LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Millions of people will be traveling through Los Angeles International Airport in the coming weeks as the holiday season quickly approaches. For many, it will be the first time they have traveled in years, largely thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
While some travelers look forward to travels such as delayed honeymoons and other excursions postponed by COVID-19, the vast majority are happy to see their families and revive beloved family traditions with a new vision, just a year after many spent the holidays alone.
These travelers should also have a new perspective on travel in 2021, with new rules and mandates in play – including wearing masks at airports and on planes, as well as new security measures at almost every airport across the country.
As if that were not already stressful enough, those expecting to sail through Los Angeles International Airport should expect a number of new problems by 2021.
The airport is still under construction as part of the modernization project that began in 2018. The LAMP, or Landside Access Modernization Project, is a $ 5.5 billion program designed to alleviate congestion for people traveling via LAX through a series of various oncoming changes.
This current construction has overtaken three terminals, which means fewer drop-off lanes, fewer check-in counters, fewer places to park, less seating area… significantly less of everything – except crowds.
It is estimated that two million people will travel in and out of LAX.
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The Transportation Security Administration, more commonly known as the TSA, estimated that over 20 million people will be screened on the weekends around Thanksgiving, with 10% of travelers coming through LAX. However, the airport indicated that this is still only two-thirds of the pre-pandemic levels they saw in 2019.
Those planning to leave their car on the LAX while away should also be aware that parking spaces, which are already limited, are a rare commodity so far in the travel season. Not to mention expensive – some on-site parking spaces charge up to $ 50 a day.
For those looking for a cheaper alternative, the newly unveiled LAX Economy Parking Lot costs only $ 20 a day, but the location outside the place has already caused frustration as it took some travelers up to 30 minutes to reach LAX after parking.
Reports also indicate that travel to the airport is already expensive enough, as carpooling options are more than double the cost they were in 2019.
Flyers should also be aware of other inexplicably deteriorating passengers, of which there has been a drastic increase in 2021 – with over 5,000 reported cases of unruly passengers so far this year.
After all, travelers are just happy to get back to a little bit of normalcy after 18 months of stay.
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The TSA suggests that anyone expecting to fly in the coming weeks give themselves a lot of extra time, check suitcases at least an hour before departure, and remove unwelcome items from hand luggage. But for the first time, the TSA allows a bottle of hand alcohol up to 12 oz.
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