Monday, March 01, 2010

Experiences in Los Angeles last week

If one has a rental car, check what time they allow you to return it, instead of simply assuming on the basis of logic that the relevant office will be open!

Our flight was at 0615 but the rental car office did not open till 0500...

Not only did we miss out on an hour of sleep that we could have had, we were panic-stricken at the possibility of missing the flight. Though the security guard at the office told us he'd been there 11 years and there had never been a problem, that was not much comfort to us as HE was not the person who would have heard about it if someone had missed a flight!

Still, we could not do anything about it

We did think that we'd drive to the Terminal, check in first and then return the car.

But we were defeated by the absence of road signs to the Terminal from the Car Rental Area - the road signs are otherwise plentiful and clear all across California!

So we consoled ourselves with a tea and pancakes at the Dennys nearby....where a helpful fellow-customer pointed the directions to a gas satation where we could fill up the car tank - the TomTom refused to show us any gas stations in that vicinity!

Having eventually returned the car, the shuttle got us efficiently to the Terminal, so we were quite shocked when the machine check-ins told us that it was too late to check in for the flight

the ladies at the baggage-drop counters indicated that we should check in further to our left, but as we rushed in that direction we could see nothing that looked like check in counters, so we asked the man just a bit further along who was checking paassports, but he just pointed us back in the direction of the machine terminals and seemed to have no idea of what we wanted or needed - his job was to check paassports and he knew about that but apparently not anything so exotic as passengers wanting to check in without using machine terminals

When we did find the check-in counters (further along from the man at Passport Control), the lady there was efficient and helpful and we were able to proceed without problems.... Sphere: Related Content


mesjay said...

Ah, tense moments! Thank God someone didn't get a heart attack. The whole episode feels more like something that happened in India.

Charles Kelley said...

Prabhu, as I read this posting I am at once cringing and smiling. I grew up in downton Los Angeles and I still go there 4 times a year to visit my aging mother who still lives in the family home. Each time I fly into LAX. I often rent cars. I too have gotten lost returning cars and I'm a native. And one is truly fortunate to find a stranger to give any constructive help. A good percentage don't speak English! Congrats that you still caught your flight!

By the way, the next time you come to the West Coast, if you have a chance to come to Oregon, I would love to host you!