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Sunday After Thanksgiving Could Be LAX's Busiest Travel Day

An airplane in midair is shown from the front, with two propellers visible. The backdrop is a light blue sky.
Airport officials are asking travelers to be prepared.
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The Sunday after Thanksgiving is often the busiest travel day during the holiday period, and L.A. International Airport officials are encouraging travelers to be prepared for crowded terminals.

On Twitter this morning, airport representatives reminded anyone planning to fly today to save time by checking in early and pre-booking their parking, and to anticipate a long day.

In 2019, nearly 2.9 million individuals were screened at TSA security checkpoints nationwide. Prior to this year’s holiday, the Transportation Security Administration announced that it expected to scan 20 million passengers throughout peak Thanksgiving travel time.

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“We anticipate that travel may be very close to pre-pandemic levels this holiday, and we are staffed and prepared for the holiday travelers,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a Nov. 17 statement. “With overall vaccination rates improving nationwide and greater confidence in healthy travel, there will be more people traveling.”

Leslie Josephs, an airline industry reporter for CNBC, said some big airlines are paying a lot to make sure they're fully-staffed to handle today’s crowds:

“There's double-pay at Southwest for their pilots, and [the airline] is also giving thousands of other employees frequent flier miles that are worth more than $1,400 if they work those peak trips and meet attendance goals as well,” she said. “JetBlue is also doing $1,000 bonuses for flight attendants that meet attendance goals.”

American Airlines has offered its flight attendants triple-pay to work the busiest days during the holidays, Josephs added.

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