LAX set on image overhaul

LAX set on image overhaul
By admin


Reviled Los Angeles Airport (LAX) is destined to shake-off its reputation as a grim gateway to the US as it continues a massive US$5 billion overhaul.

Passengers have long complained that LAX creates a dismal first impression of Los Angeles and the US with the airport dragged down by poor facilities and service.

The issues have been acknowledged by senior management who are now focused on ploughing on with the redevelopment, the largest public private project in the history of Los Angeles.

The US Travel Association has also spoken of the need to create a good first impression from the moment international visitors set foot off the aircraft.

“It’s fair to say that you don’t feel like you’re visiting on the world’s great cities when you arrive at the airport,” said LAX director external affairs Celine Cordero. “We are dedicated to upgrading the customer experience.”
Creating that image is of paramount importance, she said.

The end result of the project will be a sophisticated Tom Bradley International Terminal that will “provide the Los Angeles region with the world class transportation facility it deserves”. It is scheduled to open in 2013.

There will be 61 shops and additional space for airline lounges, with precide details of the space available still being negotiated.

Along with poor facilities, passengers have complained of an unwelcoming and inefficient immigration system. That will also be a major focus, officials said, with an additional 20 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staff secured for the airport.

Mary Grady, managing director media and public relations at Los Angeles World Airports, said : “Adequate Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staffing has been an ongoing issue here at LAX. There will be a total of 80 CBP stations at the new international terminal. If fully staffed 4000 passengers can be processed per hour.”

Greater communication between airport staff, airlines and passengers will ensure far smoother processing, she said.
“Much work has been done and we are confident customs processing will be improved when the terminal opens,” Grady added.

Outside of US neighbours Mexico and Canada, Australia is the largest international market for LAX with 383,000 passengers arriving through LA in 2011, up 6.1% on 2010.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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