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Trip type: Business

Airline: Delta

Route: MSP-LAX

On my definitive rankings of worst airports in the world, LAX is right at the top of my list. Even when things go smoothly, they are somehow laced with chaos and anxiety. I steel myself every time I enter that airport for the fresh new hell that awaits. This trip was no different.

The bright spot of flying to LAX is that the companionship is never lacking. From the woman in un-ironic cat ears to the usual omnipresent “”producers”” (double quotes because of how hard they try to act like you should wonder who they are), it was pretty great gate-watching.

Arriving in California, our gate wasn’t ready. Of course. Thirty minutes later, we deplaned and I attempted to leave the airport as quickly as possible which was hampered partly by us arriving to the last gate on the concourse and partly because there was construction everywhere (as per the usual. I have yet to fly to LAX and not encounter a construction project).

A colleague was picking me up down on the baggage level and it took her a good 40 minutes to even get into the pick-up area and then another half hour for us to find each other in the insanity that is collecting people at LAX. How can a city with highways boasting what seems like 16 lanes in each direction only have one lane for pulling over in the arrivals section of the airport?

Headed back to the airport Thursday, I thought we had left enough time to get all the way up from Orange County. Unfortunately, I forgot to budget time for the traffic shenanigans that are a staple of California–even at 5:30 a.m. We made pretty good time to LAX but I nearly bit my fingernails off as we approached within an hour of my flight and we were still fighting our way around the drop off loop to get to the Delta terminal. Unreal. I’d guess it took us a solid 20 minutes from arriving on the airport property to get to the Delta doors. Pre-Check is the only thing that got me through security and to the gate on time.

I’m just counting the minutes until my next flight West!