Wednesday, November 3, 2010


While searching for photos to use in other postings, I went rooting around the dark, dusty, cob-webbed corners of my photo archive hard drive. And found some shots taken when I first returned to LAX (after a touch-and-go in Memphis) in the spring of 2007. Since the loyal readership endured the October drought in posts, I thought it would be a bit of a treat to share some of them with you here.

We'll start with an early morning view of the north side:

The D-8 alley, between Terminals 1 and 2. Check out the United B735 on Taxiway E and the old-school Southwests!

Terminal 2, before Northwest disappeared into Delta.

Terminal 3. A lot has happened since this photo was taken: ATA is no more; Midwest now only exists as a name on aircraft operated by Republic, who also now owns Frontier. Frontier and Midwest flights now operate out of Terminal 6. AirTran, seen here at Gate 35, has since moved to Terminal 6 . . . and then, just last month, moved back to Terminal 3. AirTran has recently been bought by Southwest, and will disappear over the next year or so. Coincidentally, Southwest also owned ATA before it went away. One other little thing is that Gate 39, where the left Frontier is parked in this shot, no longer exists, having made way for a baggage handling facility.

The D-10 alley, serving the west side of Terminal 3 and the north end of the International Terminal (TBIT). When this shot was taken, the north end of the TBIT was being reworked to accommodate the Airbus A380. If you look just above the Mexicana (another airline no longer on the scene) Airbus, you can see the area where the building had been; two gates had been there (and have since been restored). Looking above the terminal, Taxiways Q and S, along with the line of buildings and equipment paralleling Taxiway S, have made way for the current TBIT expansion and taxiway relocation project.

And now some mid-day shots:

Another view of Terminal 1. More brown Southwests, along with a temporary white-top at Gate 2. Southwest picked up this B737 second-hand from a corporate user; it's since had winglets installed and been repainted. The US Airways Arizona Cardinals A319 still makes appearances at LAX.

Terminal 2, showing a Northwest Airbus sporting the old red-top livery. There's an old-school United Airbus on Taxiway E; not so rare since even now there are a fair number of gray-top United aircraft around. An gone (and not missed, either) Eagle SF34 brings up the end of the line of waiting departures.

The south end of the TBIT, seen over the shiny rounded roof of Terminal 4. Above the roof of the TBIT, you can see the former American Eagle terminal, which has also made way for the afore-mentioned expansion/relocation project. All of these carriers are still seen at LAX with the exception of Aer Lingus, the Irish national airline (radio callsign: Shamrock). Back when they were still here, I saw a guy have a brain fart one day and completely blank on their callsign. Some quick-thinking joker told him "Leprechaun" - and he used it on frequency! He then couldn't understand why a) the pilots wouldn't talk to him; and b) everyone else in the tower was laughing their heads off! And now the Irish are no longer at LAX. Hmmm . . . (International incident calling on Line 2)


  1. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Hard to believe that was only 3 years ago, a lot has changed. What's it going to look like in 2013 with all these mergers and aquisitions? Airlines like Alaska, Jet Blue, and USair better find a dance partner.


  2. I wish I had taken pictures during my first stint at LAX. There were a good deal more now-departed names: Aero California, Air India, America West, Aviacsa, Midway, National, TWA, Vanguard, and Varig are all carriers that have disappeared from the scene at LAX in recent memory. Some became part of another name, some no longer fly into LAX, and some just no longer exist.

    In the near-term, I think Jet Blue, Southwest, and Virgin America will manage. Southwest isn't really one of the little guys anymore, while the other two are new enough to not yet have serious legacy overhead problems. I couldn't say about Alaksa; as far as I know they're doing okay. US Air, even after merging with America West, is not too healthy, and I've heard that they're shopping for another partner. With United and Continental tying the knot, there may not be a good one available. A while back there was talk of American and British Airways merging, but I think that got shot down. Qantas is reportedly looking for someone as well, although I can't think of a likely candidate unless they can duplicate an Air France-KLM-Alitalia or Lufthansa-Swiss sort of arrangement.