SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

November 15, 2005 19:12 ET

Los Angeles Airport Expects 1.8 Million Passengers for Thanksgiving

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 15, 2005 -- Travelers this Thanksgiving holiday travel period will experience improved passenger conveniences and services over last year at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), as Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) continues to work with airlines and other government agencies to emphasize everyone's role in ensuring safety and security at its three commercial airports -- LAX, Ontario International (ONT) and Palmdale Regional (PMD).

Holiday passenger volume from Friday, Nov. 18 through Monday, Nov. 28 are expected to match last year's level of 1.8 million passengers at LAX and 200,000 at ONT. PMD, which now offers service to North Las Vegas Airport, did not have scheduled air service in the same period last year.

Airport officials report the passenger volumes are flat year over year due to higher air fares and airlines trimming flight schedules due to record high fuel costs.

Airport officials recommend passengers departing LAX during daily peak travel periods of 6 am to 9 am, 11 am to 2 pm, or 7 pm to 10 pm, be in their airlines' ticketing lobbies two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights. Wednesday, Thanksgiving morning, and Sunday are expected to be the busiest days with airlines forecasting passenger load factors approaching 100 percent on most flights.

Travelers at ONT are urged to arrive at the airport 1 1/2 hours before domestic flights and two hours before international flights serving Mexico.

New passenger amenities and safety and security improvements at LAX this year include:

--  The construction this year of eight more screening lanes (Terminal 1 -
    three lanes; Terminal 2 - one lane; Terminal 4 - three lanes; and Terminal
    5 - one lane).  This brings the total number of passenger screening lanes
    at LAX to nearly 60, the most of any U.S. airport.
--  The Transportation Security Administration's Trace Portal System at
    Terminal 1 permits screeners to perform a non-invasive secondary inspection
    of passengers for explosives residue.
--  New food and beverage concessions offer holiday travelers the
    opportunity to grab a quick snack or to take food with them on the flight.
    In particular, Brioche Doree of the well-known deli café in France opened
    its first concession at a U.S. airport in Terminal 4.  A California deli
    called Monet's opened in Terminal 6.
--  New gifts and news concessions also opened this year, including Hudson
    News in Terminals 3, 7 and Tom Bradley International, while Jetway Book
    Sellers opened a location in Terminal 7.
--  San Fernando Valley travelers can depart non-stop to LAX 24 hours a
    day from the convenient, new Van Nuys FlyAway Terminal located at 7610
    Woodley Avenue.  The new terminal is double the size of the previous one.
    More buses will be added to the schedule to accommodate the holiday demand.
    The Van Nuys FlyAway service offers an easily accessible passenger drop-off
    area, 2,400 parking spaces that are available up to 30 days, automated bus
    ticket machines, and automated teller machines to facilitate cash ticket
    purchases.  The fare is still inexpensive at $3.50 one-way and $6.00 for
    round-trip tickets.  Children 2 to 12 years old are $1.75 each way.
--  Drivers coming to the airport can hear up-to-the-minute information on
    traffic conditions on freeways and roadways coming to and in the airport.
    LAX AiRadio 530 AM is the only source of official information on airport
    conditions broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  During the
    upcoming holidays, the radio station will broadcast live from 5 am to 9 pm
    daily, beginning this Friday, Nov. 18.  The radio station provides
    listeners in a 10-mile radius from LAX with current information so they can
    adjust to changing traffic conditions, as well as security and parking
--  To help motorists avoid traffic congestion in the Central Terminal
    Area, the LAX Cell Phone Lot at 9011 Airport Blvd. offers a free parking
    alternative 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Motorists can wait for
    arriving passengers to call them on their cell phones and then drive to the
    curbside on the Lower/Arrivals Level to pickup their passengers.
--  Continental, ATA and Singapore have joined Hawaiian Airlines (the
    initial pilot program airline) in offering their LAX departing passengers a
    "mobile skycap" service through Baggage Direct, the only company certified
    by the Transportation Security Agency to issue boarding passes and check
    luggage at passengers' home, hotel or office.  Passengers can bypass the
    airline ticket counter and luggage check-in lines.  Baggage Direct delivers
    passengers' bags directly to the airlines.
--  LAX officials are reaching out to infrequent travelers with SMART
    TRAVELER tips through a public information campaign using newspapers, TV
    and radio.  Airport officials and the airlines have worked together to
    identify key tips for use by travelers who travel infrequently or who have
    not traveled since last year.  The public information materials are
    produced in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog and

New passenger amenities and safety and security improvements at ONT this year include:

--  Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Thrifty Car Rental now offer on-airport
    services along with rental car agencies such as Alamo, Avis, Budget,
    Dollar, Hertz and National.
--  ONT Ambassadors now assist travelers on the curbside and in the
    terminals with information about airport services and security
--  Travelers will notice this holiday more pricing options available for
    economy and daily parking rates at ONT.
(NOTE TO EDITORS: "Smart Traveler" Tips Attached)

"Smart Traveler" Tips for Holiday Travelers

Before arriving at LAX, passengers should remember:

--  Do not pack or bring prohibited items to LAX, especially those that
    resemble any type of weapon.  Replicas of guns, lighters shaped like guns,
    belt buckles shaped like grenades, and other similar items have delayed
    passenger or checked-luggage screening while officials determine whether or
    not these items were real.
--  Leave gifts or large boxes unwrapped for inspection.  Bring materials
    to wrap boxes that will be checked in.
--  Save time at check-in by obtaining boarding passes electronically from
    airlines' Internet websites, especially if traveling with carry-on bags
--  Eliminate the hassles of driving and parking at the airport.  Take
    shared-ride alternative transportation, including taxis, door-to-door
    shuttle vans, airporter buses such as the LAX FlyAway from Van Nuys, public
    buses and the Metro Rail Green Line train.

While at the airport, travelers should remember:

--  Avoid contributing to traffic congestion in the Central Terminal Area
    by repeatedly circulating the terminal roadways.  The LAX Cell Phone Lot at
    9011 Airport Blvd. offers a free parking alternative 24 hours a day, seven
    days a week.  Motorists can wait for arriving passengers to call them on
    their cell phones and then drive to the curbside on the Lower/Arrivals
    Level to pickup their passengers.
--  Take advantage of the convenient two hours free parking available in
    Economy Lots B and C and take the free LAX shuttle buses to the terminals
    to meet arriving passengers.  Or have arriving passengers call drivers by
    cellular phone when they are ready to be picked up curbside.
--  Passenger drop-off and pick-up is allowed at terminal curbside only.
    Drivers should not drop-off or pick-up passengers in the middle of traffic
    or along prohibited curbs.  No parking or waiting curbside will be allowed.
    Meet arriving passengers in the baggage claim areas on the Lower/Arrivals
--  All metals should be placed inside carry-on bags.  This includes
    jewelry, loose change, keys, mobile phones, pagers and personal digital
    assistants.  Many Smart Travelers bring clear plastic zipped bags to place
    metal items inside so they can drop in and zip through passenger screening
--  Do not agree to watch strangers' luggage or personal belongings.
--  Watch your personal belongings at all times.
--  Remember to pick up all personal items placed in bins during passenger
    security screening.
--  Report suspicious behavior to law enforcement or Transportation
    Security Administration personnel.

Contact Information

    Thomas Winfrey
    (310) 646-5260