Locals head out for the holiday weekend

LOS ANGELES Although there are less people traveling this year, AAA said climbing gas prices and high airfares aren't keeping people home.

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In fact, nearly a million people are expected to filter through LAX this weekend. Another 80,000 will travel through Ontario Airport.

The busiest travel days will be Friday and Monday, and airport officials are advising that passengers arrive two hours ahead of time for domestic flights and three hours for international flights. Travelers should also call ahead to make sure flights are on time.

For those hitting the roads, drivers will face steep prices at the pump.

The national average for gas is $3.88, the California average is $4.05, the L.A.-Long Beach average is $4, the Orange County average is $3.97, the Inland Empire average is $4.01 and the San Francisco average is $4.10.

The Auto Club projects that more than two million motorists will hit the highways this weekend -- a decline from the usual because of gas prices.

There will be about 360,000 fewer travelers than last year, according to AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair, Jr.

"It's the first year since 1998 that we've seen a year to year decrease," he said.

"At $4.07 a gallon, it's not going to happen," said Jeff Sironi, who is not traveling.

Experts also say that about 40 percent of the population anticipate some sort of concession because of the higher gas prices. They might be traveling shorter distances, staying fewer days, eating at cheaper restaurants or staying at cheaper hotels.

Police advise those driving over the weekend to buckle up, don't speed and don't drink and drive.

Jovana Lara contributed to this story.


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