Southern California breaking news and trends

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

LAX Encounter restaurant

Photo by monkeytime | brachiator via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

TRAVEL TIPS

  • 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).

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Manhattan Beach travel and surfing journalist kidnapped by Somali pirates

michael scott moore kidnapped by somali pirates book sweetness and blood

Screenshot via Amazon.com

Travel and surfing journalist Michael Scott Moore was kidnapped by Somali pirates on Saturday. His book "Sweetness and Blood" was named a book of the year by the Economist in 2010.

Manhattan Beach surfing and travel journalist Michael Scott Moore was taken hostage in Somalia on Saturday while researching a book about Somali pirates.

The writer, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Germany, was kidnapped days before two aid worker hostages, including 32-year-old American Jessica Buchanan, were rescued in a midnight raid by Navy SEAL Team 6, the L.A. Times details.

The U.S. State Department is concerned, and issued a statement saying as much: "We are aware of news reports that a U.S. citizen has been kidnapped in northern Somalia and we are concerned about the individual's safety and well-being."

Moore, a 1987 graduate of Mira Costa High School who had recently been living in Berlin, previously traveled to Africa to research a seriers of articles on the same subject, KTLA reported

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Los Angeles travel reports shows 'impressive growth' in tourism

travel tourism suitcases

Photo by Amy Johnson via Flickr Creative Commons

Los Angeles travel increased 4.2 percent in 2011 with a record setting 26.9 million people visiting the city, and spending an estimated $15.2 billion, the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau announced today.

Bureau head Mark Liberman remarked that one in 10 jobs in Los Angeles is related to tourism, and that the LA INC. report represented "impressive growth" in restaurant spending, hotel occupancy and attraction attendance compared to 2010 figures.

The number of international travelers is on the rise, according to the report. Australians made up the largest block of tourists in 2011, while China showed the largest year-over-year increase with 25 percent more visitors arriving in 2011.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took some credit for a five-year, 150 percent increase in Chinese tourists, citing an L.A. tourism office that opened in Beijing in 2006, notes CNS.

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