Traveling for Fourth of July? What you need to know before going to LAX

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles International Airport officials have some timely advice for those flying out for the Fourth of July holiday weekend amid a resurgence in travel.

Passenger traffic at LAX is now returning to pre-pandemic levels, so you'll want to take some extra time for traffic backups, to find a parking spot and get through airport security.

Carve out even more time if you need to get a COVID-19 test or get vaccinated.

Officials are also reminding travelers to not forget your face mask, which is required at U.S. airports and on planes.

AAA says 3.3 million people will travel for the 4th of July holiday -- a 46% jump since this time last year.

Meantime, LAX topped 4 million passengers for the month of May. That's the most since February 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic. It's also a more than 600% increase from May of last year.

"This week, we have the potential to set a couple more records, probably on Friday, probably also on Sunday," said Heath Montgomery, LAX public relations director. "If we get to that 95 to 100,000 people through the checkpoints a day, that's a pretty big milestone for us. That's the busiest we've been since March of 2020.

Some airlines have had to cancel hundreds of flights amid the surge in demand for air travel and labor shortages. Unprecedented bad weather and vendors' challenges trying to return to full employment are other factors.

"All of the airlines across the country and the world have been working hard to address pilot shortages and make sure that crews are coming back and airport staff are coming back," Montgomery said. "Really we're seeing a surge in travel demand and everybody is working to meet that demand right now."

If you're planning on driving to your destination, Janet McGee with AAA advises drivers to avoid hitting the road between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday. That's when traffic will be heaviest.

"It's going to be busy out there, so pack your patience and get ready for traffic," she said.

McGee says despite gas prices at the highest levels seen since 2014 and increasing costs of hotels and car rentals, Independence Day travel this year is only 2.5% below that of 2019.

Anaheim is among AAA's top spots for travel destinations which, McGee says, means people will be flocking to Disneyland.
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