Thanksgiving travel: Thousands expected to pass through LAX Wednesday

If you're planning to hit the road Wednesday for a Thanksgiving break, bring a big dose of patience.

Wednesday is expected to be one of the busiest days of the Thanksgiving holiday travel crunch at Los Angeles International Airport, with between 228,000 and 239,000 passengers expected to pass through the facility. A similar number of people will flow through LAX on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

LAX officials are expected a record 2.38 million travelers to pass through the airport during the holiday travel period, which began Friday and will end Monday. That's up 2.3 percent from last year. The best days to pass through the airport are expected to be Thanksgiving day and Black Friday, when a mere 174,000 to 195,000 people are expected to be at LAX.

If you're traveling on the freeways, you won't be alone either. The crush of travelers was evident on freeways as early as Tuesday night, with miles-long backups already making for extended drives heading out of town.

The Automobile Club of Southern California estimated that 3.87 million Southern California residents will be traveling for the long weekend, and 86 percent of them will be traveling by car.

Statewide, 6.26 million are projected to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers since 2007, when 6.44 million Californians took a holiday trip. The Auto Club is expecting 5.37 million statewide to go by car and another 693,000 to fly. More than 200,000 are expected to use other modes of transportation, about the same as last year.

The top five destinations for Southern California travelers, according to a survey of the Auto Club's Travel agents, are, in this order, San Francisco, San Diego, Anaheim, the Grand Canyon, and Santa Barbara. Nationally, Anaheim, site of the Disneyland Resort, is expected to be the second most popular Thanksgiving destination, according to the AAA.

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