Holiday passenger volumes for the ten-day Thanksgiving travel period that began Friday, November 17th, and continues through Sunday, November 26th, are expected to match last year’s level of 1.8 million passengers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Airport officials recommend that passengers departing LAX during peak travel periods from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., be in their airlines’ ticketing lobbies two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.
The busiest days are expected to be Wednesday, November 22nd; Thanksgiving morning, November 23rd; and Sunday, November 26th; with airlines forecasting passenger load factors approaching 95 percent on most flights and some flights fully booked.
NEW PASSENGER SERVICES — Among new passenger services offered LAX travelers are:
– Remote airline and baggage check-in for passengers departing LAX on domestic flights to all U.S. states.
– San Fernando Valley and downtown Los Angeles travelers can depart non-stop to LAX 24 hours a day using the FlyAway bus service at Van Nuys and Union Station.
The Van Nuys FlyAway is at 7610 Woodley Ave. (at Saticoy Street) in Van Nuys, and the Union Station FlyAway buses leave from Berth 9 at Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Union Station’s East Portal.
– Eight more passenger screening lanes have been constructed at LAX, completing a $20-million multi-year program to install more lanes to reduce the time passengers stand in passenger security screening queues. This brings the total number of passenger screening lanes at LAX to 68, the most of any U.S. airport.
– A new LAX valet parking lot across from Terminal 6 opened November 16th. Another new lot, opened in May, is across from Terminal 4.
– “Zip Through LAX” is a new program that provides plastic bags for passengers to put coins, cell phones, keys, belts and other metallic items in, in order to facilitate passenger security screening.
– Drivers coming to LAX can hear information on traffic conditions on freeways and roadways coming to and in the airport on LAX AiRadio 530 AM. During this holiday, the station will broadcast live from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Monday, November 27th.
– A “3-1-1 on Air Travel” communications program by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was introduced this month to make the traveling public aware of the TSA’s carry-on rules for liquids and gels — three ounce or less size containers of liquid or gel can be placed in a one quart-size clear plastic, zip-top bag, with one bag permitted per traveler.
– To help motorists avoid traffic congestion in the Central Terminal Area, the LAX Cell Phone Lot at 9011 Airport Blvd. offers a free waiting alternative 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Motorists can wait for
arriving passengers to call them on their cell phones and then drive to the curbside to pick up their passengers.
– There are new food and beverage, and gift and news concessions.
TRAVEL TIPS — Smart Traveler Tips for Holiday Travelers (produced by airport officials and the airlines):
– Do not pack or bring prohibited items to LAX, especially those that resemble any type of weapon. Replicas of guns, lighters shaped like guns, belt buckles shaped like grenades and other similar items have delayed passenger or checked-luggage screening while officials determine whether or not these items were real.
– Leave gifts or large boxes unwrapped for inspection. Bring materials to wrap boxes that will be checked in.
– Save time at check-in by obtaining boarding passes electronically from airlines’ Internet Web sites, especially if traveling with carry-on bags only.
– Eliminate the hassles of driving and parking at the airport. Take shared-ride alternative transportation, including taxis, door-to-door shuttle vans, airport buses such as the LAX FlyAway from Van Nuys and Union Station, public buses and the Metro Green Line.
– Because of varying winter weather conditions across the country, check with your airline before leaving for the airport to ensure your flight is on time.
While at the airport, travelers should remember:
– Take advantage of the convenient two hours free parking available in Economy Lots B and C and take the free LAX shuttle buses to the terminals to meet arriving passengers. Or wait free at the LAX Cell phone Waiting Lot at 9011 Airport Blvd. and have arriving passengers call when they are ready to be picked up curbside.
– Passenger drop-off and pickup is allowed at terminal curbside only. Drivers should not drop off or pick up passengers in the middle of traffic or along prohibited curbs. No parking or waiting curbside will be allowed. Meet arriving passengers in the baggage claim areas on the Lower/Arrivals Level.
– All metals should be placed inside carry-on bags. This includes jewelry, loose change, keys, mobile phones, pagers and personal digital assistants. Bring clear plastic zipped bags or use the ones provided by LAX at the entrances to passenger security screening lanes to place metal items inside so they can drop in and zip through passenger screening checkpoints.
– Do not agree to watch strangers’ luggage or personal belongings.
– Watch your personal belongings at all times.
-Report suspicious behavior to law enforcement or Transportation Security Administration personnel.