An extended holiday season is expected to peak Sunday, with about 214,000 travelers passing through Los Angeles International Airport.
This is one of the busiest days in a period since December. 16 in January 3, in which the airport is expected to handle an average of about 200,000 arriving and departing passengers daily. The total number of passengers on Sunday will roughly match the number on Friday and the total expected in December. 23.
The impact of air travel will also be felt on the ground, with a 12% increase in vehicles traveling on LAX’s two-level “horseshoe” road during the holiday season.
“This weekend will be advanced,” LAX spokesman Heath Montgomery said. “The horseshoe will be busy.”
Airport officials recommend drivers check the @FlyLAXStats Twitter feed for regular updates on traffic loads on LAX’s upper and lower roadways.
While the lower level is designated for arriving passengers and the upper level for departing passengers, airport officials advise that drivers are welcome to take the path of least resistance. If they see that the lower road is less busy, for example, they can leave the outgoing flyers there.
There were times Saturday morning when @FlyLAXStats showed the time to go around the lower airport road as five minutes, half the time to circumnavigate the upper level.
While LAX may feel crowded during the holidays, the number of passengers flying has yet to return to its pre-pandemic peak of 88 million passengers, a total achieved in 2019 when the airport was the third busiest Of the world. Only Atlanta and Beijing welcomed more passengers that year.
The airport’s total by 2022 is expected to reach 60 million.