LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Planning to fly out of Los Angeles International Airport before Christmas? You’ll have plenty of company.
Monday and Tuesday are expected to be two of the busiest days of the holiday travel season at LAX. Along with Friday and Dec. 29, the other two busiest days of the holiday travel season, more than 211,000 passengers are expected on these days.
Nearly 2.97 million passengers are expected to pass through the airport during the 14-day holiday travel period that began Friday and ends Jan. 2, a 4.1 percent increase over last year, airport officials said Monday.
According to Airlines for America, the U.S. airline industry association, LAX will be the second busiest U.S. airport this holiday, behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Passengers should expect to see busy terminals and many domestic flights 95 percent full or fully booked, according to LAX.
Traveler Alexander Westley flew in to LAX from Honolulu Sunday night, and has been trying to get to his kids by Christmas, KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports.
“I’m actually trying to get to my kids in Nebraska,” Westley said. “I’m on a standby. My brother’s helping out with tickets.”
Travel experts say the increased traffic at LAX is thanks to the emergence of several new international air carriers and a greater availability of seats as some airlines add flights to new cities, use larger aircraft, or reconfigure existing aircraft with more seats on selected flights.
Passengers planning to depart from LAX during daily peak travel periods – from 6 to 9 a.m., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and from 7 to 11 p.m. – should arrive two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.
The airport’s multibillion-dollar modernization program is underway, and passengers should allow extra time to get to the terminals serving the airlines they’re flying, according to the airport. Visitors can expect to see construction along Central Terminal Area roadways; in Parking Structures 3 and 4; inside Terminals 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7/8, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
In anticipation of passenger spikes, there will be occasional construction moratoriums through Jan. 5 on projects causing significant impacts to passenger flow.
Domestic air travelers were advised to avoid ticketing counter lines by checking in for their flights through their airlines’ websites before coming in to the airport. Passengers can also check on flight status and sign up to receive alerts from their airlines about their flights.
To save time and money, airport officials recommended passengers take public transportation – including taxis, shuttle vans, buses, Metro Rail to the Green Line/Aviation Station and the LAX FlyAway nonstop bus service.
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