Record 2.1 million passengers expected at LAX this Thanksgiving
LOS ANGELES Mayor Eric Garcetti and city Councilmember Bob Blumenfield joined airport officials to announce that a record 2.1 million travelers will pass through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) this Thanksgiving.
The record number of travelers is an increase of 6.9 percent over last year’s 1.96 million actual passengers. According to travel company Orbitz.com, LAX will be the busiest among all US airports this Thanksgiving – the third year in a row.
“As more people choose to work, visit, study, and play in Los Angeles, LAX keeps on breaking records,” said Garcetti. “LA is a world-class destination for visitors from around the globe, and this is great news for our local economy.”
“As we prepare for a busy holiday season, we urge LAX travelers take steps to ensure that their travel experience goes as smoothly as possible, and know that during the holidays, as we do every single day, the airport, Airport Police, and Los Angeles Police Department — working in collaboration with our partner agencies at the federal level — are taking every step to keep Angelenos and visitors from around the world, safe,” said Blumenfield, who is the chair of the trade, commerce, and technology committee.
According to a press release from Los Angeles World Airports, the start and end of the 11-day travel period are expected to be the busiest, with a record estimated 205,000 passengers each day on Friday, November 20; Saturday, November 21; and Sunday, November 29; and then 219,000 passengers on Monday, November 30. Slower days are expected to be on Thanksgiving Day (November 26) and Black Friday, with 147,000 and 170,000 passengers, respectively.
The average daily passenger volume at LAX, ranked the fifth busiest airport in the world, is about 193,000.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 25) is also expected to be the fifth busiest day of the travel period, continuing Thanksgiving Eve’s slide over the last few years from its former ranking as the busiest air travel day of the year. Nonetheless, an estimated 197,000 travelers are expected Wednesday, November 25, almost five percent higher than Thanksgiving Eve last year.
“We recommend airport guests reduce the stress of holiday travel by planning ahead and allowing extra time for getting to LAX,” said Deborah Flint, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, which owns and operates LAX. “Travelers can check out LAXisHappening.com website for real-time traffic before coming to the airport.”
Travelers should expect to see busy airport terminals and many domestic flights at least 90 percent full. Flights between LAX and cities that are traditionally popular with Southern California residents–such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, and Boston–may also be fully booked.
An estimated 947,000 vehicles are expected to use the upper- and lower-level roadways in the Central Terminal Area during Thanksgiving, a daily average of 86,000 vehicles traveling the airport.
Anticipating the heavy city traffic, travelers are strongly encouraged to take public transportation to and from LAX, including the cheaper LAX FlyAway® bus and Metro Rail Green Line, as well as city taxis, long-distance buses, and other ride-sharing services.
Airport officials also recommend drivers who are picking up arriving passengers to use the LAX Cellphone Waiting Lot at 96th Street and Vicksburg, where they can wait up to two hours for free. Arriving passengers can conveniently take the free LAX Shuttle “C” bus to Parking Lot C, which is adjacent to the LAX Cellphone Waiting Lot.
To help departing passengers catch their flights on time, the airport will continue its popular LAWA employee volunteer In-Terminal Passenger Assistance program. Wearing red vests, airport employees will roam the Upper/Departures Level in all terminals on the day before and the Monday after Thanksgiving to assist passengers, in addition to the Volunteer Information Professionals and Customer Service Representatives who are assigned to help passengers in the terminals.
Trained therapy dogs and handlers, called PUPs (Pets Unstressing Passengers), will also roam several boarding gate areas of each terminal to provide a less stressful airport environment by visiting passengers awaiting flights, providing comfort, and offering airport information.
Timely information on flight status, traffic conditions, and other useful travel tips is available on LAX’s website at www.lawa.org/lax, and on Twitter @flyLAXairport and Facebook. Airport Police Twitter (@LAXPD_Alerts) will also provide up-to-date information on traffic conditions at LAX.