Friday, December 16, 2011

"LAX Snafu"


I am in the US now, but LAX didn’t say “welcome back home” nicely to me. Even I had close to two hours transfer time between flights but I still missed my flight back to Austin.  I have to wait here for another 8 hours for the next one.  I want share my bad experience with you and hope to help some of you who travel international to prepare better in the future: If you transfer from an international flight to domestic at LAX, you must give at least two and half or three hours in between. I arrived at LAX via Air China, went through border checking, got my bags, and went through the customs. All of those activities took me about a hour. That was quite normal. Then I walked out of the International terminal. I couldn’t find any sign of guidance or TV monitors showing how to connect to my domestic flight. I needed to go to United Airline, but I even don’t know which terminal I should go to. There are 8 terminals at LAX. I spent quick an effort and found an information counter but nobody was there. I feel a little rushed and grabbed anybody I could asking information: workers move baggages, security guys, .. you name it. I got all kinds of answers. I went upstairs and came down. finally I found an information has a person working. I was told to go to Terminal 7 and I needed to take a shuttle bus outside. The location of bus stop was not marked obvious. It took forever for one bus to come, super crowded.  Every stops took a long time for people going up and down with bags. Finally I arrived at the Terminal 7 I only had 20 minutes before my flight taking off. There was a long line for security checking. I talked to the guy who was assisting and got the permission to cut the line, but it still took me about 10 min. I ran with all my might and ...... still one minute too late for my flight. I complained to the person at the podium. With no emotion showing on her face, she told me: “Go to the customer service”. I guess she sees someone like me everyday. I booked my next flight but need to wait for 8 hours. So I got time to write you.... Now my jet-lag starts to attack me. I crawled to a corner seat like a homeless guy, while the background music were singing: “Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle all the way .....”

4 comments:

silentwitness said...

MOrning, Qiang! Welcome home.
What a terrible experience at LAX, and what a contrast of cultures. I am so sorry the airport is so poorly marked and that personnel were not more sensitive to your quandry, nor more helpful in getting you to where you needed to go. The frustration and exhaustion you felt might fuel one of your paintings someday. I hope you are able to recover from your long trip and feel rested very soon. As always, thank you for sharing your experiences with your "fans" despite how tired and frustration you must have felt.

Millie said...

Sorry to hear about your experience at LAX. I once missed my connecting flight at SFO due to plane mechanical problem in another city. I was not happy about the incident. But what made me mad was one customer service man's attitude. He said I had to wait overnight for the next flight. New Year's Eve at the airport? I thought that was unfair when I did not create the problem at the original airport. When I asked him to squeeze me in any flight, he acted like I did not exist and called for the next person to come forward. I called United from my cell and they put me on the next flight that was boarding. So maybe if you had called United, you could get a better treatment.
I followed your story in Beijing and happy to hear all went well. You're a good son from your stories. And you look like...your mom from her photos.

Julie Ford Oliver said...

Welcome back Qiang. Disapointing to have that happen at lax. Happened to us too.I feel sorry for Song and your son because they would have been so excited to see you.
You always have a great attitude so after a good nights sleep in your own bed, life will look good once more.
I have really enjoyed your China (Heavenly Kingdom) stories. Thank you.

Kay Miller said...

I love to follow your comments, I laugh, cry and learn. You are some guy So glad u made it home safely and your parents are as well, I know they miss u, They can be proud they have raised such a gentleman. Your painting friend, KM