Ten-Hour Layover at LAX

posted in: Down Under 2024, Stories | 0

I am sitting in the One World Lounge, 40 minutes into my ten-hour LAX layover. Since I have no idea how to spend ten hours in this lounge, I thought I would write about it.

2:20 pm

My flight from Guadalajara arrived at 1:15. Mobile Passport didn’t work, so I had to go through the regular line, but it was quick. And even though I have TSA PreCheck, my Fiji Airways boarding pass didn’t indicate it, so I had to go through the regular line (taking off shoes, removing liquids and laptop). But that didn’t take too long either, and I soon found my way to the lounge.

The Fiji Airways website says that they offer lounge access three hours before scheduled flight time. But when I got here, they scanned my boarding pass, checked my passport, and welcomed me in. I was settled in here by 1:40.

So far, since I got here, I have had a glass of sparkling water, chatted with Luis on WhatsApp, and got a phone call from my Ajijic neighbor David, who lives in LA when not in Ajijic. He and Signe (his wife) offered to come pick me up and hang out, but that would mean schlepping luggage and doing the security shuffle again. The day would probably be more enjoyable hanging out with David and Signe, but, perhaps foolishly, I declined.

There’s a big buffet here, so I’ll probably get something to eat soon.

4:15 pm

I’m 1/4 of the way through my wait!

I had some salad…
…and some roast pumpkin and carrot soup…
… and a little pasta.

I also had a quick phone chat with my mom, and a longer video chat with Luis, who was talking while he was driving to Ajijic to pick up Taco. He filled me in on some drama at his place of employment.

And I did today’s NY Times crossword puzzle. It took me 19 minutes and 42 seconds, which is slower than my Friday average. 

And I reviewed my instructions for when I arrive in Fiji on Sunday morning. My flight is scheduled to arrive at 5:45 am. After I go through immigration and customs, which I’m told can take an hour, I need to take a shuttle to the ferry terminal, and then the ferry to the island where my hotel is located. I wanted to make sure I know how to find the shuttle. I will have plenty of time (probably too much time), as the ferry doesn’t depart until 10:45, and it’s about a half-hour drive from the airport to the ferry terminal. So I will probably have a three-hour wait at that end. I will be very happy when I can finally crash in my hotel room.

6:00 pm

I’ve been up since 3:00 this morning. I woke up and then couldn’t get back to sleep. I did sleep a short while on the flight from GDL to LAX, but now I keep feeling like I’m going to nod off. And yet, every time I close my eyes, my mind races with all the anticipating of the weeks ahead. 

I can’t even remember what I’ve been doing since my last entry. I did take a walk around the lounge, which is pretty big. A lot of different seating areas, different kinds of chairs and sofas. I moved to a different seat further from the buffet so I won’t be tempted to keep going back for more. And Luis called me while driving back to Guadalajara with Taco. I was supposed to keep him awake while he drives, but I’m really in no shape to do that.

I said I have a ten-hour layover, but that’s based on the departure time of my flight tonight. Since boarding will be at 11:00, give or take, I only have another five hours to go. Almost halfway through the wait! I think I can survive.

7:30 pm

I just got a message from Fiji Airways that boarding time has been moved up to 10:30. I have no idea why.

Been reading and watching videos and playing games on my phone. And eating, even though I’ve eaten too much already. I’m done eating. That’s an official announcement.

I still haven’t been able to sleep.

By the way, AeroMexico first class was anything but. Their lounge at GDL was small and had minimal food options, not that I was planning to eat anything. And the seating wasn’t especially comfortable. On the plane, a wider seat with more legroom, but the service sucked. Flight attendant came around with a drink cart and offered a choice of club sandwich or ham and cheese. I went with the club sandwich. It came in a box. She laid a white tablecloth on my tray table, and my drink came in a glass glass, but otherwise there was nothing upscale about the food. And after meal service was over, I didn’t see a flight attendant in the cabin for the rest of the flight. When I got up to use the lavatory, all the flight attendants were gathered up front chatting.

I assume their business class to Europe is more legitimate, but I would never again fly AeroMexico first class to the US. Absolutely not worth the extra cost.

9:15 pm

It’s very cold in this lounge. I’m wearing a sweatshirt.

In about an hour I will head to my gate.

I’m tired and bleary-eyed, but still can’t sleep. I’m sure I will be able to sleep on the plane. They’ll probably feed us shortly after takeoff. Maybe I’ll be hungry by then. Or maybe not.

This is the end of a dull post describing a dull day. I’ll write again from Fiji.

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