NO TIME TO BE LAX
Roughly this time two weeks ago I was running, in my socks, through Terminal 3 at LAX. I’d had a two-hour window between the flight from Australia which landed in Terminal 1, and a connecting flight to Boston. I knew it was tight, but hoped it was doable.
It was a lesson in airport know-how and logistics and one – which would’ve given me less sprinting and more relaxed walking – I noted for the return leg when the window between flights was going to be equally small.
Firstly, if you arrive in Los Angeles early in the morning when other large planes are landing, the immigration queue is heinous. It’s hard to get an edge if you’re in the back economy seats, but walk as fast as you can from the plane for a slight advantage.
Next, as with all airport visits, be dressed in a way that minimises pfaffing around at security. That means minimal jewellery and accessories; keys, wallets and phones stowed in bags rather than having to be taken out of pockets, and liquids and laptops stored in your carry-on in easily accessible places.
Shoes are all important here, and where I made a rookie error. In Australia, I walk through security in my trainers without setting off alarms. In the US, everyone has to remove shoes before going through the metal detector. The tip is wear slip-on shoes. I was wearing lace-up sneakers and didn’t have time to put them back on.
The mistake I made was not asking for a transit pass when I was on the first flight. It wouldn’t have let me jump the queue at every point, but it would have given me a few extra minutes and reduced the stress of wondering if I’d make it to my flight. Thankfully I did.
JANA FRAWLEY, NATIONAL ESCAPE EDITOR