An extended holiday rush hour is expected to peak on Sunday, when an estimated 214,000 travelers pass through Los Angeles International Airport.
That is one of the busiest days in a period from 12/16 to 01/03 when the airport is expected to handle around 200,000 arriving and departing passengers daily. The total number of travelers on Sunday will be roughly equal to the number on Friday and the total expected on December 27th. 23
On the ground, too, the upturn in air travel will be felt, with a 12% increase in vehicles circling LAX’s two-story “horseshoe” avenue during the holiday season.
“This weekend is going to be bouncy,” said LAX spokesman Heath Montgomery. “The horseshoe will be busy.”
Airport officials advised drivers to check the @FlyLAXStats Twitter feed for regular updates on traffic levels on LAX’s upper and lower streets.
Although the lower level is for arriving passengers and the upper level is for departing passengers, airport officials warn that drivers are welcome to take the path of least resistance. For example, if they see that the lower street is less crowded, they can drop off flyers there.
There were times on Saturday morning when @FlyLAXStats showed the time to go around the lower airport road was five minutes, half the time to go around the upper level.
While LAX may feel crowded during the holiday season, the number of airborne passengers has yet to return to its pre-pandemic peak of 88 million passengers — the total reached in 2019, when the airport was the third-busiest in the world. Only Atlanta and Beijing took in more passengers that year.
The total for the airport in 2022 is expected to reach the 60 million mark.