This summer Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is expecting approximately 18.5 million passengers — including a record number of international passengers — to pass through LAX, airport officials say.
During the first quarter of this year, LAX set a new record for international passenger traffic, and airport officials expect the record pace to continue through the summer travel season.
This year’s summer travel season began Friday, May 27th, and continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 5th.
During the summer travel season at LAX, international passenger traffic is predicted to reach a record 5.1 million, a ten percent increase from last summer, airport officials said.
The airport’s summer record of 4.9 million international passengers was set in 2001.
“Low airfares and a weak U.S. dollar, which encourages more foreign travelers to visit the U.S., are combining to make the summer of 2005 extremely busy for the nearly 80 passenger airlines serving LAX,” said Kim Day, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, the City of Los Angeles agency that operates LAX and other city airports.
“Passenger terminals are sure to be crowded and flights running full throughout the summer,” she added.
The 18.5 million passengers expected to pass through LAX this summer represent an increase of about one million passengers over the same period last year.
The airport record for summer travel was set in 2001 when 19 million passengers traveled in and out of LAX between June 1st and August 31st.
Domestic passenger traffic is predicted to increase at a lower rate because several airlines have reduced capacity in response to record fuel prices, airport officials said.
A total of 52 air carriers operate international flights at LAX to 62 nonstop destinations around the world.
This summer, airport officials say the number of international flights is expected to increase 13.2 percent from last summer to a record 1,069 weekly departures.
The airport is expected to serve about 64 million passengers this year, which is still below the airport’s annual record for passenger traffic set in 2000, when LAX handled 67.3 million passengers.
Airport officials expect LAX to reach pre-September 11th passenger traffic levels in 2006.
With this summer expected to be the busiest summer travel season at LAX in four years, airport officials are reminding travelers to arrive at the airport at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights, said Gaby Pacheco, LAX spokeswoman.
Airport officials also remind travelers to take advantage of travel tips available at various Web sites and a number of services at LAX:
n The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Web site at www.tsa.gov provides passenger security screening wait times to assist travelers in planning when to arrive at the airport.
n LAX has a 24-hour LAX Cell Phone Waiting Lot where motorists can wait without charge until passengers call to say they are ready to be picked up at terminal curbside. The lot is located at 9011 Airport Blvd.
n Radio station 530 AM is a source of official information on LAX. It airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day and is designed solely for airport travelers.
n Before packing, check the TSA Web site www.tsa.gov for a comprehensive list of what can be packed in checked luggage and what can be carried on board.
n Reduce time in passenger security screening lanes by wearing as little metal as possible.
n Save time and bypass ticket counter lines by printing boarding passes from a home or office computer.
n If traveling overseas, check to learn what items can be brought into the U.S., at the Customs and Border Protection Web site, www.customs.ustreas.gov