was a nice end to the journey. A very very happy and excited fourfoot awaited me. He kept a close eye on me for all of that evening and most of the next day to make sure I didn't disappear again. Silly puppy.
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