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Trip type: Business

Airline: Delta

Route: LAX-MSP

Last week I was back to the most dreaded of inefficient airports, LAX. My hatred is both well-documented and well-earned at this point, so it was no surprise when we spent an hour on the tarmac after arriving (on time) to find that our gate wasn’t ready. I’m honestly not even fazed any more when this happens at LAX because I just expect everything to be delayed/crazy/just short of an all-out disaster. And I am always right.

At any rate, this story is actually about my trip home which has a very happy ending. I had flown to LAX in order to drive three hours to Lake Arrowhead for a Sales/Marketing retreat (life’s tough, see below). I flew out Monday and was headed home late Thursday. Because of the drive time, I was on the last flight (before the redeye) to Minneapolis for the day at 6pm, landing just after 11pm.

I was nervous about this flight time for many reasons. For starters, it was preceded by a long drive from the mountains through rush hour traffic. In greater LA. Second, there was no room for error because if I missed the flight, I’d have to hope I could get on the redeye or stay the night (which would really louse up my carefully scheduled Friday morning in Minneapolis that included getting my hair done). Third, it was the Thursday heading into Labor Day weekend…if anything makes a bad airport worse, it’s holiday travel. Finally, and most importantly, I had been away since very early Monday morning and was dying to see my beloved tiny human (and his father).

For all my worry, everything worked out perfectly. Due to some scheduling changes with my driving partner, I ended up coming down the mountain much earlier than anticipated. With great traffic on our side, I breezed into LAX at 2pm and was through PreCheck by 2:05. After checking the flight board and seeing there was a 3pm flight to Minneapolis, I raced to the gate to see if there was any chance it wasn’t completely full. As luck would have it, there were seats available and as the agent printed out my new boarding pass, I actually got a little misty-eyed–you would have thought he built me a seat on the plane himself. He might as well have.

While LAX will probably never get off my most-loathed list, getting home three hours earlier made my day.

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Lake Arrowhead

lake arrowhead

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