As the Thanksgiving Day holiday approaches, millions of Southern Californians are headed out of town, creating a days-long crush of traffic on the freeways and at the airports.
At Los Angeles International Airport, traveling over the holiday weekend can be a bit worse than some people might anticipate.
“The airport, getting in, still like 30 minutes just trying to get in and park,” one traveler told KTLA’s Jennifer McGraw. “Thirty whole minutes, literally, just trying to get over to the Southwest part. It was ridiculous.”
Once inside the Southwest terminal, long lines of passengers waiting to check in their bags awaits those just arriving at the airport.
An estimated 2.5 million people are expected to pass through LAX over the next 10 days, a number that airport officials said is 300,000 more than last year. Of course, if holiday travelers aren’t flying, they are driving.
The American Auto Association predicts some 4.6 million people in SoCal will be driving more than 50 miles over the holiday weekend, including a family who had to drive to LAX to pick up their kids before hitting the road.
“To get here, we drove 90 miles from Palmdale,” they said.
Despite the long lines and traffic congestion, many travelers said it’s all worth it to be with the ones that they love.
“I feel good because I’m going to be with my family again,” a young girl told KTLA.
As for others, they say traveling in Southern California is just too much work.
“I knew Cali was crowded, but I didn’t think it was this crowded,” a man from Texas said, adding that he’s happy to get back home.
Officials with the California Highway Patrol said they will be on the roads in full force looking for reckless or drunk drivers. Some 37 people lost their lives on the roadway during last year’s Thanksgiving holiday season, CHP said.