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Thanksgiving at LAX: crowds, construction, therapy dogs

Thanksgiving at LAX: crowds, construction, therapy dogs
Trained therapy dogs will be roaming the terminals at Los Angeles International Airport during the Thanksgiving weekend to reduce stress among travelers. (Hugo Martin/ Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles International Airport is on pace to be the nation's busiest airport over the Thanksgiving weekend, and ongoing construction could also make it one of the most frustrating.

LAX is expected to serve 1.97 million passengers during the Thanksgiving weekend, a 4.8% increase over last year, according to airport officials.

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Throughout the year LAX is the nation's third-busiest airport, serving an average of 196,000 passengers per day. But travel website Orbitz predicts LAX will be the busiest for the holiday weekend for the second year in a row.

On the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving, the airport is expected to draw 207,000 passengers each day, according to airport officials.

Most construction work for a $4.1-billion overhaul of the airport will be stopped from Friday to Dec. 1, but some will continue, forcing travelers to file around temporary walls and construction cones, airport officials warn.

Elevators will be out of service in Parking Structures 3 and 4 and construction will continue on some airport roadways.

To help alleviate the stress of travel, LAX officials said volunteers will be roaming terminals with trained therapy dogs. Travelers are welcome to stop and pet the dogs.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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