Am I in Heaven or Just Flying Out of Palm Springs?

The Sunsplashed Airport in the Desert Soars Above the Pack—Even in the Pandemic

If you’re heading to heaven, you really should fly out of Palm Springs.

I offer that line not as a jab at the advanced average age of the Coachella Valley’s retiree-heavy population. Rather, it’s a testament to the warmth and wonder I felt while waiting for a recent flight at Palm Springs International Airport.

Pandemic-era air travel in California is typically a miserable combination of unhappy passengers and unreliable service—except in Palm Springs. There, flying still feels like a miracle.

The airport is small, with fewer than two dozen gates, and easy to …

How Airports Became the Battleground for Deciding Who Belongs in America

At LAX, Attorneys, Protestors, and Customs Officials Struggle with Trump’s Travel Ban on Muslims

At 3 p.m. on January 28, 2017—the day after Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel to the United States by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries—I frantically tried …

Why Does LAX Feel Like a Cross Between a Rundown Bus Station and a Refugee Camp?

Passengers and Pilots Alike Love to Hate on the Airport, But They Don't Understand What's Actually Wrong with It

Los Angeles International has long been the Rodney Dangerfield of airports. It gets no respect—and with good reason. Dated, overcrowded, and inefficient, LAX’s primary redeeming characteristic is the mild Southern …

Show Your Airline Some Love

Recent Megamergers and International Alliances Have Made Flying Cheaper, More Efficient, and Better Than Ever Before

Flying to Arizona on the eve of the recent holiday was a delight: crammed terminals, crammed security lines, crammed overheads, crammed runways, and harried airline employees imploring passengers to consider …

We Are LAX

Last Week Reminded Us That the Embodiment of Los Angeles Is Its Cruddy Yet Tolerated Airport

Ask a person from Los Angeles what the city’s signature public place is, and you’d probably hear about Griffith Park, Dodger Stadium, the Hollywood Bowl, or a favorite beach. But …

Conductor, Please Drop Me Off a Mile From the Airport

In California, We Wouldn’t Dream of Connecting Our Trains and Planes. That’d Be Too Far-Sighted.

A riddle. If you land at a big-city airport and there’s no train there, where are you?

Answer: California.

Yes, San Francisco, I know you’re the exception, with a BART train stop …