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LAX expects record crowds for the Labor Day holiday, with today the busiest day

LAX expects record crowds for the Labor Day holiday, with today the busiest day
Passengers wait to check in for Labor Day weekend travel on Aug. 30, 2013, at Los Angeles International Airport. LAX is expected to see a record number of travelers for the 2018 Labor Day weekend. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles International Airport officials have issued a warning for travelers flying during the Labor Day weekend: Expect congestion on the roads and in the airport terminals, “which will be more crowded than usual.”

There is good reason for the warning: The nation’s second-busiest airport is expected to serve a record 1.13 million air travelers between Friday and Tuesday, a 2.35% increase over the same period in 2017.

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The busiest day of the holiday weekend is expected to be Friday, when 245,770 travelers are anticipated, according to airport officials. The airport served an average of 231,000 travelers a day last year.

The prediction is in line with a forecast issued this week by Airlines for America, a trade group for the country’s largest air carriers. The group predicted that a record 16.5 million people will fly on U.S. airlines this weekend, a 3.5% increase over the Labor Day weekend in 2017.

Demand for air travel has been growing steadily for the last several years, a reflection of a strong economy and improved consumer confidence, according to industry experts. The price of airline tickets has also dropped or remained flat since the middle of 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

But airline industry experts warn that rising jet fuel prices could force carriers to look for ways to pass along the higher costs to travelers. In the last week, JetBlue and United have announced higher checked bag fees, with other carriers expected to match the increase.

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