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The best and worst times to be at LAX: 2.24M holiday travelers expected

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2.24 million passengers are expected to pass through Los Angeles International Airport during the 2012-2013 holiday season, LAWA announced Thursday. That figure represents a 5.38 percent increase in a passenger volume over last year.

LAWA considers the holiday season to be the 13-day travel period beginning Friday, Dec. 21 (the day the world is supposed to end), through Wednesday, Jan 2 (provided it doesn't). LAX spokeswoman Katherine Alvarado gave KPCC's Bianca Ramirez some travel tips for the intrepid holiday travelers.


  • Print your boarding pass BEFORE getting to the airport.
  • Figure out your airline's terminal BEFORE getting to the airport.
  • Check the status of your flight BEFORE driving to the airport.
  • Abide airline size and weight restrictions for luggage.
  • Pack gifts unwrapped in carry on bags AND checked bags.
  • Allow enough time for check in and security screening (2-3 hours).
  • Seek alternatives to driving and parking at the airport (ie: Flyaway bus, Metro Green Line, shuttles, taxis).

Says Alvarado, "We are encouraging passengers to get [to LAX] two hours before a domestic flight to the ticketing counters, and three hours before international flight." 


  • Friday, Dec. 21
  • Saturday, Dec. 22
  • Sunday, Dec. 23
  • Friday, Dec. 28
  • Wednesday, Jan. 2


  • Sunday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve)
  • Monday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day)


  • 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Airlines report an average passenger load factor of approximately 80-90 percent throughout the holiday period, says Los Angeles World Airports. Additional volunteers and employees will be on site to assist travelers. They will be wearing red vests and roaming curbsite on the Departures Level and in ticketing lobbies.

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