Travelers can expect busy airports during Thanksgiving rush

More than two million passengers are forecast to pass through Los Angeles International Airport

LOS ANGELES - More than two million passengers are forecast to pass through Los Angeles International Airport during the 11-day Thanksgiving holiday period, which begins today.

This year's forecast passenger totals represent a 6.8 percent increase over the 1.87 million who passed through LAX during last year's Thanksgiving holiday period, said Nancy Suey Castles, public relations director of Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that runs LAX.

Dec. 1 is forecast to be the busiest travel day of the period, which ends on Dec. 2, Castles said.

Heavy passenger loads are also forecast for both today and Dec. 2, Castles said, adding that according to travel site Orbitz, LAX will be the busiest airport in the nation during the Thanksgiving holiday period, outpacing Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

``Passengers should expect to see busy terminals and many domestic flights 90 percent full,'' she said. ``Flights between LAX and cities that are traditionally popular with Southern Californians -- such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York and Boston -- may be fully booked.''

The increase in travel through LAX is due to airlines making more seats available through the use of larger aircraft and the addition of international flights, Castles said.

Travelers are advised to arrive at ticketing lobbies two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights, especially when traveling during daily peak travel periods of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Castles said.

Affording extra time to arrive at the airport is also important as LAX is in the midst of a $4.1 billion modernization program, she said.

A pilot program to supply motorists with real-time information on airport area traffic conditions can be found at http://www.lawa.org/lax.

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