Lines began forming early Wednesday outside of Los Angeles International Airport as holiday travelers arrived for one of the busiest travel days of the year.
Airport officials expect a 6.8-percent increase in the number of passengers over last year. That increase equals about 200,000 passengers per day during the Thanksgiving holiday rush, which began Nov. 22 and continues through Dec. 2.
"It's life at the airport. It's good to see that people are back in the air," said Nancy Castles, LAX public relations director. "Many of the airlines, in order to meet the travel demands of the local market, have switched to larger aircraft with more seats. We're seeing that pent up demand for travel being realized."
LAX is projected to be the busiest airport for Thanksgiving holiday travel, according to travel website Orbitz. Travelers outside of Terminal 1 -- home to Southwest Airlines and US Airways -- formed a line outside the terminal by 4:30 a.m.
But the busiest travel day is likely to be Sunday, Castles said. Airport officials expect about 225,000 travelers on Sunday.
"The busiest travel day used to be Wednesday," said Castles. "But you have people who have been traveling for a whole week before Thanksgiving, and they all end up returning on two days -- Sunday and Monday."
As for the rest of the nation, flight delays and cancellations were reported Wednesday morning at some of the country's busiest aiports as a band of rain soaked the East Coast.
Nationwide, the busiest travel day will be Sunday, Dec. 1, with an estimated 2.56 million passengers, followed by Wednesday, Nov. 27, with 2.42 million passengers. The slowest travel day is Thanksgiving itself, with just 1.44 million people expected to fly.
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