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Travel Detective Blog: Common Sense Departs LAX

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Excuse me for being cynical, but I had to laugh when I received a press release that announced that part of this year’s Rose Bowl parade would include a float supported by and built by…LAX.

In case you are wondering what city and airport officials are thinking about in the City of the Angels, consider that “more than 7,000 fragrant roses and nearly 5,000 carnations will adorn a float created by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism) and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to replicate the new $1.5 billion Tom Bradley International Terminal opening in 2013.”

Are they serious? And how much money was spent on consultants to come up with the official title for the float? (“Making Connections.”)

I just wish the folks at the tourism and convention board WOULD make some more appropriate and valuable connections. And yes, while officials insist
that no taxpayer dollars were spent on the float…I need to ask about how much taxpayer time was spent on this?

From the press release: “The float represents iconic images that passengers encounter throughout their LAX experience,” said Gina Marie Lindsey, LAWA executive director.

Since I fly into and out of LAX at least twice each week, I know all about those Iconic images like:

*walking long distances between terminals
*not enough Customs and Border protection officers to clear incoming international passengers
*not enough gates to handle the traffic currently flying into the airport
*security clearance rope lines that look more like draconian cattle pens in some terminals

And while we’re on the subject of the airport float, how about hiring some singers and dancers to perform a musical tribute to the “white zone” for the immediate loading and unloading of passengers only?

I’m sure it’s all well intentioned — after all, this is the 115th CONSECUTIVE year that Los Angeles has had a float in the parade — but instead of spending somebody’s untold dollars celebrating a new terminal with a flower-infused float, perhaps officials could actually use that flower and float money and design terminals that make common sense, that actually connect you to other terminals without having to go outside security each time?

We don’t need roses and carnations in the image of a new terminal on New Year’s Day riding through the streets of Pasadena. We need FREE WI-FI for all passengers inside each terminal. and that’s a bouquet I will gladly accept.

By Peter Greenberg for