SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

August 30, 2005 14:30 ET

Summer Travel Season Concludes With Busy Labor Day Weekend at Los Angeles and Ontario Airports

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 30, 2005 -- Los Angeles International Airport's (LAX's) busy summer travel season concludes with the four-day Labor Day weekend. An estimated 785,000 travelers are expected to depart and arrive on flights at LAX from Friday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept. 5, about the same as during last year's Labor Day weekend.

Strong international travel -- averaging 8 percent during the summer months -- is expected to continue through early September, offsetting small declines in domestic traffic attributed to airlines raising fares and trimming flight schedules because of record fuel costs.

For the months of June, July and August 2005, LAX expects to have served approximately 17.6 million travelers, the same as last year but up 12 percent from 15.7 million for the same three months in 2003. The record for summer travel was set in 2001 when 19 million travelers used LAX during the June-August period.

International travel was up 7.3 percent in June and 8.7 percent in July. Domestic travel dropped 3.4 percent in June and 3.1 percent in July, as airlines trimmed flight schedules and raised fares as fuel prices soared. Year to date through July, LAX has served 35,910,459 passengers compared with 35,353,704 for the same period last year, a 1.6 percent increase. LAX now expects to serve approximately 62 million passengers in 2005, compared with 60.7 million in 2004.

Ontario International Airport (ONT) in the Inland Empire is expecting approximately 40,000 travelers over the four-day holiday weekend, about the same as last year. Through July, ONT has served 4,150,715 passengers in 2005, compared with 4,041,329 during the same period in 2004, a 2.7 percent increase. ONT is on track to surpass 7 million passengers for all of 2005 to set a record.

Airport Police and other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies will be working together to ensure significant resources are deployed in and around LAX to ensure public safety.

With airlines forecasting passenger load factors above 90 percent, travelers are advised to allow enough time before their flight for parking, airline check-in, and passenger and checked-luggage security screening processes. A general rule-of-thumb is to arrive at the airport two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.

Airport officials offer the following tips to help passengers save valuable time:

Before Coming To LAX:

--  Before packing, check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
    website at www.tsa.gov for a comprehensive list of what can be packed in
    checked luggage, what can be carried onboard, and what are prohibited from
    being brought to the airport.
--  Place undeveloped photographic film, film in cameras and videotape in
    carry-on baggage, as they may be damaged during checked-baggage security
    screening.
--  Dress for security screening by wearing as little metal as possible.
    Bring a transparent, sealable plastic bag to place all metallic items in
    before going through passenger screening.  TSA now requires removal of
    suit, sport and athletic warm-up jackets, sweaters and other outerwear.
    Lighters, including absorbed-fuel (Zippo type, electric/battery-powered and
    novelty lighters, are prohibited at passenger screening.
--  While driving to LAX, tune radios to AiRadio 530 AM for up-to-the-
    minute airport conditions, including traffic on the freeways and surface
    roads in and around LAX, parking availability, airline locations and
    security precautions affecting passengers and motorists.  AiRadio
    broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Internet users can also
    listen to AiRadio 530 AM by visiting www.lawa.org and clicking on "LAX."
--  Travel light.  Carry-on items are limited to one baggage and one
    personal item, such as a purse, briefcase, backpack or diaper bag.
--  Bring government-issued photo identification required of all
    passengers over 18 years old to obtain tickets and boarding passes.  Also,
    place identification on the outside and inside of all  checked and carry-on
    bags.
--  By-pass ticket counter lines by printing boarding passes for domestic
    flights on a home or office computer from airlines' Internet websites.
    Also, most domestic airlines have electronic kiosks in their ticketing
    lobbies to issue boarding passes and check luggage.  These kiosks are as
    easy to use as bank automated teller machines.
    
While At The Airport:
--  If parking at the airport, lock vehicle doors and do not leave
    valuable items in plain view.
--  Watch your bags at all times.
--  Retrieve all personal belongings from passenger screening checkpoints.
    It is unnecessary to remove simple jewelry or wallets (unless it contains
    metallic items).
    
Picking Up Arriving Passengers:
--  Wait for arriving passengers to call to say they are ready to be
    picked up terminal in the FREE 24-hour LAX Cell Phone Waiting Lot at 9011
    Airport Blvd., north of the intersection of Airport Blvd. and Arbor
    Vitae/Westchester Parkway.
    
For more information about LAX services and Smart Travel Tips, log on at www.lawa.org.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Harold Johnson
    (310) 646-5260