Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Los Angeles International Airport is forecast to be the nation’s busiest airport during the 11-day Thanksgiving holiday travel period which begins Friday.

More than 1.97 million passengers are forecast to pass through the airport between today and Dec. 1, said Nancy Suey Castles, public relations director of Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that runs LAX.

The forecast represents a 4.8 percent increase over last year’s 1.82 million, which also made LAX the nation’s busiest airport, Castles said.

Travel experts attribute the increase at LAX to more available seats as airlines serving the airport are adding flights to new cities, using larger aircraft with more seats on some existing flights, and the addition of several new international air carriers.

Passengers should expect to see busy terminals and many domestic flights 90 percent full, Castles said.

Flights between LAX and cities that are traditionally popular with Southern Californians — such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York City and Boston – may be fully booked, according to Castles.

Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 are forecast to be the busiest travel days, with both days exceeding 207,000 passengers, Castles said. Heavy passenger loads also forecast for today and Wednesday.

The travel website Orbitz predicts that LAX will be the busiest airport in the nation during the Thanksgiving holiday period for the second consecutive year.

Airport officials recommend passengers planning to depart from Los Angeles International Airport during daily peak travel periods — from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. — arrive in their airline’s ticketing lobbies two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.

—City News Service

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