AAA: Nearly 50M To Travel For Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? You will have plenty of company.

An estimated 2.3 million people will pass through Los Angeles International Airport between Nov. 18-28, while Wednesday, Sunday and Monday are projected to be among the busiest days of the Thanksgiving period with between 215,000 and 232,000 passengers expected at LAX on those days.

LAX is predicted to be the third busiest airport in the country, behind only Atlanta and Chicago, but the busiest “origin-and-destination” airport, meaning more people will start or end their trips at LAX than any other airport.

Passengers were urged to use public transit or shuttles to reach the airport, and arrive at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours before international flights.

The Automobile Club of Southern California says about 3.65 million Southern California residents will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, up 3.1 percent from 2015. The projected number of Southern California travelers this year is the highest since 2007, when the number stood at 3.99 million, according to the Auto Club.

Nationwide, 48.7 million travelers are expected to take a Thanksgiving weekend trip – a 1.9 percent year-over-year increase, and the highest number of U.S. Thanksgiving travelers since 2007, according to AAA.

The Auto Club attributed this year’s increase in the projected number of travelers to more disposable income, higher wages and increased consumer confidence. And while current gas price averages are similar to those at the same time a year ago, they have been significantly lower in 2016 than in any year since the 2008-09 recession.

According to a survey of the Auto Club’s travel agents, the top five destinations for Southern California Thanksgiving travelers this year are Las Vegas, San Diego, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Las Vegas is also the No.1 destination for the nation, and San Diego is No. 3.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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