LAX Ready to Serve 2.9 Million Holiday Travelers

LOS ANGELES, CA — (MARKET WIRE) — 12/21/2005 —

Television Editors: At 10:30 a.m. WEDNESDAY, edited videotape of “Santa Claus” going through security at LAX will be transmitted via Hollywood Hub loop 945611 and Pacific Television’s pool The Switch. The videotape will illustrate some of the recommendations for LAX travelers described in this news release. Santa, in full red suit, will hear from TSA screeners about not wrapping gifts before security and he’ll be told about prohibited items. He’ll remove his boots, belt and coat for screening, he’ll go through additional screening in a booth that checks for hazardous materials with equipment that puffs air and Santa’s checked baggage will be screened. The 10-minute videotape will be repeated three times between 10:30 and 11 a.m.

Already into the busy holiday travel period that began Saturday, Dec. 17, an estimated 2.9 million travelers will pass through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) through Monday, Jan. 2. Airport officials are forecasting smooth operations as was the case during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

The 17-day holiday period’s passenger volume is expected to exceed last year’s total of 2.8 million. The increase in passengers over last year’s total is driven by an increase in international travel. Domestic travel is expected to be flat compared with last year.

The busiest travel days are expected to include Friday and Saturday, Dec. 23 and 24, and the long weekend concluding Jan. 2, with flights on those days operating at capacity.

Airport officials said the airlines, airport staff and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are prepared for the high passenger volumes, ready to provide a safe and pleasant travel experience for all travelers. TSA officials at LAX have committed to ensuring its screening stations for passengers and checked-luggage stations will be properly staffed, especially during peak travel periods.

This year, LAX, the airlines and TSA opened eight new passenger screening lanes, bringing the total to almost 60. In particular, at Terminal 1 (Southwest, USAirways and America West) and Terminal 4 (American Airlines) — previously the two most congested terminals — separate screening stations with three lanes each were placed in service with excellent results during the Thanksgiving holiday period.

All available Airport Police and traffic officers will be on duty for crowd control, traffic management, crime prevention and parking enforcement.

Drivers coming to the airport can hear up-to-the-minute information on traffic conditions on freeways and roadways to and in the airport. LAX AirRadio 530 AM is the only source of official information on airport conditions broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During upcoming holidays, the radio will broadcast live from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The radio station provides listeners in a 10-mile radius from LAX with information so they can adjust to changing traffic conditions, as well as security and parking conditions.

To help motorists avoid traffic congestion in the Central Terminal Area, the LAX Cell Phone Waiting 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.

Travel Tips

By following proven “Smart Traveler” tips, passengers can lessen the stress of holiday travel and help speed everyone through security checkpoints:

Before arriving at LAX, passengers should remember:

– Call your airline or check their Internet website to ensure flights
are on time. Winter weather in other parts of the U.S. may cause flight
delays.
– Leave gifts or large boxes unwrapped for inspection.
– Save time at check-in by obtaining boarding passes electronically from
airlines’ Internet websites, especially if traveling with carry-on bags
only.
– Airlines limit carry-on items to one baggage and one personal item,
such as a purse, briefcase, backpack, camera bag or diaper bag.
– 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 can delay
passenger or checked-luggage screening while officials determine whether or
not these items are real.
– On Dec. 22, the TSA will implement earlier announced changes to its
security procedures and list of items permitted to be carried on board
aircraft. Visit its website at www.TSA.gov for more information.
– Reduce the hassles of getting to the airport by taking shared-ride
transportation, such as door-to-door shuttle vans, the Van Nuys FlyAway,
Metro Rail Green Line trains, airport and public buses, taxis and limos.
– Arrive in your airline’s check-in lobby two hours before a domestic
flight or three hours before an international flight.

While at the airport, travelers should remember:
– 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
Level.
– 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
metallic items inside, so they can drop in and zip through passenger
screening checkpoints.
– Do not agree to watch strangers’ luggage or personal belongings.
– Do not make comments or joke about terrorism or explosives.

For up-to-date information on airport, traffic and parking conditions:
– Visit the LAX Internet website at www.lawa.org
– Tune car radios to AirRadio 530 AM.

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