With the new security restrictions at domestic airports, I was concerned that there would be huge lines at LAX today for my flight. I removed all liquid and gel-like items from my luggage (I always carry-on, never check) and headed to the airport a few hours early. As the parking shuttle brought me in to the airport, I saw that the police had implemented their random car searches again, but this didn’t cause a delay as they just waved the shuttles through. I saw some lines outside of Terminal 1, which houses US Airways, Southwest, and America West, but they appeared to be for checking bags, not for security. The biggest crowds and hubbub were at the international terminal. T4, where I am now, has a ton of media trucks outside, but the situation inside is fine – slightly longer lines for checking bags, but lines for check-in and security are about normal for a weekday afternoon. I was checked in and through security in under 10 minutes.
According to the airport staff that I talked to, the lines were much longer in the morning as people who hadn’t heard of the liquid ban were getting things confiscated, but things have died down a bit at that end and are now making lines longer for checking bags. So, if you’re traveling today and are checking a bag, get there early. The TSA is recommending getting to the airport 2-3 hours before your flight departs. If you’re not checking a bag, you probably have a little more time. In either case, make sure you take all the liquids out of your carry-on bag – I did see TSA employees confiscate some lotion from one person and there was a bin full of confiscated stuff in the security area. Liquids in checked bags are ok, and baby formula and medications are exempt from the ban.