Summer Season Concludes With Busy Labor Day Weekend at Los Angeles and Ontario Airports

Los Angeles International Airport's (LAX's) busy summer travel season concludes with the four-day Labor Day weekend. An estimated 785,000 travelers are expected to depart and arrive on flights at LAX from Friday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept. 5, about the same as during last year's Labor Day weekend.

Strong international travel -- averaging 8 percent during the summer months -- is expected to continue through early September, offsetting small declines in domestic traffic attributed to airlines raising fares and trimming flight schedules because of record fuel costs.

For the months of June, July and August 2005, LAX expects to have served approximately 17.6 million travelers, the same as last year but up 12 percent from 15.7 million for the same three months in 2003. The record for summer travel was set in 2001 when 19 million travelers used LAX during the June-August period.

International travel was up 7.3 percent in June and 8.7 percent in July. Domestic travel dropped 3.4 percent in June and 3.1 percent in July, as airlines trimmed flight schedules and raised fares as fuel prices soared. Year to date through July, LAX has served 35,910,459 passengers compared with 35,353,704 for the same period last year, a 1.6 percent increase. LAX now expects to serve approximately 62 million passengers in 2005, compared with 60.7 million in 2004.

Ontario International Airport (ONT) in the Inland Empire is expecting approximately 40,000 travelers over the four-day holiday weekend, about the same as last year. Through July, ONT has served 4,150,715 passengers in 2005, compared with 4,041,329 during the same period in 2004, a 2.7 percent increase. ONT is on track to surpass 7 million passengers for all of 2005 to set a record.

Airport Police and other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies will be working together to ensure significant resources are deployed in and around LAX to ensure public safety.

With airlines forecasting passenger load factors above 90 percent, travelers are advised to allow enough time before their flight for parking, airline check-in, and passenger and checked-luggage security screening processes. A general rule-of-thumb is to arrive at the airport two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press