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Thanksgiving travel lines moving briskly at LAX

November 24, 2010 | 10:21 am

Lax The lines were moving briskly Wednesday at LAX, with no lengthy waits on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

"It's been nothing out of the ordinary," said Nico Melendez, a spokesman for the federal Transportation Security Administration. "We've had minimal wait times around the country. We've only seen a handful of people opt out from the x-ray machine scanners in favor of the pat-downs."

Melendez said the busiest travel times on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving are typically from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

At around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the US Airways terminal, screeners were not using the full-body X-ray machines. About 20 protesters, organized by the website wewontfly.com, were passing out fliers reminding people they have the right to opt out of the full-body scans.

They also handed out stickers that read, "Don't touch my junk," the now-famous words used by Oceanside resident John Tyner as he recently underwent a pat-down at San Diego International Airport.

"Some people are shocked. Others are opting out," said protester Michelle Fields, 22, a political science major at Pepperdine University.

But most passengers paid little attention to the protesters -- or the screenings.

Nate Mayor, 22, a student at Occidental College was at LAX getting ready to fly home to Seattle for Thanksgiving. He said he had no problems with additional security -- and planned to submit to a full-body scan if necessary.

"I certainly don't have any qualms about the X-ray machines," Mayor said.

Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Phil Fontanetta said LAPD officers were being paired up with LAX police officers scattered throughout the terminals.

"People want to get home to Ma and Grandma," Fontanetta said. "They smell the turkey."

No problems have cropped up and everything was running smoothly, even a small protest, Fontanetta said, pointing out the window of Terminal 1, where protesters were handing out stickers.

"This is what it's all about," Fontanetta said. "These kids are out front having these peaceful protests. This is what America is about."


Tell us your Thanksgiving travel stories

Opponents of full-body scans encourage Thanksgiving travelers at LAX to opt out

Thanksgiving travelers at LAX express mixed feelings about new security measures

-- Bob Pool at Los Angeles International Airport

Photo: Passengers go through a security checkpoint in Los Angeles International Airport's Terminal 1. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times