LAX

Airports deploying ‘mask nannies’

Right now face coverings and masks are required in every airport and on most airlines due to continued concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

There are signs, stickers, and announcements everywhere a traveler turns, but still, not everyone is covering up.

Some people don’t want to mask up and it is reassuring to know that some airlines won’t let those folks fly.

Other travelers may have forgotten their masks or are neglecting to put them on in areas of the airport.

So, to help passengers get with the program, “ambassadors” who are serving as mask nannies are being sent out into airport terminals to help.

Yes, it’s come to that.

At San Francisco International Airport (SFO) “TravelWell Ambassadors” are roving the terminals to make sure passengers wear face coverings and maintain proper physical distancing.

At Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the mask nannies are called “Travel Safety Ambassadors. They’re on duty in Terminal 1 and in the Tom Bradey International Terminal (TBIT).

Don’t have a mask? No problem. The mask nannies have a supply of them. So there should be no excuses.

We expect other airports are or will be deploying mask nannies as well.

At LAX: Hot or not?

Thermal scanning of passengers is common at many airports in Asia.

If the new Terminal Wellness Pilot Program rolling out at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on June 23 works out, then thermal scanning could become the new normal in U.S. airports too.

The new pilot program uses thermal camera technology to identify travelers who have elevated body temperatures.

The heat-seeking cameras are set up inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at both the main entrance on the departures level and inside the terminal near some international arrivals.

For the pilot program, the cameras will be screening both arriving and departing passengers who voluntarily agree to be screened. And LAX officials say passengers who don’t want to be screened will be able to decline the scan.

The thermal cameras will be identifying people with body temperatures of 100.4 degrees or more. A fever could be mean that a traveler has COVID-19.

Passengers flagged with an elevated temperature will go through secondary screening that includes having a medical professional do a temperature check with a handheld, non-contact thermometer.

LAX says departing passengers with elevated body temperature will be advised not to travel. Passengers on arriving international flights who may be ill could be referred to CDC staff on site.

Fresh art at Los Angeles International Airport

Heading to or through the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) or Terminal 6 at LAX?

Here’s some info about two now site-specific art installations to look for at Los Angeles International Airport, courtesy of the airport’s partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA),

“Forest, For the Trees” curated by Julie Kornblum

“Forest, For the Trees” is an installation featuring knitted, crocheted, woven and other fiber-based artworks made by more than 40 artists.

“This installation hopes to address the wonders and perils of the forest by creating an environment that is at once unique and fantastic,” said Los Angeles-based artist and project curator Julie Kornblum.

The installation is the newest iteration of Kornblum’s ongoing partnership with the Arroyo Arts Collective and Yarn Bombing Los Angeles. Artists independently created works in their own individual styles and techniques, from realistic woodland creatures made of felt, to stylized tree trunks and branches sprouting from used sweaters. 

Look for “Forest, For the Trees” at LAX in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, Customs Hallway, on the Arrivals Level through January 2020.  

The Unemployed” by Jody Zellen

“The Unemployed” is a site-specific installation by Jody Zellen that features a large-scale, interactive digital projection and four video monitors.

Using data culled from online sources that list unemployment rates for over 200 countries, Zellen depicts this numerical information as animated figures, creating an alternative way to visualize these statistics. 

Zellen created a software program that randomly cycles through the unemployment data of the different countries and, for each country, depicts an array of figures made of simple lines moving within a grid on the wall.

The piece is interactive: as passersby move through the space, their silhouettes are projected onto the wall and transformed into a presence consisting of the ambling figures.  

The installation is open to the public in Terminal 6 on the Departures Level through September 2019 and is also available via a free app.

All photos in this post by Panic Studio LA, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

LAX food truck serves up tacos

Eating at airports. We’ve all got our go-to places at the airports we often travel to and through. And there are foods we seek out wherever we might land.

For taco lovers, there’s a new option at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Chicken Street Taco’s on wood

Leo’s Xpress, associated with Los Angeles’ famed Leo’s Tacos Truck, is the latest local food concept in LAX’s rotating food truck concept by restaurateur HMSHost and its Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise partner Havana House.  

The indoor truck is located in the LAX Terminal 4 food hall.

At LAX, Leo’s Xpress menu offers donw-to-earth prices and offers travelers a great range of authentic taste of Mexican street food.

Along with the popular Al Pastor tacos – named among the best in LA – Leo’s serves freshly made tacos, quesadillas, burritos, alambres, and tortas. Each can be accompanied with a selection of toppings from the salsa bar.

Early morning to late-night travelers can also savor Leo’s all-day breakfast menu of Huevos Rancheros, Breakfast Tacos, and Breakfast Burritos.

Leo’s Xpress at LAX originated from Leo’s Tacos Truck which has been serving its fresh and affordable tacos since 2010. It started in West Los Angeles and expanded to four truck locations from Koreatown and Echo Park to the Valley. While Leo’s developed a loyal local following, it’s received national recognition appearing on various best of food truck lists in top publications including Fodor’s Travel and PEOPLE.

Have a favorite spot to recommend at LAX or another airport? Please send it along.

Airport pianos you can play

Make Music Day may be over, but airports around the country are celebrating all summer long.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) will keep its piano with an octopus theme in Terminal 2 across from gate E33 through Labor Day.

STL has another, year-round “Play Me” piano in Terminal 1, at the Aero stage across from Starbucks. 

Over at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), they have a couple of new pianos as well.

On Make Music Day, June 21, LAX debuted two new Kawai G-40EP manual and self-playing baby grand pianos. These are located in the Terminal 4 connector and on the Upper Level of Terminal 7. 

Performances by airport employees, including the LAX Chorus, were part of the celebration.

We’re putting together a list of all U.S. airports with sit-and-play pianos. Help us out by letting us know where you’ve seen one – or played one.