The long-awaited LAX 'people-mover' shuttle train will arrive 2023

The long-awaited LAX 'people-mover' shuttle train will arrive 2023

Start counting down, but don't hold your breath: LAX is getting an 'automated people-mover' which will not only whisk travellers between terminals but to parking stations and even connect to the Los Angeles metro, if that's your thing.

Costed at US$4.9 billion, the long-awaited transit project is expected to be operating by early 2023.

The driverless carriages will run on rubber wheels set into a guideway channel, rather than light rail train tracks – similar to Singapore's Changi Airport Skytrain.

They'll scoot along an elevated track snaking down the middle of the Los Angeles airport precinct.

This track will run down the middle of the 'horseshoe' formed by the U-shaped arrangement of LAX terminals, with covered walkways connecting the stations to the terminals.

There'll be three stops at the airport proper: one serving TBIT, T3 and T4; a second for T2, T5/T6; and another for T1 and T7/T8.

Next along the route will be a station at the Intermodel Transport Facility (ITF) West; another across Aviation Boulevard at ITF East which will also connect to a new station on the Metro light rail system; and a final stop at a Consolidated Rent-a-Car Centre.

(Sorry, there's no stop at In-N-Out).

The ITF stops will serve as ground transportation hubs where travellers can be picked up by a friend or a ride-share driver, or hop onto a bus to nearby hotels, parking lots or downtown LA.

The trains are promised to run every two minutes, 24 hours a day.

LAX operating authority Los Angeles World Airports sees the shuttle as a vital piece of infrastructure in the lead-up to the city hosting the 2028 Olympic Games by "removing the frustration of the tangled traffic inside the horseshoe."

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

20 Comments

  • Tom Wilson

    tommygun

    17 Apr, 2018 06:44 am

    I love that last promo image in David's story - almost nobody on the train. At LAX? Really, who are they trying to kid?
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  • sgb

    sgb

    17 Apr, 2018 08:31 am

    Will the entire system ground to a halt if it gets a puncture?
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  • Dave

    Grannular

    17 Apr, 2018 10:11 am

    Fair question. Car tires seem like an odd choice. Especially when spending $5b
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  • sgb

    sgb

    17 Apr, 2018 10:38 am

    I think a monorail or the traditional steel wheels on steel track would have been better. Maintenance and replacement of the rubber tires will be a worry and simply wont last.
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  • moa999

    moa999

    17 Apr, 2018 01:41 pm

    Rubber tyres have better traction, generally better acceleration (important when stops are so close together) and better in the wet
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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    18 Apr, 2018 03:49 pm

    It sounds like the LAX shuttle will be similar to the Yurikamome line in Tokyo.
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  • pungpui

    pungpui

    17 Apr, 2018 08:46 am

    Almost $5 billion and not even a stop at in-n-out??? ;)
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  • Robert Eden

    reno

    17 Apr, 2018 10:33 am

    Will they follow the Australian airport operators line an charge an outrageous fee to move people from terminals.maybe us$20 to go 100 yds from terminal 4 to 5 at lax.give me a break.
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    JKH

  • mviy

    mviy

    17 Apr, 2018 10:59 am

    Will this be airside or will you have to go through security after changing terminals using this?
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  • David Flynn

    David

    17 Apr, 2018 11:25 am

    It's in the public or 'landside' zone – if you look at the photos you'll get the idea.
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  • sgb

    sgb

    17 Apr, 2018 01:02 pm

    Being 'landside' can you imagine the types hanging out in this contraption, let alone the sorts you come across inside the terminal itself. They might have to make it payable to ride.
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    JKH

  • Tom Wilson

    tommygun

    17 Apr, 2018 02:25 pm

    Or put in a guard with an AR-15.
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  • grov

    grov

    17 Apr, 2018 02:49 pm

    If it connects to their Metro, wondering why the Metro wasn't extended into the airport, like JFK.
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  • Graeme Bray

    Livewireshock

    17 Apr, 2018 03:29 pm

    The New York subway or Long Island RR do not go to JFK (or Newark), they are connected by an Airtrain shuttle service at both airports, which is almost exactly like this proposal and you get charged extra for using it. Even La Guardia is getting there own version soon.
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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    17 Apr, 2018 09:12 pm

    The JFK airtrain is free within the airport, but to enter/exit the airtrain at Jamaica station or Howard Beach, to connect to LLRR and NY Subway, is $5 (+subway/LLRR fare).
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  • Jason Hamilton

    JKH

    17 Apr, 2018 10:03 pm

    You’ll pay your fare, two or three taxes, tips and a resort fee.
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  • aggie57

    aggie57

    18 Apr, 2018 03:58 am

    LA County is making a huge investment in public transport. Check out http://theplan.metro.net/. This LAX shuttle is only one small part of the overall program.

    In many ways this is rebuilding the once very extensive Pacific Electric "Red Cars" network that once stretched across LA and Orange Counties, dismantled after WWII as the freeway network was built. It's a very interesting read if you have the time (maybe while waiting for your late Brisbane flight to depart :)).
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  • aggie57

    aggie57

    18 Apr, 2018 11:44 am

    It’s one small part of the LA County’s massive investment in public transit. Perhaps they regret now breaking up the old Red Car network after world war 2.
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  • Davedownunder

    Davedownunder

    20 Apr, 2018 03:08 pm

    For me the biggest issue at LAX (apart from the horrendous immigration /customs) was getting from say T8 to T3 in a hurry to connect. Spending 5 billion seems to be not addressing that issue. Having a circular loop track would solve the problem rather than running down the middle and still having to walk a long distance from the station to the terminal. Always was quicker to walk/run than catch the revolving bus that never comes.

    Better to fly QF SYD to Dallas and cut out LAX all together!
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  • Jay

    ausJCP

    30 Apr, 2018 10:29 am

    Totally agree with Davedownunder, it's a shame they didn't seize the opportunity to incorporate an inter-terminal shuttle service that follows World Way. That would have been a more robust utilisation of the $5b price tag.

    Americans aren't exactly known for demonstrating long-term infrastructure vision, or seeking maximum utility from publicly-funded projects. Oh well. It's not like LAX could get any worse...
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Guest

21 Jul, 2018 07:58 am

Which Qantas lounges can Air New Zealand Airpoints frequent flyer use?

Which Qantas lounges can Air New Zealand Airpoints frequent flyer use?

Air New Zealand's Airpoints frequent flyers will enjoy have access to Qantas Clubs around Australia under the newly-forged alliance between the two airlines.

As of October 28, 2018, Airpoints Elite and Gold members booked on a codeshare flight with Qantas will find the doors swing open for them at the two dozen Qantas Club lounges in Australia's capital cities and regional centres. They'll also be permitted to bring in one guest.

But it won't be as easy as flashing your shiny Airpoints card, as the following conditions apply:

  1. you have to be travelling on a domestic Qantas flight
  2. it has to be booked under the Air New Zealand codeshare (those flight numbers will be in the NZ7xxx range)
  3. and this must be booked as part of a trans-Tasman booking

This arrangement replaces Airpoints access to Virgin Australia lounges following the dramatic bust-up between the two former allies.

However, there appears to be no Qantas Club lounge access for Koru Club members, nor can AirNZ frequent flyers cool their heels in the more upmarket Qantas Business lounges.

The Qantas / Air New Zealand alliance covers selected flights on the domestic network of each airline, however trans-Tasman and other international flights are excluded from the arrangement.

Read more: Qantas, Air New Zealand alliance will take on Virgin Australia

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

1 Comment

  • henrus

    henrus

    20 Jul, 2018 05:31 pm

    Doesn't it seem a bit odd that Koru club won't get access (something that the VA deal provided) . I guess there will be no access for QF Club cardholders in NZ either?
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Guest

21 Jul, 2018 07:58 am

What you can expect from Cathay's new business class dining concept

What you can expect from Cathay's new business class dining concept

Cathay Pacific will roll out its new 'business class dining concept' this month, with the meal service taking a step closer to a first class experience.

Meals will be individually plated and delivered to passengers by hand rather than by trolley, as the airline adopts more personalised and upmarket approach.

Cathay also expects this will result in a "quieter and calmer cabin environment", especially on late night flights.

Passengers will have a choice between three appetisers and "up to six main course choices" on flights over ten hours in the initial launch of the service to the likes of Chicago (on July 30), London/Gatwick (in August) followed by Frankfurt, Manchester and Washington DC (September); Amsterdam, Paris and Johannesburg (October), Madrid, Brussels and Barcelona (November) and London/Heathrow (December). 

And, being very much on trend, light and healthy 'wellbeing options' feature in every main course.

On flights from Hong Kong the menu will be changed every month, with a quarterly menu refresh for flights to Hong Kong.

Fights from Hong Kong (but not, for now, the return leg) will also see a new range of Hong Kong Favourites inspired by local dishes, such as

  • Hong Kong char siu pork with egg noodles, seasoned soy sauce, spring onion and ginger (shown below)
  • Wok fried seafood in lobster soup with ginger, spring onion, crispy and steamed rice
  • Beef brisket with flat rice noodle soup
  • Mango with pomelo and sago

But before all that eatings starts, business class passengers will notice the new-look menus.

Printed as eight pages on quality paper, they not only detail the meals and drinks available on that flight but include foodie-friendly articles such as 'Anatomy of a Laksa' and feature a local chef revealing their favourite eateries both in Hong Kong and around thr world.

There will also be a breakfast menu card which passengers will complete before hitting the hay, so that they can wake to what the airline described as a "hotel room-service" experience.

However, these are set menus rather than allowing travellers to pick-and-mix from a wide selection of items.

In addition to what's described as 'traditional' Chinese and Western breakfasts, there's also a lighter Continental breakfast plus a minimalist Express breakfast of a piece of pastry and a drink, which can be served 60 minutes before landing for passengers who wish to maximise their sleep.

Refreshments will be revamped as a selection of 'most loved dishes' available throughout the flight as a snack between meals on services to North America and Europe, including the airline's signature burger and popular soup noodles. These will also appear on the main meal menu.

Next year will see Cathay's 'new business class dining concept' extend to medium-distance routes, with plans to include Sydney and Auckland in February 2019 and Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Perth in May 2019.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

9 Comments

  • Skipp

    Skipp

    20 Jul, 2018 12:48 pm

    Look forward to the new meal service in business class coming within the next 12 months - it will make a nice change.
    I just hope (for the future) that Cathay Pacific will stop serving the exact same economy class meals in "Premium" economy class.
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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    20 Jul, 2018 01:34 pm

    Why bother with the white linen tablecloth if they are serving it on a plastic cafeteria tray? The promo pictures show all set up to eat off the tray. Euww.. I will take it all off the tray and set it up like other airlines J class. FAIL for presentation, CX.
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  • mrj

    mrj

    20 Jul, 2018 02:42 pm

    I recently suggested to Cathay that their business classs food is amongst the worst of all airlines. Interestingly their response failed to mention this planned revamp.
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  • AADFW

    AADFW

    20 Jul, 2018 02:57 pm

    I'm really glad they're going back to classy, glossy paper stock for the menus versus the uncoated groundwood paper they switched to a few years back. Now if they would only bring back that trademark chocolate box at the end of the meal...
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  • David Flynn

    David

    20 Jul, 2018 03:25 pm

    I was on CX a few weeks back and the chocolates made an appearance on every flight...
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  • Manjit Sadhwani

    Manjit Sadhwani

    20 Jul, 2018 03:19 pm

    It's about time
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  • HKAus

    HKAus

    20 Jul, 2018 03:41 pm

    CX Catering is bar far the most outdated and leaves an overall cheap and poor guest experience of most International airliners. CX have unfortunately chosen over the last decade to reduce their overheads where guests can see and feel the difference. Personally after 5 years as a Diamond CX member I have moved to competitors; poor catering, moody crew members, consistently delayed flights (due to over use of planes with no margin for delays) and ridiculous pricing have enabled me to now enjoy such operators as KLM, Virgin Australia, Qantas & Lufthansa; all with an overall better "J"Class experience. Interestingly as a result of my change in travel I was dropped to Gold and this year even though I should have dropped another tier, they obviously are trying to get pax like myself back because they extended my gold status.
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  • Rkwm

    Rkwm

    20 Jul, 2018 04:39 pm

    It was taken CX far too long to make changes to the atrocious F&B that has annoyed their long term supporters . The plastic cafeteria tray certainly brings the enhancements down a few levels can’t, understsnd who approved this inclusion . Totally agree with HKAus, supported CX for over two decades but over the last two years the deterioration in service , punctuality and value has been palpable.


    No member give thanks

  • Tony OBERON

    obi

    20 Jul, 2018 04:48 pm

    Looks marginally better - but CX are you seriously going to use a plastic tray? At least put a cloth on the tray - if for no other reasons than hygiene! I’m a germophobe and I cringe to see cutlery sitting on a plastic tray, which cannot be washed at the same high temps as crockery. Lysteria et al here we come.
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Guest

21 Jul, 2018 07:58 am

 Cartier Santos: the original pilot's watch, reimagined

Cartier Santos: the original pilot's watch, reimagined

Very few watches can claim true originality, and the Cartier Santos is among those few.

The Santos made its debut way back in 1904 as a personal timepiece for aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont, making it both the first pilot’s watch and one of the earliest known men’s wristwatches.

The story

As we've previously detailed, the Santos was borne from a request by Brazilian flyer Santos-Dumont, who told his friend Louis Cartier – then a Parisian watchmaker – of the challenge of timing flights using the then-conventional pocket watch, as pilots needed to keep both hands on the aircraft controls.

In response, Cartier designed a large square-faced watch and fitted it to a strap so it could be worn on the wrist – quite a revolutionary concept at the time.

The first commercial Cartier Santos watches went on sale to the public in 1911 with solid gold cases and ultra-thin mechanical movements designed by French clockmaker Edmond Jaeger.

(In order to produce this movement for Cartier, Jaeger worked with Swiss movement manufacturer Jacques-David LeCoultre, a partnership that would lead to the birth of storied brand Jaeger-LeCoultre.)

The enduring design of the Cartier Santos was reimagined in the late 1970s as a luxury steel sports watch, later adding two-tone steel and gold and the now-iconic screwed bezel with exposed gold screws along the bracelet for a modern, industrial aesthetic.

The style

For 2018, Cartier has once again re-invented the Santos.

The distinctive screw-set bezel now tapers at both ends towards the bracelet to create an organic, integrated look.

The satin-brushed case features a wide mirror-polished bevel along its length, extending all the way to the gracefully curved crown guards at 3 o’clock. A square watch the Santos may be, but there’s hardly a sharp edge or straight line to be found.

The case has been slimmed dramatically from previous incarnations of the Santos, allowing this watch to disappear easily under a shirt cuff when needed.

The bracelet is fitted with a new 'QuickSwitch' system allowing for easy swapping with the included tan calfskin strap or Cartier’s alternative crocodile straps, providing some style versatility.

Adding or removing bracelet links has also been made easier with a new 'SmartLink' design which allows the wearer to expand the bracelet during a hot summer’s day without requiring a tool.

While the bezel, case and bracelet have all been modernised, the dial remains classic Cartier. With Roman numerals, a railroad minute-track and heat-blued hands, it’s hard to imagine a more traditional look.

The 2018 Cartier Santos can serve dress-watch and sports-watch duties equally well, and boasts a history that few timepieces can match.

The details

• In-house mechanical movement with automatic winding
• Seven-sided crown set with a faceted synthetic spinel
• Silvered opaline dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal
• Water-resistant to 10 bar (approximately 100 metres)
• Medium version case width: 35.1 mm, thickness: 8.83 mm
• Large version case width: 39.8 mm, thickness: 9.08 mm
• Pricing from A$8,750 for the Cartier Santos Medium in steel, to A$52,500 for the Cartier Santos Large in solid pink gold with matching pink gold bracelet. For stockists, visit www.au.cartier.com.

Jason Swire

Jason Swire (Jason Swire)

[email protected] /

Jason Swire is a Sydney-based writer, watch collector and author of 'Timely Advice', a beginner's guide to fine timepieces. His non-watch passions include hi-fi and whiskey, in that order.
 

0 Comment

Guest

21 Jul, 2018 07:58 am

Finnair flicks the switch on free WiFi for European flights

Finnair flicks the switch on free WiFi for European flights

Finnair will launch inflight Internet on its European flights this week, with travellers able to enjoy the high-speed satellite service free of charge during a two-month trial period running through to the end of September.

The Oneworld airline has already outfitted six of its single-aisle Airbus jets with technology provided through partner Viasat, which also provided the backbone for Qantas' Australia-wide WiFi system.

By the end of northern summer some 20 aircraft will be upgraded, with Finnair's entire single-aisle Airbus fleet slated for WiFi by mid-2019.

The system will be available on a gate-to-gate basis, so passengers won't even need to wait for their jet to reach level flight – which will maximise time online for many of Finnair's relatively short European hops.

However, parts of some European routes will present black spots to the satellite network, including above the Bay of Biscay and the North Sea, while some restrictions also apply over Latvia, Lithuania, parts of Belarus and Russia.

Over the two-month testing period Finnair intends to "gather information on system functionality and feedback on the overall customer experience."

"In entering the passenger testing phase, we’ll be gaining the critical insights needed to further optimise our service to ensure Finnair customers get a unique experience built around their needs, interests and usage behaviours," explains Viasat vice-president Don Buchman.

The airline has yet to reveal what pricing it will charge for its sky-high WiFi once the trial period ends, although frequent flyers will no doubt hope that some sort of monthly pass is available as an alternative to paying on a per-flight basis.

Finnair already offers WiFi on its long-range 'intercontinental' jets, with the first hour free for business class and Finnair Plus Gold members, then €3 (A$4.70) for three hours or €20 (A$31) for the entire flight. Finnair Plus Platinum frequent flyers are provided with free Internet access for the whole flight.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

2 Comments

  • eight10man

    eight10man

    20 Jul, 2018 06:19 pm

    Not sure how you can have black spots when using satellite internet.. especially when those black spots happen to be above the sea. Could it be this system is actually and ground-to-ground system maybe?
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  • readosunnycoast

    readosunnycoast

    20 Jul, 2018 10:35 pm

    Just flew BKK>>>HEL, A350 with wifi. Couldnt get a connection of any sort. Just kept message, don’t close the browser. I do hope it gets better for the next lot of passengers
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Guest

21 Jul, 2018 07:58 am

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