As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, millions of people in Southern California are heading out of the city, causing traffic jams on freeways and airports throughout the day.
At Los Angeles International Airport, traveling over the holiday weekend may be a little worse than some people expect.
“It still takes 30 minutes to try to get into the airport and park,” one traveler told KTLA’s Jennifer McGraw. “A whole thirty minutes, really, just trying to get to the southwest part. It was ridiculous.”
Once inside the Southwest terminal, there are long lines waiting for passengers arriving at the airport to have their bags checked.
Holiday travelers in the Southwest Terminal at LAX on November 20, 2023. (KTLA)
An estimated 2.5 million people are expected to pass through LAX over the next 10 days, a number 300,000 more than last year, according to airport officials. Of course, if vacationers aren’t flying, they’re driving.
The American Auto Association estimates that about 4.6 million people in SoCal will drive more than 50 miles over the holiday weekend, including one family who had to drive to LAX to pick up their kids before hitting the road .
“We drove 90 miles from Palmdale to get here,” he said.
Traffic on the 405 Freeway on November 20, 2023. (KTLA)
Despite long lines and traffic congestion, many travelers said it was worth it to be with the ones they love.
“I feel good because I’m going to be with my family again,” one young girl told KTLA.
As for others, they say traveling in Southern California is too much work.
A man from Texas said, “I knew it was crowded in Cali, but I didn’t think it would be this crowded.” He said he was happy to be back home.
California Highway Patrol officials said they will be out on the roads in full force looking for reckless or intoxicated drivers. The CHP said about 37 people lost their lives on the roads during last year’s Thanksgiving holiday season.