LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Holiday travel season is already in full swing at LAX, and these next few weeks are expected to be the busiest of the year at the airport.
Officials say they expect to see up to 3.5 million travelers at Los Angeles International Airport between Thursday and Jan. 3 – the busiest travel period the airport has seen this year.
In 2020, 1.85 million passengers made their way through LAX for the holidays, so the airport is expecting double the number of people it saw last year. However, passenger volume this year is still only about 77% of the nearly 4.5 million LAX saw during the same time in 2019.
Peak travel days of 200,000 or more passengers passing through LAX are expected to be Dec. 17, 19, 26, and Jan. 2.
Airport officials say they are aware that the combination of increased traffic at the airport and new rules regarding COVID-19 testing can be frustrating for passengers who haven't flown in a while.
"We have additional resources throughout LAX that includes the traffic officers stationed at all the major intersections to help with traffic in and out of the airport, we have the bike teams from the Los Angeles Fire Department on hand patrolling for emergencies, and we have volunteers throughout the terminal ready to answer questions and help passengers navigate the airport," LAX spokeswoman Victoria Spillabotte said.
Construction is on hold at LAX during the busy holiday travel season, but parking is still limited. Passengers who plan to park at LAX were urged to pre-book a space using Parking.FlyLAX.com, particularly for peak days. Valet parking is also now available in Parking Structure 1, and free shuttles are available 24 hours a day from LAX Economy Parking.
Masks are required at all LAX facilities, on shuttle buses and on flights. International travelers 2 years old and older who are arriving at LAX should also be aware they are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than one day before travel.
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