Traveling on Christmas Day turned out to be a good idea this year -- at least for passengers flying through Los Angeles area airports.
The rain took the day off locally and, airport officials said, weather on the East Coast wasn't bad enough to delay flights out of Los Angeles International or Ontario airports.
Delta Airlines had recommended that passengers planning to fly to or through its hub in Atlanta and five East Coast cities rebook because of bad weather in those cities. But Delta flights were taking off from LAX and Ontario without a hitch, said airports spokesman Harold Johnson.
An estimated 120,000 travelers were expected to pass through LAX on Christmas Day, a slight increase over last year, he said.
The busiest holiday travel days were expected to be Christmas Eve and Jan. 2, with flights those days almost 95% booked. During peak travel hours – 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. – airport officials suggest that travelers arrive two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights. They also recommend avoiding ticket counter lines by checking in online before heading to the airport.
Travelers also should be aware that some airlines changed terminals earlier this year. AirTran Airways and JetBlue, for instance, now operate from Terminal 3 at LAX.
Travelers can look for volunteer airport employees in red vests for assistance, and they can tune in to LAX AiRadio 530 AM for information on ground transportation transportation, parking, airline terminal locations and security. Broadcasts also are streamed at www.lawa.org/lax.
LAX also offers flight status, traffic and travel information at its Twitter page at www.twitter.com/LAX_Official and on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/laxairport.