A record 849,000 travelers are expected to pass through Los Angeles International Airport this Memorial Day weekend, ahead of what's expected to be the travel hub's busiest summer ever, airport officials said Friday.
The total represents an 8.1 percent surge from last Memorial Day's record-785,000 travelers, and will begin a travel season airport officials estimate will draw an all-time-high 24.5 million travelers -- up 7.3 percent from the previous high, 2015's 22.8 million. Friday and Monday are anticipated to be the busiest days, with 229,000 and 220,000 travelers, respectively, projected to pass through the buzzing travel hub.
Travel site Orbitz.com predicts that LAX will be the busiest airport in the country over the four-day weekend, as locals travel to destinations such as New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
Friday marks the beginning of the summer travel season, which runs through Labor Day. LAX officials said huge crowds are expected to pass though the airport in July -- with a projected 1.7 million passengers coming and going the week of July 18-24.
Among the factors contributing to the record numbers include:
-- cheaper prices thanks to the declining costs of jet fuel;
-- more seating available; and
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-- seven new international airlines operating out of the facility.
With expected long Transportation Security Administration lines, travelers are advised to get to their designated terminals at least two hours before departure times for domestic flights and three hours for international ones.
The Memorial Day weekend is projected to the busiest travel-wise in more than a decade, with 2.9 million Southern California natives expected to be traveling, just short of 2005's record of 3.2 million, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. The organization estimated that 264,000 residents are expected to travel by plane, a 2.4 increase from last year.
For more LAX travel tips, check out LAXisHappening.com