Anyone traveling on a domestic flight is urged to allow three hours, while international travelers should set aside four hours.
On Tuesday, traffic to the airport was so stalled that some travelers were jumping out of their rideshares early and toting their luggage long distances to the terminal.
"I walked two miles from my Uber," said Lucy Siegel of Santa Monica. "We were siting for 30 minutes without moving so I just walked."
Siegel had given herself four hours before her flight time to get to her departure gate and it was still cutting it close.
A labor protest by airline workers on Century Boulevard near the airport made matters worse for a time.
Several hundred protesters gathered on Century just past the entrance ramp to LAX.
Because of the protest, police closed off westbound Century at Vicksburg for a while.
Sixteen protesters were arrested for failure to disperse, police said.
The entrance ramp to the airport itself remained open, meaning some through traffic was being diverted from Century onto airport property amid the busy Thanksgiving surge.
The "Raise LAX" protesters were advocating for better wages and health care benefits for American Airline catering workers. There were similar protest going on at airports around the country.
Weather conditions at other airports around the country also led to delays at LAX. Travelers were urged to check with their airlines before heading to the airport because of the number of canceled flights.
"We urge the public to arrive early, to give yourself about three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights," said LAX spokesperson Olga Gallardo