Travelers using LAX this summer projected to be up 4% from last year

Traffic moves through LAX in 2011.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Citing an improving economy and growing demand for foreign travel, the operator of Los Angeles International Airport is predicting a substantial increase in passengers in the months ahead compared with last year.

Officials for Los Angeles World Airports predict that 21.5 million travelers will use the nation’s third-busiest airport in the period that starts with the long Memorial Day weekend and continues through the summer. That figure is up 4% from the same period last year.

The peak travel period, they say, will be Thursday through Monday, when an estimated 758,000 airline passengers are expected at LAX because of Memorial Day. That projection represents an 8% increase over the 2013 holiday.

Airport officials say LAX also will be especially busy during the first two weeks of July as well as the first half of August.

The surge compared with last year is attributed to a stronger economy, improved consumer confidence and more available airline seats as carriers add flights at LAX and bring larger aircraft into service.


In addition, airport officials say travel is increasing between Los Angeles and Asia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Britain and countries in the western Pacific.

During the busiest travel times, passengers are encouraged to arrive two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights.

Travelers using LAX may encounter heavy traffic congestion due to construction work on roadways, terminals, parking structures and sidewalks as part of the airport’s multibillion-dollar modernization.