Travelers planning to use John Wayne Airport this Labor Day weekend were urged Thursday to arrive as early as possible because of the holiday crowds, airport officials said.
Besides Thanksgiving and New Year's, the Labor Day weekend always produces one of the biggest jams of the year at the airport.
Last year's count came to 42,208 passengers for the three-day weekend, with a similar number expected this year, officials said.
Officials urged travelers to arrive at least two hours before their their flight departures and to arrange to be dropped off rather than drive or leave their cars in the airport parking garage.
Moving around the airport is expected to be a little easier now, however, because a new ramp leads traffic leaving the airport directly onto the northbound Costa Mesa Freeway.
The new $62-million Thomas F. Riley Terminal is scheduled to open on Sept. 16, after a Sept. 8 open house.