Approximately 19.6 million passengers are expected to pass through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) during the summer travel season, which began Friday, May 23rd, and continues through September 8th, airport officials predict. U.S. air carriers are anticipating that flights will be 85 percent full this summer.

During the four-day Memorial Day weekend, approximately 820,000 travelers were expected to depart and arrive at LAX.

Overall, passenger volumes at LAX this summer will be roughly the same as they were last summer, with declines in domestic travelers offset by increases in international passengers, airport officials said.

Domestic travel is expected to be down about two percent, while the number of international travelers will increase to more than 5.5 million, about five percent higher than last summer.

Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the city agency that operates LAX and three other regional airports, said the airports are ready for another busy summer travel season and expressed confidence that air travelers will be well served.

“Los Angeles World Airports is working closely with the airlines and federal agencies to ensure that air passengers are safe and secure while in the airport and in flight,” Lindsey said. “At the same time, we want travelers to have a positive, hassle-free customer experience.”

In recent months, nine international airlines have announced new Los Angeles routes, adding 126 arrivals and departures a week at LAX. Of those, several will begin service this summer, contributing to the anticipated increase in international passengers, LAX officials note.

This year international arrivals at LAX are up 6.5 percent overall, with those from South America up 19 percent, Europe 13 percent, Oceania five percent and Asia three percent, according to data from LA Inc./The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The additional 126 arrivals and departures will produce an estimated annual economic impact of more than $5.6 billion and sustain 28,000 jobs paying cumulative wages of $1.4 billion, according to a recent study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.

LAX passengers are advised to arrive three hours ahead of their scheduled departure for international flights and two hours before domestic departures.

Passengers are also advised to tune car radios to AirRadio 530AM at LAX, the official source for traffic and parking conditions, security measures, terminal conditions and airline locations 24 hours a day. LAX passengers can also obtain information from LAX ambassadors, who roam the airport terminals on the arrival and departure levels.

To help conserve fuel, reduce traffic congestion in the Central Terminal Area and avoid parking fees, motorists waiting to pick up arriving passengers at LAX may use the free LAX cell phone waiting lot at 9011 Airport Blvd., north of Parking Lot C and adjacent to the U.S. Post Office Airport Station.

The city’s airports also offer several “Smart Traveler Tips” to help passengers process quickly through airline and security procedures on their Web sites at www.lawa.org/.

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