Postcard from... Los Angeles


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The Independent Online

Truly, Los Angeles International – aka LAX – is one of the first world’s worst airports. The traffic is awful both to and inside this west coast travel hub, which comprises not a small handful of large, retail-rich terminals, but nine tiny ones, each of which seem less well stocked beyond security than Luton. Little wonder it’s consistently ranked at or near the bottom of surveys of America’s airports. And now it seems someone at LAX has been nicking its passengers’ luggage to boot.

On Wednesday, according to the LA Times, police descended on 25 properties in Southern California, making several arrests, at the climax of their inquiry into a racket run by current and former employees of the airlines’ baggage handling contractors. Detectives seized a haul of items believed stolen from cargo holds, including jewellery, electronics and clothes. Patrick Gannon, chief of LAX’s airport police, said: “The actions of these few do not represent the nearly 45,000 individuals who work for LAX.”

On the plus side, LAX is in the middle of a $4.1bn (£2.5bn) makeover, and international visitors will be the first to reap the benefits: the jewel in this tarnished airport’s crown is the Tom Bradley International terminal, whose $1.9bn upgrade ends next year.