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Memorial Day travel could make Thursday LAX's busiest day for 3 years as the airport opens an additional waiting lot for pickups

A nighttime view of the LAX sign lit up while a blurry plane flies by overhead.
A plane flies over LAX.David McNew/Getty Images
  • Memorial Day will kick off the summer travel period this weekend.

  • Los Angeles International Airport said it expects Thursday to be the most crowded day since 2020.

  • It has opened an additional waiting lot for pickups, predicting 90,000 vehicles on one day.

Memorial Day travel could see the busiest day at Los Angeles International Airport for over three years.

LAX said it expects to see at least 218,000 passengers travel this Thursday. That would make it the most crowded day at the airport since the COVID-19 lockdown hit the US in March 2020.

It predicts Friday and Monday will also be peak days with over 200,000 people passing through LAX.

In total, 1.2 million people are expected to come to the airport between Wednesday and Monday.

But that passenger volume would still make it about 14% less busy than in March 2019, which was a record-setting year for LAX.

Due to the increased demand, the airport is opening a secondary waiting lot for friends and family to pick up passengers. It's also encouraging travelers to use its FlyAway shuttle bus, predicting more than 90,000 vehicles on both Thursday and Friday.

"Memorial Day weekend is just the start of what will be a very busy summer travel season at LAX where we expect passenger traffic to reach the highest levels we have seen in the past several years," said Justin Erbacci, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports.

The holiday kicks off the start of the summer travel period, which last year saw several chaotic incidents as the sector recovered from the pandemic.

To try to avoid a repeat, the Federal Aviation Administration has changed protocols at the New York City and Washington, D.C. airports to encourage airlines to schedule fewer flights but on larger planes.

Read the original article on Business Insider