The overall director of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) commits suicide... now his two underlings spar amongst themselves for his former position and title, by attempting to prove they can handle the pressures of operating one of the world's largest and busiest aviation gateways.
When a coffin arriving as baggage on an in-bound flight is discovered to contain a living person, Harley and Roger with the help of Henry, Betty, and Nick locate the missing corpse/stow-away. Elsewhere, Tony tries to secure twelve seats to Albany for a little league team trying to make their first national championship, while the airport staff tests out new tactics to deal with the airports bird problem
On his way home from a conference in Sacramento with a quick jaunt to Las Vegas, Roger begins to suspect his plane might be in trouble when a minor electrical surge sets off the cabin call lights. Using his status as LAX tower supervisor and experience as a flight engineer, he attempts to gain control of the situation, only to discover the plane is experiencing a massive power failure as the control instruments slowly start to fail. In the LAX control tower, Harley attempts to guide the distressed plane in for a safe landing while Tony keeps Roger's wife comforted in the terminal.
When L.A.X. receives word from Homeland Security that a credible threat has put the airport on high alert, Harley and Roger debate over whether to notify the public or continue to keep the news a secret. Tensions build when passengers are faced with longer lines due to extra security, and Roger puts his relationship with his daughter in jeopardy when he refuses to let her flyâ€”forcing her to miss a very important recital. Meanwhile, Tony must take care of a senile old woman who has been left stranded at the airport by her son, who can no longer bear the burden of taking care of her.
An arab couple is involved in a custody dispute and the case revolves on whether a U.S. or Egyptian court has jurisdiction. The child was born in the U.S. and the wife, who is an old friend of Harley's, claims the husband tricked her into going to Egypt where she has no rights by saying it was a vacation. Also Roger is having chest pains. And despite misgivings, Tony hires a new employee who has an influential and wealthy father.
During a surpise inspection by an FAA inspector, an Uzbekistani man seeks asylum.
A suspended airtraffic controller takes over the control tower.
A female, who is a trial witness against her boyfriend (drugs), disappears, and the LAX folks place the airport on security lockdown so that they can search for this missing federal witness. During the lockdown, Caitlin helps a couple that are having some wedding jitters.
Thanksgiving Day at LAX bring about some interesting events, both personal and professional, when Henry and Caitlin deal with the fallout when an airline goes out out business and cancels all its flights, leaving hundreds of stranded passengers and a handful of layed off employees in the terminal. Harley and Rodger also deal with a sudden strike by the ground crew, and Harley's estranged younger sister, Julie, shows up and asks her to spend Thanksgiving with their parents, which Harley dispises. Meanwhile, Tony takes charge of overseeing a 10-year-old boy traveling alone to meet his parents, and whom has a big attitue.
As Christmas approaches, events at LAX heat up when the police show up looking for a robber dressed as Santa Claus. Meanwhile, Eddie, seeking a new job as Harley's assistant, meets an attractive barmaid. Roger also deals with being kicked out of his house after he has resumed his gambling addiction and squandered most of his wife's money, while Harley herself flashes back to a previous Christmas during a runway party where she and Roger had a brief fling which almost ended his marriage.
An African political activist who was wrongly convicted of murder arrives at LAX to board a flight which will return him home for execution. As protesters try to prevent his departure, the airport becomes the sight of political unrest forcing Harley and Roger to keep the peace. However, when Roger's city council aspiration prompt him to make a bold move, the two airport chiefs stand on opposite sides of this political powder keg. Meanwhile, Nick must confront a past decision when a former passenger returns begging for his help.
An incoming airliner ""accidentally"" squawks (jargon for transponder code) a Hijack warning. This leads to a full emergency, SWAT, the lot.. Which also leads to a crime of monumental cunning.. Meanwhile, Eddie engages in some crime of his own, Roger's life takes an unexpected complicaturn and Harley moves house.