(Los Angeles) Travelers who plan ahead this winter holiday season for their airport journey will have a guaranteed parking space, cruise through security (yes, pie is allowed as a carry-on item) and arrive with plenty of time to enjoy a pumpkin-spice indulgence. Those who do not, however, are at risk of getting Scrooged. 


Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is forecasting a busy Thanksgiving holiday travel period that is expected to draw an average of more than 200,000 passengers per day, from Nov. 17 through Nov. 28, and as many as 97,000 vehicles in a single day. This is expected to be an increase of roughly 20,000 passengers per day compared with the same time last year and is roughly 80-90% compared to the record-setting 2019 totals.


Although overall passenger numbers are slightly behind 2019, LAX parking garages have seen historic use this year, with more people choosing to drive and park at the airport than ever before. That means garage spaces will have extremely limited drive-up availability and travelers are highly encouraged to reserve a space online ahead of time. Travelers also are asked to consider using alternative transportation including the LAX FlyAway, or get dropped off at the LAX Economy Parking Facility and use the free terminal shuttle there. LAX Economy Parking offers a 24-hour, frequent and free shuttle service from the facility to the terminals, and uses a dedicated lane within the Central Terminal Area to provide the fastest service possible. 


"LAX is ready to welcome guests for what is expected to be the busiest holiday travel period since 2019, and we are asking travelers to do their part to create a stress-free experience by planning their parking, arriving extra early and taking time to relax at the gate instead of circling with traffic," said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). "Our parking garages will be full and traffic will be heavy, so we are providing the tools for travelers to plan ahead for the best experience."

Those tools include LAX's popular Parking.FlyLAX.com pre-book service, which allows guests to book a space in the LAX Economy Parking facility, as well as the Central Terminal Area garages. Pre-booking allows travelers to have a guaranteed space. Due to expected demand, these spaces are likely to sell out so passengers are encouraged to book their parking as soon as possible.


Passengers traveling with United Airlines or Southwest Airlines may also participate in the LAX Fast Lane program, which allows travelers using participating terminals (Terminals 1, 7 and 8) to reserve a 15-minute window at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening areas for the fastest service using a dedicated lane, at no cost. This pilot program was extended to include Terminal 1 and Southwest Airlines just in time for the holiday travel season. The LAX Fast Lane is operational in Terminal 7-8 and will begin in Terminal 1 on Friday, Nov. 18. 


Departing guests are advised to allow additional time to reach the airport, clear security and reach their gates. Guests should plan to arrive in the terminal at least two hours before the boarding time for domestic flights and three hours before the boarding time for international flights. During peak days, the airport recommends adding more time based on current traffic conditions. TSA has scheduled its resources and staff to ensure that all available airport checkpoint lanes are open, staffed and operational during peak travel times. Generally, the busiest times at the security checkpoints at LAX are early morning from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and again 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mid-afternoons can also be busy as well as evenings at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

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Key Tips for Success

  • Check in online with your airline before you leave for the airport. This prevents the need to interact with a check-in kiosk. If you are traveling without checked luggage, you can skip the ticket counters entirely.

  • Check parking options ahead of time. Real-time parking availability at LAX facilities is available here. Parking structures could fill up at any time, so be aware of off-airport private lots as alternatives.

  • Pre-book parking ahead of time. Visit parking.flylax.com for the best rates and to plan your parking ahead of time. Parking options may include discounts from the drive-up rates, depending on availability and demand.

  • Parking and traffic updates are available 24/7 via the automated @FlyLAXstats Twitter feed.

  • Picking someone up? Curbside pickup and drop-off is permitted on the Upper/Departures and Lower/Arrivals levels. All parking structures are free for the first 15 minutes, and Terminal B (Tom Bradley International Terminal) pickup area is also free to use. To access the Terminal B pickup, use the second entrance to Parking Structure 3 from World Way North on the Lower/Arrivals Level. This area is for passenger loading only with no parking allowed.

  • To help speed their journeys, travelers are encouraged to enroll in the Transportation Security Administration's Pre√® or other trusted-traveler programs, such as U.S. Customs & Border Protection's Global Entry, which improve security and reduce wait times.

  • LAX Order Now: This program allows LAX guests to browse, order, pay for and pick up food from any of the airport's terminals using an online order system. The service is part of LAX's digital marketplace strategy to enhance the travel experience, by allowing guests to search, browse and order food and non-alcoholic beverages from any of the dozens of participating restaurants across the airport. Guests can enjoy 25% off all mobile orders using the promo code LAXTURKEY22 from Nov. 21-30. Click here to view a video explaining the new LAX Order Now service.
  • The myTSA app is a trusted source for all types of travel questions. It provides 24-hour access to the most frequently requested questions about traveling with foods of all types, especially timely during the holidays. It also features a searchable “Can I Bring” database where you can type in the name of an item and the app will let you know if you should pack it in your checked or carry-on bag. The app is available from the App Store or Google Play. Travelers can also tweet or message AskTSA to get answers to last-minute questions. Live assistance is available daily including weekends and holidays from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT.

Navigating Construction

  • The public is reminded that LAX's multi-billion dollar modernization program continues. When coming to LAX, passengers should look for and follow wayfinding signage near all construction sites to ensure their safety and to enhance mobility. For more information, visit www.FlyLAX.com.

  • LAX is under heavy construction within the Central Terminal Area, which means there will be additional road work and detours around certain areas. Be prepared to drive slowly and with caution around work zones. A construction moratorium will be in place on the following dates: Nov. 17-29.

Expedited Entry and Exit

  • Guests flying out of Terminals 1, 7-8 may reserve a time at TSA screening through a new pilot program called LAX Fast Lane. This free program is being tested in coordination with TSA for customers traveling with Southwest or United Airlines. Guests interested in this option can visit www.flylax.com/fastlane to reserve a 15-minute window to proceed through security in Terminals 1 or 7. Once a customer has selected their time window, they will receive a QR code that they will show upon arrival at the security checkpoint. They will then be allowed to enter a reserved TSA screening lane. Airlines are reaching out to their customers who are traveling from LAX to notify them of this option. The LAX Fast Lane at Terminal 1 is currently operational from 4 a.m. to noon. The program will begin at Terminal 7 on Friday, Nov. 18 and operate from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

  • Global Entry is a paid membership CBP program that allows expedited processing for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. At LAX, Global Entry members enter the United States through upgraded facial biometrics portals eliminating paper receipts providing a secure, streamlined, and touchless experience while protecting the privacy of all travelers. The new portals can process a trusted traveler in a matter of seconds. After successfully completing a four-month testing period, LAX is now the first international airport in the country to deploy this enhanced biometric processing technology.


  • Simplified Arrival is CBP's enhanced international arrival process that uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks that are already required for admission into the United States. This process provides travelers with a touchless process that further secures and streamlines international arrivals while fulfilling a longstanding congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens. Simplified Arrival only uses the biometric facial comparison process at a time and place where travelers are already required by law to verify their identity by presenting a travel document.
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What's New at LAX

Terminal 3 concourse: The brand-new Terminal 3 concourse, in partnership with Delta Air Lines, opened in October and features eight gates, and exciting new dining and retail options several of which are already available for passengers to enjoy. You can read more about the new options here.


Terminal 4.5 core: The Terminal 4.5 core, which opened to the pubic in November, is the first major component to complete as part of a $1.62 billion project at the 60-year-old Terminals 4 and 5. It provides direct connectivity to the Terminal 5 baggage claim and check-in lobby. Additionally, it provides a centralized location between Terminals 4 and 5 where passengers can access all four levels of the terminal building on the pre-security side using elevators, escalators and stairs. 

Catching a Ride

FlyAway® bus service is available to and from Union Station and Van Nuys, with parking available at both locations. Fares are $9.75 one way. Tickets can be purchased in-person at the Union Station or Van Nuys FlyAway Terminal. For pick-up at LAX, the FlyAway buses make use of dedicated inner lanes on the Lower/Arrivals Level. For more information on FlyAway, visit www.LAXFlyAway.org.

Municipal buses from LA Metro, Beach Cities Transit, Culver City, Santa Monica (Big Blue Bus) and Torrance serve the LAX City Bus Center, located on 96th Street, and connect to the CTA via the free LAX "Lot South/City Bus Center" Shuttle, which stops on the Lower/Arrivals Level. In the CTA, the LAX "Lot South/City Bus Center" Shuttle arrives and departs from stops labeled "Employee Lot South/LAX City Bus Center."

LAX also offers a free “Metro Connector” shuttle to and from the Aviation/LAX Metro Station on the C Line (Green) at Imperial Highway and Aviation Boulevard. The C Line connects to the J Line (Silver) and A-Line (Blue) for service to downtown Los Angeles. LAX shuttle drivers may ask for proof of payment/use of Metro via a TAP card for guests heading to the airport. The Metro Connector also arrives and departs from the pink stops on the lower level inner lane labeled “LAX Shuttle."

The cell phone waiting lot remains open to the public at the corner of Vicksburg Avenue and 96th Street. Motorists can park for up to two hours, then drive to the CTA when their guests have arrived.

Guests who are leaving LAX via taxi or ride app vehicles (Uber, Lyft, Opoli) can walk to the LAX-it lot at 9610 Sky Way, across from Terminal 1, or take one of the LAX-it shuttles from stops located on the Lower/Arrivals Level. At the LAX-it lot, guests will find taxis as well as ride app vehicles. In addition to LAX-it, taxis can also pick up passengers from the Terminal B Pick-Up Area within Parking Structure 3 and from the Lower/Arrivals level outside of the baggage claim area of Terminal 7. Taxi and ride app vehicles continue to drop off guests curbside on the Upper/Departures Level.


Getting Help

LAX guests can find help at a number of places throughout their journey, including without having to interact in-person with a guest experience member.

  • By phone: Guests may call (855) 463-5252 for assistance during business hours, or email infoline@lawa.org to receive a response within one business day.

  • In person: A team of LAXceptional Courtesy workers will be at the terminals to assist with airport navigation, information, and thanking guests with a LAX-themed gift, while supplies last. This team will be deployed Nov. 22-23, Dec. 21, 22, 27, 28 and Jan.3.

  • Restroom feedback: By pointing their smartphone camera at one of the QR codes on new signs installed at all restrooms, airport guests can provide fast feedback about the restroom via a drop-down menu or open comment option. Guests can also include a photo of the issue. All of this information is delivered to a maintenance dispatch center in real time. The new service is available in all restrooms at LAX, including all-gender and nursing rooms.

  • Vision impaired services: Passengers with impaired vision may use the Aira real-time navigation service, which is free to use at LAX. Guests can download Aira for free from the App Store on their Apple device or from Google Play on their Android device.

  • Online: An online, automated chatbot is available 24/7 to help answer common questions about LAX.