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Fourth of July travel will break records, AAA predicts

Fourth of July travel will break records, AAA predicts
Passengers snake their way through the security lines in Terminal 1 at Los Angeles International Airport in December. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Going out of town this Fourth of July weekend? Be prepared for a record-breaking amount of company.

Nationwide, 42.9 million people are expected to travel during the holiday weekend, up 1.3% from the record high that was set in 2007 and tied last year, according to the Auto Club.

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A little more than 3 million Southern California residents are expected to go on vacation for the Fourth of July, the highest since 2002's Fourth of July record for the area, AAA said.

This year's numbers also mark a 1.3% increase from last year's Southern California Fourth of July travel totals.

The travel frenzy is being fueled by lower gas prices, as well as a growth in consumer confidence, Filomena Andre, AAA's vice president for travel products and services, said in a statement.

About 80% of Southern California residents, or 2.4 million, will drive to their holiday destinations, representing a 1% bump from last year, the Auto Club said.

About 375,000 will travel by plane, it said, up 3% from last year's 364,000 air travelers.

Travelers could still run into long lines at airport security.

In the spring, the Transportation Security Administration was heavily criticized over lengthy screening lines at airports that caused thousands of travelers to miss their flights. This month, the head of the TSA said significant progress had been made on shortening waits by adding lines and staff.

Government officials have been urging travelers to sign up for TSA PreCheck, which allows fliers to use an expedited screening line if they first submit to a government background check. But the program has become inundated with applications, and it can take weeks to get an appointment to enroll.

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UPDATES:

11:43 a.m.: This article has been updated to add that nationwide travel is expected to break records.

9:08 a.m.: This article has been updated with information about airport security.

This article was originally published at 8:36 a.m.

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