2024, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Los Angeles Day 5

We had to set the alarm, due to concerns over traffic. We got up, got dressed, packed, and then realized that the app that LAX’s website had recommended for us to use to book a cab to the airport had never booked the actual cab. It had registered the trip, but had not actually assigned a vehicle. So when Jenn went to see when the cab would show up, it was doing that whole “Finding a vehicle” thing. Jenn booked the trip 12 hours earlier.

This seems…dumb. If you’re a taxi company or driver, and you think people should come back to using cabs instead of Uber and Lyft, you need your apps to work properly, because that’s how many people want to book now. And we’ll never use this app again.

Fortunately, we were able to get an Uber that would still get us to the airport in plenty of time. We weren’t actually physically from the airport, only about 22 miles, but we knew we needed time.

And did we ever need time. It took absolutely forever to get on the highway, and then once we were on the highway, it wasn’t great until we got past downtown. Then we made good time for a bit but I noticed the “time of arrival” was not getting any faster despite us travelling quite quickly on the freeway. I knew there would be some traffic ahead.

I don’t believe I’ve ever sat in a cab, in sight of my destination, and known that it would take 18 minutes to get there before. I mean, maybe, at some point, I guess. Especially if it was a tall building or something. But we basically on the ramp to get off for LAX and it said “18 minutes.” And we could see the runways and the terminals. We were a couple of hundred metres away from the airport at the very most (as the crow flies).

But it really did take 18 minutes. It might have taken 20 or 25. And that’s with the shortcut our driver took to avoid the worst of the traffic, where she essentially went in the back way. I have been in plenty of traffic jams in my life but I don’t know how often I’ve been in traffic as bad as LAX departure traffic. At least not recently.

When we finally got inside, there was nobody checking in so that was extremely quick. Security was a little bit slower but mostly remarkably polite for the TSA. (It really depends on the airport, I find, in terms of how dickish the TSA is.) Inside the gate it was busy and crowded. The Duty Free prices were brutal and so we went to find our seats and food. There were nowhere near enough seats for the number of flights at first, but going to get food meant we were able to sit somewhere else and come back to our gate after a few flights had departed. We just managed to sneak in breakfast. The server informed us the system “locked” at 11. I have no idea if he was telling the truth but if he was… Imagine deciding you need to take the power to serve breakfast to your customers from your wait staff and cooks.

We flew back on Air Canada which meant movies. I watched The Marvels and re-watched Inside Man and then the flight was over. We got off the plane pretty quickly, got through customs extremely quickly and then got our bag relatively quickly for Pearson post-pandemic. We went straight to the dog-sitter and were home way faster than we had any right to be given how long it often takes us, between Pearson’s lines and baggage delays and us living on the other side of the city.

I liked San Diego. I liked LA less but I think I’d like it more if there were some way to get around faster. I would go back to both and if I do I’d like to spend more time hiking, maybe just outside of the city. But it was a fun trip, even if it was rather brief.

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