When my flight was cancelled recently, I was immersed in the foul Los Angeles International Airport for four hours, sitting in the cramped terminal seats, eating tasteless tamales, struggling to buy papers in the small, crowded shop. Finally, I flew to the clean, bright and welcoming Southwest terminal at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
What a contrast. As I walked into the Phoenix airport, I was shocked by the open spaces, the cleanliness and the variety of eating places and shops. It looks like an upscale, well-tended mall. The restrooms donít have the LAX stink. The eating places are clean and inviting, offering Chinese, Italian and Mexican food, burgers, bagels and more. The two shops selling books, magazines and papers are large. The customers are not scrunched as they are in Los Angeles. And the help is polite. When my friends and I walked into the sports bar, we were not ignored, LAX style. The waitress actually found us a table.
If I were still a real reporter, I would get to the bottom of this. I would call whoever is now the boss at LAX and demand answers. I would pore through records until I uncovered the story behind the awarding of contracts to such incompetents. I would call the airport commissioners, all of them appointed by the mayor, and demand answers. Iíd write a long story, giving space to the commissionersí mealy-mouthed replies.
I donít have to do that any more. I am now a blogger. I can write what I see. I donít have to deal with some editor worrying about being fair.
Our airport is a disgrace. The concessionaires should be dumped. The airport commissioners should go to Phoenix and find out how to do it right. I hope their flight is cancelled, like mine was, and they have to wait for four hours in the Southwest terminal so they can share their customersí misery.