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Busy Holiday Travel Season Expected

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.

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Passengers crowded into Los Angeles International Airport Saturday as the busy holiday travel season shifted into high gear.

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Travelers waited to check in at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter, LAX, Dec. 21, 2013. (Credit: KTLA)

More than 2.6 million people were expected to pass through the airport between between Friday and Jan. 2, according to Los Angeles World Airports.

That number represented an 8.2 percent increase over the 2.4 million passengers who used LAX at this time last year, LAWA said.

Friday and Saturday were expected to be the busiest travel days of the season at LAX, officials said.

Airport officials said passengers should expect domestic flights to be 85-90 percent fully booked.

Travelers were urged to arrive at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours before international flights.

To help drivers navigate the roads around LAX, the airport and the Los Angeles City Department of Transportation have launched a real-time traffic map.

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.

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A man waits in line at LAX in this file photo. (Credit: KTLA)

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.

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