Most people think it is rude to look away from someone mid- conversation to see the airplane.

For a few hours at a park next to Los Angeles International Airport, getting distracted by passing jets in the middle of a chat is the whole idea.

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Hundreds of AvGeeks descended on In-N- Out Burger and the adjacent park on the north side of the airport for the annual Cranky Dork Fest. The loud roar of jet engines on planes that were seconds away from touching down on the airport's runway 24R interrupted conversations for more than two hours.

The Cranky Dorkfest raffle is interrupted by a Japan Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. ETHAN KLAPPER/THE POINTS GUY

Tonei Glavinic, an AvGeek originally from Alaska who now lives in Mexico City, said at the airline festival that it was a fun opportunity to be around similar people.

Glavinic won a framed piece of carpeting from an Alaska Airlines plane, one of the many gifts airlines donated. Scale airplane models, free plane tickets, and a seat on a final Q400 flight were included.

The Alaska Airlines bulkhead carpeting won by Tonei Glavinic. ETHAN KLAPPER/THE POINTS GUY

About 10 years ago, the event began as an informal gathering by the author of the Cranky Flier airline industry post. In recent years, it has become an unofficial place for airline executives and other industry people to gather, along with AvGeeks and families. Oscar was the CEO of United Airlines at the time.

"It was fun when Oscar came that year, I was wearing a shirt with the logo of recently-deceased ultra-low-cost carrier aha!" said the man who was wearing a shirt with the logo of recently-deceased ultra-low-cost carrier aha!

Brett Snyder calls out raffle winners at Dorkfest. ETHAN KLAPPER/THE POINTS GUY

For the first time, this year's event featured a DJ with a sound system that played aviation-themed songs like "Fly Away" and a feed of the airport's air traffic control tower. An air traffic controller flashed his red light gun at the gathering after giving the event a shout out on frequencies.

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Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of the airport, has supported the event in the past.

"It's a huge event for us, we're here for the community," the CEO of LAWA said. We would like to support the community.

Los Angeles World Airports CEO Justin Erbacci hands out LAX swag to two AvGeeks from the United Kingdom. ETHAN KLAPPER/THE POINTS GUY

"I'm an aviation nerd," he said. I understand the people here.

These are the best places to spot planes.

NYC Aviation, a New York-based enthusiast website, organizes the Spot LA event, which is held in conjunction with Dork Fest. The H Hotel has a large observation deck that can be seen over the final approach course for runway 24R.


Ben Granucci is one of the organizers of the event. It's simple to get here. You don't see a lot of good variety on the east coast.

The people that bring him back each year are the ones that publish the Hype Aviation aggregation site. He looks forward to it for a long time.

He said he gets charged up by being around people with the same passion

Isaac Alexander speaks to Airline Videos Live at Dorkfest. ETHAN KLAPPER/THE POINTS GUY