Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council member Bob Blumenfield were joined by airport officials to announce that a record 2.1 million travellers will pass through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) this Thanksgiving (26th November), an increase of 6.9 per cent over last Thanksgiving’s record of 1.96 million actual passengers.
According to online travel company Orbitz.com, LAX will be the busiest among all U.S. 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 Mayor Garcetti.
“As we prepare for a busy holiday season, we urge LAX travellers 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 Councilmember Blumenfield, who chairs the City’s Trade, Commerce, and Technology Committee.
The start and end of the 11-day travel period are expected to be the busiest, with an estimated 205,000 passengers each day from Friday 20th November until Sunday 29th November, and then 219,000 passengers on Monday 30th November.
The slowest days are expected to be Thanksgiving Day and America’s iconic shopping day, Black Friday (27th November), with 147,000 and 170,000 passengers respectively. For comparison, average daily passenger volume at LAX is 193,000.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is expected to be the fifth busiest day of the travel period, continuing Thanksgiving Eve’s slide over the past few years from its former ranking as the busiest air travel day of the year.
Nonetheless, an estimated 197,000 travellers are expected Wednesday, 25 November, almost five per cent higher than last year’s Thanksgiving Eve.
“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 (LAWA), the city department that owns and operates LAX.
“Travellers can check ourLAXisHappening.com website for real-time traffic and flight conditions before coming to the airport.”
Passengers should expect to see busy terminals and many domestic flights 90 per cent full. Flights between LAX and cities such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, and Boston may be fully booked.
Airport officials recommend passengers planning to depart LAX during daily peak travel periods – from 6am to 9am, from 11am to 2pm, and from 7pm to 11pm – arrive in their airline’s ticketing lobbies two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.