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Published on : Monday, May 30, 2016
Officials at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) estimate nearly 849,000 travelers are expected to pass through the airport this Memorial Day weekend – an increase of 8.1 percent over 2015’s record number of 785,000 passengers. Forecasts also show a record 24.5 million passengers will travel through the airport this summer, an increase of 7.3 percent over last summer’s record 22,805,000 travelers.
Memorial Day weekend begins Friday, May 27, and ends Monday, May 30. Friday and Monday are expected to bethe busiest days with an anticipated 229,000 and 220,000 passengers, respectively.
According to leading travel website Orbitz.com, LAX is expected to be the busiest U.S. airport this holiday weekend, serving tourists from throughout the nation while Angelenos fly to traditional popular destinations including Las Vegas, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.
The summer travel season begins May 22 and ends Labor Day, September 5. The busiest week of the summer is expected to be July 18-24 with a projected 1.7 million passengers. With the July 4 Independence Day holiday falling on a Monday this year, the first week of July is also expected to be extremely busy.
Travel experts attribute this summer’s record passenger increase at LAX to several factors: more available seats as airlines at LAX continue to transition existing flights to larger aircraft with extra seats; the addition of seven new international airlines during the first six months of this year; current airlines adding flights on existing and new routes; increased tourism in Los Angeles from growing markets in the Asia-Pacific Region; and lower airfares compared to last year due to lower jet fuel prices.
Lines at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) passenger screening checkpoints at LAX are being managed, but they are expected to grow longer as the summer progresses with more travelers. Airport officials recommend departing passengers arrive in their airline terminals at least two hours prior to boarding time for domestic flights and at least three hours before boarding time for international flights. As well, we encourage travelers to enroll in TSA Pre ? ® or other trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry, which improve security and reduce wait times.
Passengers and motorists coming to LAX should plan ahead for possible traffic congestion in the Central Terminal Area (CTA).
The public is also advised that U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has modified its daily hours of operation at Terminal 2, LAX’s second busiest international terminal serving more than 5.1 million passengers in 2015, of which more than 4.1 million were international. Passengers on international flights arriving at Terminal 2 outside CBP’s hours of operation from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. will be bussed to the Tom Bradley International Terminal for immigration and customs processing. Approximately 12 daily flights and 2,000 passengers are impacted by CBP’s new hours at Terminal 2.
On-Going Construction Impacts to Roadways, Sidewalks, and Terminals
The public is reminded that LAX’s multi-billion-dollar modernization program is still on-going. While construction work on roadways, parking structures, and sidewalks will be scheduled during late-evening and early-morning hours, motorists and passengers should be prepared to encounter delays. When coming to LAX, passengers should look for and follow the way-finding signage near all construction sites to ensure their safety and to enhance mobility.
Smart Traveler Tips
Most travelers, including international passengers, can save time by checking in online for their flights through their airlines’ websites or using ticket kiosks available in terminals. Motorists should expect several parking structures across from the terminals to close and reopen intermittently as capacity is reached during daily peak periods. To eliminate the hassles of driving to and parking at or near LAX, passengers are encouraged to take convenient and reliable public transportation, including: Metro Rail Green Line, door-to-door shuttle vans, taxis, limousines, long-distance buses, shared-ride services, and the LAX FlyAway® bus service. The FlyAway® service operates daily from Hollywood, Long Beach, Metro Orange Line (San Fernando Valley), Santa Monica, Union Station, Van Nuys and Westwood/UCLA. Fares range from $7 one way to $10 one way.
To avoid driving repeatedly around the Central Terminal Area while waiting for arriving passengers, motorists can wait in their vehicles for up to two hours for free in the well-lit, 24-hour LAX Cell Phone Waiting Lot at the intersection of 96thStreet and Vicksburg Avenue, adjacent to thesouthwest corner of LAX Economy Parking Lot C. Motorists also can park in Lot C for $4 an hour and take the free, 24-hour LAX shuttle bus to the terminals, or arriving passengers can take the Lot C bus to the Cell Phone Waiting Lot.
To avoid morning traffic congestion at LAX from 6 a.m. to 12 noon, motorists are encouraged to use the Lower/Arrivals level to drop off departing passengers, who can take elevators, escalators or stairs up to the departures level. All commercial transportation vehicles, including Lyft and Uber, are required to pick up and drop off customers in their designated areas and roadway levels.