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Nine Secrets I Never Knew About Airports Until I Worked at LAX

From dead bodies in the security line to a cobra in a Pringles can, you wouldn’t believe the crazy things that happen at America’s busiest airport of origin.

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Illustration: Jaci Kessler Lubliner

The airport of your imagination probably looks like the one in Love Actually: a haven of happy tears where adventures begin and families reunite. In real life, airports are upside-down worlds where it’s perfectly acceptable to wear pajamas in public, guzzle martinis at 8:15 a.m., and ignore all etiquette around lining up.

All this informed the 2004 NBC television drama LAX, starring Heather Locklear as a superwoman managing the airport’s 55,000 workers and 240,000 daily passengers. The show was canceled after one season; apparently America didn’t think its busiest airport of origin was interesting.