LAX remains a lightning rod of controversy when it comes to its souring relationship with Inland Empire officials. The latter blame the continuous decline in passenger traffic at Ontario Airport to alleged mismanagement by Los Angeles World Airports, which operate both airports. LAWA retorts that the drop in traffic reflects similar situations that are transpiring at other region-level airports across the nation. To quell the quarrel between the two groups US Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote a letter to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti asking LAWA to work with the City of Ontario and find ways to stop the drop in passenger numbers and counter indifference by airlines to launch services to and from Ontario Airport. In another controversy, the success of a lawsuit filed by the City of Los Angeles against contractors who are accused of building a shoddy runway at LAX may very well depend on what airport officials knew and when they knew it.
In the meantime, passenger traffic through LAX during the holidays is expected to rise by 8% over last year. Ongoing construction related to the modernization of the airport promises to make things even more problematic. Also, a recent study concluded that, while low-cost carriers entering a market lead to lower fares, the same actions also hinder on-time performance, which undoubtedly translates to more frayed nerves. While most passengers will resign themselves to the frustrations of air travel during this time period, some may be tempted to express their sentiments in a less than merry fashion. To wit, airlines are asking countries to come together and change international laws so as to address unruly behavior by passengers. Most laws today place special focus on hijacking but ignore the current realities of passengers lashing out at crewmembers and fellow travelers.