Long Beach Airport: Here’s Looking at You, Kid

For LAers traveling on JetBlue Airways, Long Beach Airport (official initials LGB, not to be confused with sexuality categories) is often the only departure option. I don’t mind that at all. Pulling up to LGB always reminds me of the final scenes of “Casablanca”, which is appropriate given the airport’s extensive history.  For instance, the airport’s main terminal was built in 1941, making it a year older than the release of “Casablanca”, and the airfield itself dates back years earlier.

Now, I know that the line in the ticketing/check-in area seems to get longer every year, and that the main gate areas at either end are crowded and harshly lit.  But you can check in for your flight online, and if you have luggage to check, you can do so at curbside.  I had just a three minute wait on a recent crowded evening, and the $2 curbside baggage check fee was well worth it.  Moreover, the upstairs level of LGB is open to the public and is truly intimate, with some comfy seating around a quaintly tiled compass/zodiac design (free wireless hotspot too), or the cafe just steps away.  In the hallway are some cool photos showing more of LGB’s history, along with some vintage aviation posters in the stairwells at either end.

Finally, arriving and claiming bags at LBG is usually a snap, with just a couple of carousels and, typically, very few flights competing for them.

In other words, for most problems associated with Long Beach Airport’s miniature size, I find a way to bail out.

6 Replies to “Long Beach Airport: Here’s Looking at You, Kid”

  1. I saw this place for the first time a few weeks ago and have been meaning to go back with my camera. I’d never been there and couldn’t believe it when I pulled up. Such a gem.

  2. That Casablanca farewell scene was shot at Van Nuys Airport, weren’t it, Matt? But I get your angle…

  3. I love LGB! Any time we go to Vegas (it’s been a while) we try to fly JetBlue out of here. Easy/cheap long term parking, fun atmosphere, short waits. Thanks for the LBG love, Matt!

  4. There’s been a ton of aviation history made at Long Beach – I was last at this terminal about 8 years ago, glad to see it hasn’t been “upgraded” to some modern blandness.

  5. Hey bab, I wasn’t implying that Casablanca was shot at LGB. It’s just the same quaint old airport feel that I get when going there or seeing the movie. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

  6. Long before I saw LGB used as “shorthand” for sexual orientation, it was the trademark of a German manufacturer of large-scale (1:24 or 1:22.5) model trains.

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