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Easy day at LAX for holiday travelers, officials say

December 23, 2011 | 12:02 pm

Glancing over the upper and lower terminals of Los Angeles International Airport Friday morning, Police Sgt. Belinda Nettles described the traffic at the sixth busiest airport in the world as "slow" as holiday travelers head out of town.

"It was busier early this morning," Nettles said. "It's kind of empty right now."

Airport officials say passenger volume at LAX will remain unchanged this holiday travel period compared with last year. Between Dec. 17 and Jan. 3, 2012, officials expect to see 2.9 million passengers departing from the airport.

Despite the steady volume, LAX officials expect the flow to change this afternoon. They say the next two peak hours will be between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and are warning travelers to arrive three hours before international flights and two hours before domestic flights.

They also warn that rebooking missed flights may be a little more difficult because of the reduction in flights from airlines.

According to the American Automobile Assn., a little more than 925,000 Californians will take to the skies, a nearly 10% drop compared with 2010. They say a 21% rise in airfare costs may be one contributing factor.

While the holiday stress may not be seen at airports, that won't be the case for drivers.

That Auto Club says of the 11.4 million Californians who will travel during the end-of-the year holidays -- a 4.1% increase compared with last year -- 10 million of those will drive between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2.

At least 370,000 will travel by alternative means such as boats.

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-- Ruben Vives

Twitter/latvives

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