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Fat bottom Trump
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# 251721 8-Jul-2019 15:54
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What is LAX like these days? When I used to travel I rated it, together with Heathrow, as the worst and most unpleasant airport in the western world, maybe the whole world. I assume the decades have brought at least some changes and things I have seen in passing give the impression that it has improved. So has it? The last time I went through there I swore I never would again and I always took the Asia route to Europe, via the magnificent Changi airport (my best in the world). What a difference! How did Americans ever get this weird idea that they are from the greatest country on earth? Compared to Singapore, they live in a chaotic disintegrating slum.

 

 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2271917 8-Jul-2019 15:54
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Allow me to introduce you folks to our new travel community: TravelTalk NZ.

 

We hope to see you there!

 





I am the Geekzone Robot and I am here to help. I am from the Internet. I do not interact. Do not expect other replies from me.



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  # 2271921 8-Jul-2019 16:10
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JAFA.

 

Went through LAX 18 months ago, they have kiosks for immigration now , from memory just a few minutes wait to get a kiosk where you answer the questions and do the fingerprint and eye scan. Their version of Agriculture inspections was just 2 guys waving people through. 

 

They've got a new international terminal TBIT - Thomas Bradley Intl Terminal I think it is. Just the usual large checkin area , all the retail on the airside. TSA line wasn't too bad when I went through.

 

No different from any other large airport. People that bag LAX wont have been through since the TBIT new terminal development. 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2271932 8-Jul-2019 16:40
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Whatever you do, don't tell 'em what you've said about Trumpy here on GZ. 🚸


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  # 2271935 8-Jul-2019 16:50
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i spent a night at LAX with my own personal security guard to make sure i didnt leave, at least i was safe but it was still horrible.





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  # 2271937 8-Jul-2019 16:51
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Answering that question is complex. What aspect if it do you want to know about?

 

Transit process? Arrival process? Departure process?

 

LAX is both amazing and incredibly bad, often at the same time.

 

 


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  # 2271940 8-Jul-2019 16:53
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ben28:

 

People that bag LAX wont have been through since the TBIT new terminal development. 

 

 

 

 

Travel through LAX frequently

 

Must disagree, getting out of the US through TBIT can take serious time due to a very concentrated Security area.

 

TBIT has also done nothing for transferring to an internal flight at any of the other terminals, still chaotic and time consuming having to wander around the outside.

 

It is improving but at a snails pace and will never reach the dizzy heights of somewhere like DFW - a pleasure to route through. Even Chicago and Houston are better.

 

If I ever have a choice I route through SFO


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  # 2271941 8-Jul-2019 16:59
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ben28:

 

People that bag LAX wont have been through since the TBIT new terminal development. 

 

 

In many ways some processes are far worse now in TBIT for example than what they were than Air NZ operated out of T2

 

I've probably been through TBIT probably at least a dozen times since Air NZ moved there in 2014. What's frustrating is the experience is never the same - and ranges from amazing to terrible on different visits. I try and avoid LAX for flights into the US but often fly out of there.

 

At least T2 was just average all the time.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2271942 8-Jul-2019 17:00
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If you’re staying in LAX sure. If transferring, probably nope. Friend went about 6 months ago, budgeted 3 hours for a transfer. Yea nah, delayed 5 hours for whatever unknown reason and missed the flight.

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  # 2271945 8-Jul-2019 17:05
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After a VERY thorough random interview and search (Still scarred) at LAX, after being processed I was asked by a TSA agent why I would travel looking like a terrorist. Confused, I asked her to clarify what she meant. I thought I was dressed like a regular guy. Her answer - "Well, as a brown skin person you should know better than to travel with a beard". Like damn... cant even transit with facial hair.

That incident led me to a discussion with my travel agent who signed me up for CBP Global Entry. Man, if you are travelling to USA - this is an absolute must! Despise TSA with a passion, this allows you to breeze through security. They advise random spot checks can still occur but I had never once been checked (or my baggage). Just scan fingerprint through automated kiosk, drop off bag and done.

All said and done, I will never travel to the USA unless it's an absolute must for work. Even then I will try and dodge.


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  # 2271948 8-Jul-2019 17:15
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Except Global Entry isn't available for NZ passport holders. Our government won't pay the fees the US wants.

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  # 2271953 8-Jul-2019 17:40
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OTOH personally, I haven't had any of those types of issues at LAX. Most of the time the immigration agent hasn't even spoken to me; they take the passport, motion to the fingerprint scanner and camera, then stamp the passport and away I go. Not a word even spoken.

 

The security queues for morning flights can be extremely long though.


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  # 2272020 8-Jul-2019 18:35
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Last time I went though LAX (international - international transfer: mexico to NZ).

Was on a 5 hour transit, and we made it to the gate about 20-30mins early. (didn't have any abnormal delays either).

I thought 5 hours was going to be a super long transit, but I was wrong. Could have alternately gone via Houston at roughly the same cost. Two hours less transit, but two hours more in the air.

 

 


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  # 2272048 8-Jul-2019 20:08
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wsnz:

 

OTOH personally, I haven't had any of those types of issues at LAX. Most of the time the immigration agent hasn't even spoken to me; they take the passport, motion to the fingerprint scanner and camera, then stamp the passport and away I go. Not a word even spoken.

 

The security queues for morning flights can be extremely long though.

 

 

I'm not sure how you end up with non talkative CBP agent (basic questioning is a requirement) and how you get fingerprinted and have your photo taken so often! This shouldn't happen unless you have something giving you the dreaded X on the APC machine. 

 

Once your photo and prints are taken on the APC machine provided it's not your first visit to the US (you will get a big X if it is) you will typically get directed to brief CBP interview where they'll ask stock standard questions about your travel and stamp your passport. I would have probably had 8 or so recent entries into the US at LAX, SFO, ORD and IAH since APC machines have been in use and never been had my photo or fingerprints taken again - it's just questioning by CBP about my travels.

 

Security is totally random and varies on the terminal. At least once or twice now I've seen big queues at TBIT and walked over to T5 for TSA screening and then caught the airside connector back to TBIT. Queues at TBIT also seem to vary depending on whether they're doing full screening (shoes off, electronics and lags out of bags + full body scanner) or just processing people quickly with no shoes off and using metal detectors. There does not seem to be any pattern to usage.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  # 2272082 8-Jul-2019 21:40
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tyronne:

Her answer - "Well, as a brown skin person you should know better than to travel with a beard".



Still struggling believe that anyone would think like that. I believe you, but struggling to comprehend her mentality. Makes me wonder how my kids’ lives will differ from my own on account of my white European features vs their brown skinned Inka features. I also have Māori ancestry too, but look totally Pākehā. Guess we’ll avoid that airport.

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  # 2272110 9-Jul-2019 00:29
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My experience from 2015:

 

AKL-LAX on Air NZ - Arrived at a bus gate, and had to be bused direct to immigration(?). Long queue but moved at a brisk pace and ended up landside less than 60mins from arrival at bus gate. (In contrast when I arrived in AKL on the way home it took me well over 60mins from arrival to landside—an interesting contrast I was quick to notice). I exited LAX then and spent about 2 hours exploring before I returned back to the terminal for my onwards flight.

 

Same day LAX-LHR on Air NZ (different aircraft as I had purposely scheduled a few hours in between) - Arrived at TBIT (International Terminal) with a lot of time to spare as I wasn't sure how long it would take. Ended up passing thu security in minutes (there was hardly a queue) and was airside with far too much time to spare! But I really did enjoy plane spotting and for this LAX was perfect. I happened to be in the terminal at a time when LAX had several A380s on the ground at the same time!

 

The above was my first ever experience of LAX. The following occurred a few weeks later on my return home from Europe via Washington and LAX.

 

IAD-LAX (Washington-Dulles to LAX) on United - I had a horrible departure from IAD. I arrived 3 hours prior following advice on United's website. TSA queues were horrendous and I ended up being the last passenger to board after the long TSA queues and travelling on their inter-termial system. LAX on the other hand was a complete opposite experience. No security to go through (seems they focus on the departure side and don't bother with arrival). Was not a long walk to baggage claims, and just as I walked in my bag appeared on the carousel so I picked it up straight away. Went to the help desk to enquire re transport to my accomodation. Got the info I needed and was out of the door probably no longer than 20mins after arrival at the gate.

 

Stayed in LAX for a couple of days.

 

LAX-AKL on Air NZ - I arrived a bit too early so had to wait to check in, and did so as soon as it opened. Went through security which did not take long, probably no longer than 15 mins. Ended up with a bit too much time airside again but did another tour of the airport before I found a spot to relax.

 

To be honest I had heard heaps of bad stuff about LAX, but my experience has made me feel a bit better about going via LAX again. There were parts of the LAX experience other airports in other countries could learn from. I was impressed with how fast LAX was at processing arrivals. During that trip I had arrived into LHR, NCL (Newcastle, UK) and AKL and all three airports had arrival gate-to-landside times of >60mins whereas LAX (as well as KEF in Iceland) was <60mins for both international (LAX/KEF) and domestic (LAX) arrivals.

 

I also loved the TBIT as a plane spotter. So many aircrafts to look at! Although maybe that's just me being an avgeek.

 

If you do end up having to go via LAX, I recommend you try and book it so you have a couple of hours in LAX in between flights. E.g. instead of NZ 1 all the way to LHR, take NZ 5 AKL-LAX then go and explore the area nearby LAX airport then take NZ 1 LAX-LHR. I found this break to be very helpful even though it was only a few hours.


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