If you’re traveling for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, be sure to pack your patience!
Los Angeles International Airport said it predicts a very busy travel period expected to draw an average of more than 200,000 passengers per day starting Thursday, Nov. 17 through Nov. 28. That’s an expected increase of about 20,000 passengers per day compared to the same time last year, LAX officials said.
“LAX is ready to welcome guests for what is expected to be the busiest holiday travel period since 2019, and we are asking travelers to do their part to create a stress-free experience by planning their parking, arriving extra early and taking time to relax at the gate instead of circling with traffic,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). “Our parking garages will be full and traffic will be heavy, so we are providing the tools for travelers to plan ahead for the best experience.”
You know what that means – parking garages will have extremely limited drive-up availability. LAX recommends travelers reserve a space online ahead of time, or use an alternate means of transportation.
Additionally, United Airlines or Southwest Airlines travelers are invited to participate in the LAX Fast Lane program, which allows travelers using participating terminals (Terminals 1, 7 and 8) to reserve a 15-minute window at the Transportation Security Administration screening areas for the fastest service using a dedicated lane, at no cost. This pilot program was extended to include Terminal 1 and Southwest Airlines just in time for the holiday travel season. The LAX Fast Lane is operational in Terminal 7-8 and will begin in Terminal 1 on Friday, Nov. 18.
As usual, allow extra time to get to the airport and get through those long security lines to reach your gate on time.
Travelers should arrive in the terminal at least two hours before the boarding time for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.
According to LAX, the busiest times at the security checkpoints at LAX are early morning from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and again 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mid-afternoons can also be busy as well as evenings at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.