Dry Ice Bombs at LAX Bring Increased Security, Quick Arrest

Regardless of how it happens, who made it or where it came from, when something explodes in an airport, it’s serious business. After not one but two dry ice explosions occurred on consecutive days at California’s Los Angeles International Airport, police are increasing securlty.

They are simple enough to make; add dry ice to a 20 ounce plastic bottle and wait. There is plenty of dry ice in the area, food service vendors use it daily.

Finding out who did it, apparently, might not very difficult either; police arrested an airport employee Tuesday night. Dicarlo Bennett, a 28-year-old employee for the ground handling company Servisair, was charged with possessing and exploding a “destructive device near an aircraft,” according to a statement from police, reports CBS News.

The exploded bombs did not cause any injuries or damage.Bennett apparently took the dry ice from a plane and placed it in an employee restroom Sunday night where it exploded about 7pm, locking down terminal 2. Another device exploded in a restricted area outside the international terminal on Monday.

Teen arrested for pointing laser at aircraft

A 14- year old California teen was arrested today for pointing a laser pen at two aircraft as they approached Los Angeles International Airport.

The teen is accused of pointing a green laser pen at a police helicopter and an airplane the ground in South Los Angeles.

LaserPointerSafety.com warns “You should NEVER aim a laser pointer at an airplane or helicopter. It is unsafe, you may be arrested, and you may help get laser pointers banned.” Distracting or flashblinding pilots is serious business that end up in jail time, up to 20 years for an Orlando, Florida man last month.

There were 100 incidents of laser pointing at LAX reported in 2010, more than any other airport in the country.

Flickr image by M. Pastor (who apparently is trying to blind the photographer in this photo)AOLTravel reports “Lasers can put planes and passengers at risk by distracting and even temporarily blinding pilots, the FAA said. Most of the incidents occurred during takeoffs and landing”

Man stuffs his pants full of birds – tries to pass customs at LAX

Some airport stories are so funny, you’d think we made them up.

Sony Dong was stopped at Los Angeles International airport last Tuesday, when customs officials noticed feathers and bird poop on his socks.

Upon inspection, the officers found more than a dozen songbirds strapped to his legs.

Now, once you get over the thought of flying with your legs covered in bird crap, imagine how bad it must have been for these poor birds.

Three red-whiskered bul-buls, four magpie robins and six shama thrush are now in quarantine, and Mr Dong is locked away, along with an accomplice. The men have been charged with conspiracy in an eight count indictment.

Worst of all, this isn’t even the first time (or the last) that people have tried this – back in February we wrote about a man arrested in Australia with 2 pigeons up his pants.

Jamie Lynn, Britany, Kanye: Celebrities at Los Angeles airport create problems for the rest of us

Let’s say you’ve arrived at LAX airport and you happen to look, kind of, like Jamie Lynne Spears, and it–kind of, looks like you are carrying a baby. From this LA Times article’s account, you’d be surrounded by some paparazzi in a wild flurry as they snapped your picture hoping to sell it to TMZ, Perez Hilton, or some other celeb loving publication.

That’s what happened Wednesday night when Jamie Lynne Spears was to arrive at the airport with new baby in tow. Spears did show up, but the paparazzi were going after a decoy. [Although, by this account, she wasn’t a decoy–but someone who just happened to look like Jamie Lynn Spears who the police were helping get through the airport in the flock of paparazzi. I’m confused.]

At any rate. Supposing you weren’t a decoy, but someone who REALLY does look a bit like Jamie Lynn Spears? What Wednesday’s story does illustrate is that LAX is becoming increasingly a paparazzi paradise for snapping pics as celebrities haul themselves and their luggage through the airport.

Big deal, you might think. But, according to what I read, it’s having an influence on travel for the rest of us. Sure, you may not be hounded by people trying to take your picture, but when Kanye West was arrested earlier this week, it gummed up the airport’s flow. Security was busy handling Kanye West’s arrest outside the passenger security areas of Terminal 4. As exciting as it may have looked to be part of the melodrama, what about catching that plane?

The article also said that such nonsense creates flight delays for everyone else–not just the celebrities whose pictures are in high demand. The article also talked about how people happened to be at the airport the same time when Britney Spears was flanked by photographers who were vying for a good angle while she was making her way on the escalator.

It’s not that she was on the escalator by her lonesome. As the paparazzi flocked, some people were knocked askew. From the article’s description, it sounds like celebrities make it through the airport often, so much so that photographers stake themselves out there daily.

If you want to see what it’s like to be a celebrity, figure out which one you look like, head to the airport and try to act like you don’t want your picture taken. Might be fun—or not.

The question is. Is the photo of Jamie Lynne Spears or the decoy? I think it’s the decoy.

Remote Bag Check-in at LAX

In an effort to ease congestion and help travelers, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is experimenting with remote bag check-in, at locations around the city. The month-old program is apparently working well, and they’re adding locations.

The service, provided by BAGS, Inc., includes getting airline boarding passes and bag check in, for up to two bags, for between $10-15 per person. At the check-in locations, shuttle bus service ($6 round trip) is available to take you right to LAX. You can then proceed through security and right to your gate.

Check-in locations include the Van Nuys FlyAway bus terminal in the San Fernando Valley, the Union Station FlyAway bus stop at Patsaouras Transit Center, the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center. They hope to expand the program to major hotels as well.

Unfortunately, it’s only available to U.S. destinations at this time, and the airlines are limited to major U.S. carriers.

If this does expand to hotels and other locations, this would be a good way of avoiding nightmarish check-in lines, although you’re still stuck in security lines.