An orange alert, long lines, waits and fear will not stop April
Sullivan from getting to Arizona this holiday season. She is getting
“If there are any terrorists on my plane, I will be [ticked],” she
said as she waited for her Southwest Airlines flight to Phoenix
Tuesday in the terminal at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.
Sullivan and many travelers took to the skies this week, to and
from Burbank, despite security concerns.
“That freaked me out a bit,” Sullivan said of the orange alert
issued Sunday by the federal government, warning of a heightened
But officials said the warning has not been a cause for any major
travel glitches locally. However, it has been busy.
“It’s a lot busier here [this week],” said Jim Smith, a
Transportation Security Administration screener. “We’ve had lines for
Southwest Airlines two or three hours long. It’s been that way for
Smith said vigilant bag checks are going smoothly but that people
arriving late causes longer line delays.
“So far, it’s a normal Christmas week,” said Mike Post, public
safety director at the airport, adding that Monday was the busiest
travel day. “The baggage and passenger screening is at full intensity
regardless of what level the alert is at.”
Airline officials said they have seen high volumes of travelers.
The Southwest Airlines ticket counter seemed to be the busiest
Tuesday afternoon, but other carriers said they have been busy too.
“This December’s load factor is the second largest we’ve ever
recorded for the month of December,” said Stephen Roth, spokesman for
But people were not only leaving the area, many were coming to it
for the holidays.
A few rooms are still vacant at the Hilton Glendale, but that will
change during the week of Jan. 1, said Mike Hirsch, the hotel’s
general manager. Many people are coming for the Rose Bowl and Rose
Parade, he said.