Patience was the order of the day Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport on the busiest travel day of the holiday season.
An estimated 255,000 travelers were expected to pass through LAX before the end of the day. That’s the highest number forecast for the 25-day holiday travel period that began Dec. 14 and runs through Jan. 7, during which a total of 5.8 million people are expected to take a flight to our from LAX, up 1.2 percent from the corresponding period last year, according to officials at Los Angeles World Airports.
Other than the day after Christmas, the busiest travel days at LAX were Friday and Sunday, when an estimated 249,000 and 250,000 travelers, respectively, passed through LAX.
Christmas Day was one of the two lightest travel days at LAX, with an estimated 212,000 travelers. The other is Dec. 31, with 214,000 travelers anticipated to pass through LAX on New Year’s Eve.
Airport officials suggested that motorists heading for the airport during the holidays, especially those coming from the north, to use Century Boulevard, and to consider entering LAX on the lower/arrivals level, which typically has lighter traffic than the upper level. Passengers can be dropped off on the lower level, then take elevators or escalators to reach the departures level.
Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to boarding time for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.
Travelers are urged to consider alternate transportation to LAX, such as the Metro Green Line and shuttle buses or FlyAway buses, which operate from Hollywood, Long Beach, the San Fernando Valley, Union Station, Van Nuys and Westwood.
This year’s holiday travel figures increased for the 10th straight year, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California, which estimated that 8.7 million Southern Californians would take trips of 50 miles or more between Dec. 22 and Jan. 1 — up 4.8 percent from last year and the highest number since AAA began tracking holiday travel estimates.
That’s up 4.8 percent from last year and the highest number since the club began tracking travel estimates. The vast majority of those people — about 7.7 million — are expected to travel by car, according to the Auto Club.
“Lower unemployment, higher wages and continued consumer confidence are the major reasons we are booking more trips for our members during this holiday and throughout the past year,” according to Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services.
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