More than 2.6 million travelers were expected to pass through Los Angeles International Airport during this year’s peak holiday travel season, which got underway on Friday.
The number represents an 8.2 percent increase over 2012, when 2.4 million people made their way through the airport, the third-busiest in the United States, according to Los Angeles World Airports.
Friday and Saturday were expected to be the busiest days at LAX, officials said. The least busy days are likely to be Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The spike in passenger volume was attributed to more available seats on larger aircraft, and the addition of several international flights on super-jumbo jets, according to travel experts.
To ease the strain of holiday travel, a group of trained therapy dogs and handlers, called PUPS (Pets Unstressing Passengers), will “roam through the boarding gate areas of each terminal to provide a less stressful airport environment by visiting passengers awaiting flights, providing comfort, and offering airport information,” LAWA said.