Airport (LAX) officials are forecasting a record 888,000 passengers will pass through the airport this over the four-day holiday weekend – an increase of 4.1 percent over last year’s 853,000 passengers. The holiday weekend begins Friday, September 1 through Monday, September 4. Friday is expected to be the busiest day with more than 239,000 travelers, followed by Monday with just over 236,000 travelers.
“This Labor Day weekend, we know that hundreds of thousands of travelers will pass through and travel to LAX, and we want to make sure their travel is as fun and stress-free as possible,” said Trevor Daley, Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs at LAX. “We encourage travelers to take public transportation or the Flyaway, follow our tips for easier car trips, and most of all give yourself plenty of time to get to your gate. As all of our passengers are traveling to their family and friends, we want to give a special thanks to all those who are working this Labor Day weekend to make sure our guests and travelers are safe and have a wonderful weekend. While we mark this holiday, our thoughts are also with the residents of the cities impacted by Hurricane Harvey, and the significant tasks ahead of them as the recovery efforts begin.”
Passengers and motorists should plan ahead and be prepared for traffic congestion on the roadways in and around LAX, as well as terminals which are expected to be more crowded than usual.
The volume of traffic in the Central Terminal Area (CTA) is expected to be slightly higher than normal over the holiday weekend, with Friday and Monday the busiest days with about 103,000 and 105,000 vehicles, respectively. Normal daily average is 94,000 vehicles. Motorists are advised to expect and plan for delays during periods of traffic congestion in the CTA.
Airport Police traffic officers will be positioned throughout the CTA to help keep vehicles moving.
“Traffic officers will be placed curbside to direct traffic to and from the curb. This ensures cars are staged as close together as possible and stopped parallel to the curb in order to maximize curb usage,” said APD Lt. Edward Martinez. “Also, traffic officers and motorcycle officers will be stationed at busy areas, such as the Departures Level, crosswalks in front of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, and West Way, where officers can physically control traffic intersections to prevent gridlock from building up on Upper Level World Way and vehicles are diverted to the Lower Level. Traffic and motorcycle units will constantly monitor curbs for parked vehicles and educate drivers about the LAX Cell Phone Waiting Lot as an alternative before ushering them from the curb.”
Airport officials are offering five tips to help ease motorists on their way to LAX:
1. Take the FlyAway® bus, and leave traffic and parking concerns behind. The airport provides inexpensive and convenient FlyAway® buses from Hollywood, Long Beach, Metro Orange Line (San Fernando Valley), Santa Monica, Union Station, Van Nuys, and Westwood/UCLA. For more information, including schedules, visit www.LAXFlyAway.org,
2. Use the Lower/Arrivals Level to drop off passengers or access CTA parking structures. Particularly during the early morning hours, there is usually less congestion on the Lower/Arrivals Level. Departing passengers can be dropped off, and take elevators or escalators to the Upper/Departures Level. Motorists can enter the parking structures from the Lower/Arrival Level and use the ramps inside to reach pedestrian bridges to the terminal
buildings. The bridge to Terminal 1 is closed during construction.
3. Use your favorite shortcut, or one of ours. While Sepulveda and Century boulevards provide the main entry points to the CTA, and shoulder most of the burden, there are ways to get visit http://www.laxishappening.com/getting-around/tips-and-shortcuts.aspx. And don’t forget about the shortcuts inside the CTA. Rather than circle the entire loop, use East Way (a sharp left turn across from Terminal 1) that can get you to Terminals 6 and 7, or West Way (a left turn between Terminals 2 and 3), which provides access to Terminal 5. West Way also features a ramp that can be used to transition from the Upper/Departures Level to the Lower/Arrivals Level.
4. Leave early, there’s a lot to see. Because traffic can be unpredictable, it’s a good idea to be on the safe side and leave some extra time. LAX recommends that passengers arrive in their terminal two hours before the boarding time (not departure time) for a domestic flight and three hours before boarding time for an international flight. If you end up with extra time, it’s an opportunity to check out some of the new amenities LAX is adding to its terminals. Also, be sure to check out our real-time traffic map before you go (http://www.laxishappening.com/getting-around/lax-traffic-maps.aspx) Motorists and travelers also can receive real-time status of airport conditions by accessing @FlyLAXairport and @LAAirportPD Twitter feeds.
5. Don’t circle the loop, use the cell phone lot. This one is for the meeter-greeters. Rather than circling the Central Terminal Area until arriving passengers reach terminal curbside for pick up, motorists can park and wait up to two hours free at the LAX Cell Phone Waiting Lot at 6221 West 96th Street (96th Street and Vicksburg adjacent to the entrance of LAX Parking Lot C). When your passengers call, head to the Lower/Arrivals Level to pick them up. New signs on the columns include both the terminal number and a letter to make it easier to locate arriving passengers. Arriving passengers can also take the Lot C shuttle bus to their cell phone lot, and meet their ride there.
Information on traffic conditions in the LAX Central Terminal Area and surrounding streets is now available on the WAZE community-based navigation app. Road closures, parking facility closures, and other traffic information are by airport staff at www.waze.com.
For a comprehensive list of items that are permitted and prohibited in carry-on or checked luggage, visit www.tsa.gov. Travelers also are encouraged to enroll in TSA Pre√® or other trustedtraveler programs such as Customs & Border Protection’s Global Entry, which improve security and reduce wait times.