We must have been starved for good songs back in the early 70’s. I remember, like many others, singing along to “♪L A International Airport – where the big jet engines roar ♪..”. It always sounded so glamorous, all that stuff about silver wings and friendly skies. Well, the good news is that LAX is much the same today as it was when the song took the world by storm in 1971. The bad news is – well – the same as the good news.
We arrive at terminal 6. Our itinerary says that we will depart again from terminal 4. OK, we have actually been to LAX before, so we know there is no easy way to get from one point to another in this massive place. Each of the seven terminals is a separate building and you need to plunge outside into the street with its noisy honking traffic to get from one to another. We follow the rushing crowd down the maze of hallways towards the exit, grimacing at the thought of having to come back through the whole US customs and security process at our next terminal. Then Nanette spots something.
“That sign only says exit to terminals 1-3. Maybe there’s another way to get to number 4.” We look around. Nope, nothing obvious to the mere Aussie mortal. “Why don’t we ask someone?” Hmm – dilemma. Ask directions, or go through the security checks. Fortunately, Nanette solves the problem by bowling up to two young ladies lounging behind a desk halfway along the final tunnel. “Is there another way to terminal 4?” Number one – “No honey – you all just head on out to the street and it’s rart close by.” Number two – “Aw sugar pie. Sure there is. You all just head back the way you came and look for gate 65a. There’s a shuttle.” Number one “”There eees? Well arl be.”
We feel odd being the only ones going back up the tunnel, pushing through the surging bodies of people eager to escape to freedom. It’s a little disconcerting to walk past the big signs that scream, “Turn back! No re-entry!” I have visions of armed security guards pouncing from the shadows and dragging us away for interrogation, but then I realise that the two ladies were in fact the security guards. We breathe sighs of relief when we safely get to gate 65a. There’s another young lady sitting near a door. “Yes, there is a shuttle bus, but, how did you find out about it?”
At last we’re in terminal 4. It’s about 11:00pm but the place is still buzzing with people. The flight is around midnight so we just have to find a place to relax, and then it’s on to the flying kangaroo and home – well, fourteen hours in the plane, an hour to clear immigration and collect bags, two hours drive, and loss of a day on the calendar, but then home!