What to Know
- This Labor Day weekend is set to be a busy one for travelers on the road and in the air.
- Head out early no matter how you travel to avoid the crowds: 2 hours before the flight leaves for domestic flights, and 3 for international flights.
- Hit the road early in the morning or well after the evening commute to avoid traffic by car.
It's Labor Day weekend, and that means millions of people setting their travel plans into motion. But with persistent flight delays and cancellations, flying isn't the smooth experience it once was -- and millions of people are set to hit crowded roads as a result.
Road trippers are expected to dominate the travel scene, but over 100,000 people are expected to pass through LAX on Friday alone.
The four-day holiday period is expected to be one of the airport's busiest all year long, and LAX is expected to be the third busiest in the nation over Labor Day weekend.
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That's despite the past few months of delays and cancellations caused by airlines struggling to keep pace with the demand for flights amid staffing shortages.
Planning ahead will help travelers stay ahead of scheduling issues. Arriving two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights should provide enough time to get through crowded security lines.
Passengers are also asked to be patient, as flight delays at one airport in one city sometimes end up having a ripple effect on other flights in other locations.
"Most of our delays over the summer months have been related to weather in other parts of the country," said LAX spokesperson Victoria Spilabotte. "Make sure you check your flight status to make sure that your flight is not delayed or cancelled."
That can be easier with the app for whatever airline you booked through, according to AAA spokesperson Doug Shupe.
"Download the airline app, because that app is going to notify you if there's been a change to your flight right away, before you actually get to the airport."
The Department of Transportation has also launched a customer service dashboard that compares the different kinds of guarantees, refunds or compensation the major domestic airlines offer in case of flight delays or cancellations.
Luckily for local flyers, LAX is not on the top 10 list of airports where delays and cancellations are expected.
If you're skipping the flights altogether and driving to your Labor Day weekend getaway, you'll have company on the road.
The best time to leave is early in the morning or after the evening commute.