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Transportation and Mobility

Millions of Southern Californians Are Expected To Travel This Memorial Day Weekend

A long line of traffic on the 101 freeway.
Vehicles drive on the 101 freeway in midday traffic on April 4, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images North America)
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With Memorial Day weekend quickly approaching, Los Angeles International Airport officials are expecting around 200,000 travelers daily starting today through Monday.

That's about 40% busier than last year, according to LAX spokesperson Heath Montgomery. LAX has been averaging about 83,000 departing travelers a day in recent months. He adds that's "maybe 20,000 more" departures than what the airport is used to seeing.

Montgomery advises people to arrive early, reserve parking in advance, and continue following COVID safety protocols as the airport welcomes back more travelers.

“Not everybody is comfortable being in a crowd and traveling again, some people probably have not traveled in the last two years, and this is their first time back at the airport,” he said. “So have a little respect for everybody else. Take that personal responsibility to wear a mask.”

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Masks are required inside local airports and on public transportation within the county of Los Angeles.

Memorial Day travel coincides with an increase in COVID-19 cases in L.A. County and the first confirmed California case of monkeypox detected in Sacramento County.

The Automobile Club of Southern California’s Anlleyn Venegas says she’s expecting 3.1 million SoCal residents to take trips during the holiday weekend. Friday afternoon could be the busiest travel day, where freeways could see twice the amount of normal traffic.

“During the five-day holiday travel period, the Auto Club expects to rescue 63,000 motorists in Southern California,” Venegas said.

She suggests planning ahead:

  • Check your tire tread and inflation pressure
  • Make sure fluids are topped off and that your car battery is in good shape
  • Avoid jackrabbit starts and hard accelerations – they increase fuel consumption
  • Leave before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. to avoid the worst traffic
What questions do you have about Southern California?