LAX bustling with Thanksgiving travelers; millions expected through weekend

LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Check the status of your flight with ABC7 flight tracker

In Southern California, an estimated 2.4 million people will fly on this second-busiest traveling day of the year, with LAX seeing about 200,000 of those passengers. An estimated 3 million people will have passed through the airport by Monday.

The amount of travelers is impacting TSA operations at the airport.

"There's a lot of people coming to the airport, and our security officers are going to do everything they can to get people through," said Nico Melendez with the TSA. "But we need to work closely with the airline to make sure we know what the travel patterns are of passengers that day so we are appropriately staffed to get people through."

So far, most flights at LAX are on time. But things are likely to change as the day progresses. By the early morning, the app dubbed MiseryMap already showed delays and cancellations in New York and Washington, D.C. due to a wintry storm hitting the region.

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Melendez says the biggest travel tip for flyers is to get out early. He also recommended that passengers download the My TSA smartphone app, which provides information on wait times and weather conditions.

Melendez also says travelers should check screening regulations on the TSA website before heading out.

"Preparation is the most important thing, and it's a traveler's friend when you come to the airport," said Melendez.

Roads are expected to be impacted as well. According to AAA, about 39 million people are anticipated to hit the road over the holiday weekend.

The California Highway Patrol is cracking down for the holiday and will focus specifically on the 5 Freeway. Their goal is zero fatalities during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Drivers will be paying less at the pump this Thanksgiving compared to last year. In Long Beach and Los Angeles, the average is $3.60 a gallon, down 20 cents a gallon since last year. In Orange County, gas dropped 18 cents from last year. Drivers in the Inland Empire are seeing a 20-cent drop, and gas is 23 cents cheaper this year in Ventura County.

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