LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles International Airport was bustling with travelers looking to get away this holiday despite warnings from officials to avoid unnecessary air travel.
While the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated that more than 76% of Southern Californians plan to stay home during the holidays this year, there were still thousands of people flying.
Lines stretched through the terminals at LAX on Wednesday as holiday travelers waited to board their flights just two days before Christmas.
Travelers said they were anxious to get out of the state after the on-and-off lockdowns that have been in place over the past 10 months of the pandemic, but according to airport rules, they were wearing masks.
“We’re just looking forward to being somewhere warm and sunny and be outside, away from everything and by ourselves,” said passenger Ben Walpole.
LAX officials said that while it may look busy, travel is down 70% compared to this time last year.
The airport is taking steps to keep passengers safe by adding safety measures like an on-site coronavirus testing station.
Health experts say if folks must travel, they should test immediately before and after their trips to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
If you are visiting or returning to California, you are urged to quarantine for 14 days.