High gas prices and crowded airports won’t deter millions of Los Angeles County residents from heading out of town for the Labor Day weekend, with the travel crunch beginning Thursday, Sept. 1, on local freeways and at Los Angeles International Airport.
LAX officials said they anticipate 102,000 people to pass through security checkpoints Thursday, with about 86,000 vehicles descending on the airport. The airport is predicting it to be the busiest Labor Day weekend since 2020, with 456,000 total departing passengers between Thursday and Monday.
Friday is expected to be slightly busier at the airport than Thursday, with 103,000 departing passengers anticipated, along with 92,000 vehicles heading to LAX. Things will be a little slower Saturday and Sunday, before rebounding on Monday.
According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, 32% of Americans are planning to travel for the Labor Day weekend. While many will head to airports, the vast majority — 82% — are expected to travel by car. For Southern California travelers, the top destinations are expected to be Las Vegas, San Diego, Orlando, Alaska, Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, Hawaii and Europe.
“More international destinations are open to travelers without COVID- 19 testing and vaccination requirements,” Heather Felix, the Auto Club’s vice president of travel products and services, said in a statement. “Right now, travelers can find some great deals for future travel, especially on cruises. For those who want to travel in the fall, the best advice is to get those plans in place as soon as possible due to the pent up demand, work with a reputable travel advisor who is aware of the requirements where you want to go, and consider travel insurance that would cover trip interruptions.”
Auto Club officials said the organization’s latest survey found Americans plan to keep on traveling well beyond Labor Day and into the fall. The survey found that 73% of Americans are planning a leisure trip after Labor Day, while 30% plan to fly somewhere and 7% plan to take a cruise.