Just How Bad Is LAX?

Wheels up at LAX for a red-eye flight.Kevin Drum

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From the Wall Street Journal:

LAX, like some other airports, is a collection of terminals built around one double-deck roadway, with one level for departures and another for arrivals. Both are so clogged it can take an hour just to drop someone off after you enter the airport.

If you click the link, you get this story from 2016:

“Traffic is crazier than usual. It’s been a rough summer,” says Cheryl Berkman, chief executive of Music Express, a limousine service operating in several cities. At LAX, it’s taken some cars 45 minutes or more to loop 1.3 miles around the terminals.

“Some cars” have taken 45 minutes—from a story more than three years old—has magically morphed into “it can take an hour.” Journalism!

FWIW, I’ve picked up and dropped off at LAX lots of times. It’s a mess, and I don’t doubt that there are occasions when it takes 45 minutes to make the full loop. But in all the times I’ve done it, I don’t think it’s ever taken me more than 15 minutes or so. I get that hyperbole sells, but cherry picking the very worst examples and making them sound like they’re typical does no one a service.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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