Cranky on the Web – Travel Tips for Scotch Drinkers, Billions at LAX, More

LAX - Los Angeles

Holiday-Travel HacksThe Glenlivet – The Cask
I didn’t know that The Glenlivet scotch (and yes, it’s “The” Glenlivet) had a lifestyle app, but now I know. The Cask reached out to me to give them some tips for a holiday travel piece. I think it came out quite well, actually.

Nearly $5 billion allotted for new LAX concourse and connector train projectsKPCC – The Breakdown
LAX is about to spend a ton of money on more upgrades. I’m writing about this on the blog in the new year (and why it’s not actually a bad thing) but in this piece, I commented on the new consolidated rental car center.

Winter Storms Will Snarl Holiday Travel This Week: Here’s What You Need To KnowInternational Business Times
A nice shout-out for Cranky Concierge in this piece talking about the weather issues from this week.

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14 comments on “Cranky on the Web – Travel Tips for Scotch Drinkers, Billions at LAX, More

  1. In almost all cases these consolidated rental car centers have made things less convenient for accessing rental cars, and they have increased costs. Almost all airports that have the centers have imposed another cost on car rentals, on top of all the taxes and concession fees, there is now a facility fee, as high as $20 at SFO, which at least has a train. Many of these centers rely on buses, and since all the renters have to ride the same bus, the companies no longer have to compete on frequency and helpfulness. Instead the buses are often crowded. Also they don’t drop you off near your car or the counter, but sometimes quite a walk away.

    It seems to me that many of these were built to create construction jobs and maybe give contracts to a favored developer or property owner. Many are sited far less conveniently than the former rental car operations (see LAS and SEA for good examples of that, not well connected to freeways, and long bus rides.)

    1. Carl – That shouldn’t be the case here. I’ll write about this more in the
      new year, but at LAX, car rentals absolutely suck today. You have to take
      a bus a long distance to every rental car company and the process is just
      bad. This will have a train that takes you to a central area which is
      right next to the 405 so it’ll make for easy access to the freeways. It
      will be costly for sure, but the experience will improve dramatically.

      1. Well, since I get a car, I usually want to head up Lincoln Blvd, a new location near perpetually congested I-405 isn’t an advantage. I also often stay at the Sheraton or what is now the Hyatt Concourse, and from those I can walk over to Budget, Avis, etc. in the morning. In any event I hope they don’t try to amortize the train and CONRAC on the back of car renters.

      2. It can’t make things worse. I trus to return a rental to Dollar last spring and at 6 am, it took about 15 minutes at the counter to pay (I switched credit cards) and then 45 minutes to get to the terminal by shuttle bus.

    2. Meh. SEA’s Rental car facility was necessary because the port was running out of space at its huge 13,000 spot parking garage. The rental car facility added 5,400 spots to that.

      Now you can argue that that facility should’ve been more long term parking and have locals ride the bus to some parking, but SeaTac needed additional parking.

      Also, having the rental facility in one location and other parking in another location, may have improved efficiency, as there would be less need for gates, etc for the express car area..

      Now, what really should happen is the cemetery near the airport should move… But thats a huge political issue..

        1. Seatac did not need more short-term parking at the terminal. The Port sells discounted monthly parking as well as discounted weekly parking in the garage at the terminal. Long-term parking could have been provided by private operators off-site. Frankly the rental car shuttle operation at Seatac has completely gummed up the arrivals drive because they have taken away about 20% of the curb space that was being used to pick up passengers to create bus zones for the 29-bus fleet of shuttle buses that has been added to the arrivals drive. This CONRAC was an unneeded taj mahal that has made the airport function worse.

          1. I didn’t say the Port needed more short term parking. I said it needed more parking. Period.

            Private parking operators most likely would’ve gone with surface lots, which aren’t a very good use land as its a low density use. Given that Link Light Rail has moved into SeaTac more density is to be expected, and is a good thing.

  2. CONRAC — a reasonable solution to the current rental car mess, and closer to the freeways (but with direct access only to/from the 405 south). Metro Rail connection — an improvement over the current G shuttle, though I still don’t get why they need two separate Metro stations at Century and 96th. What I really don’t understand is the third component of the plan, the Intermodal Transfer Facility (ITF) on Sepulveda: Who’s going to use it? Why would anyone want to be dropped off or picked up at a people mover site rather than at their terminal?

    1. Ron – The facility near Sepulveda is more about long term parking. It’ll
      connect Lot C with the terminals by train.

  3. I just went through LAX and was really surprised at the different level of security we experienced. We were told that we didn’t need to take our laptops out of our bags and our shoes could stay on and this was the same for everyone in line. And it was hard to believe, but we went through an honest-to-goodness metal detector! It beeped, even, when it didn’t like my shoes which I then did have to send through the belt scanner. I wonder if this was only because of the construction and they had to set up a temporary checkpoint.

    1. I’m guessing that maybe you were auto-opted into the Pre Check lane? That
      does happen and people often don’t know that they’re in it. That sounds
      strange otherwise.

  4. Consolidated rental car facilities are a necessary evil. I freaking love smaller airports where I can walk from gate to rental car. Hub airports that’s becoming a thing of the past. Shuttle busses to the rental cars almost universally suck, be they operated by the companies themselves or the airport. At DCA I can usually walk it faster than the slow busses BTW.

    So with a rail link at LAX I hope it’s better. And LAX does have terrible rental car organization. My only wish is rental car facilities got right next to terminals and the long term parking was via train. I park at terminal 2 MSP all the time and take the train to my departure at 1. That I can plan for, late flight and wasted time on a rental car shuttle when I’ve got a meeting, not cool.

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