CONTACTS: Katherine Alvarado
Sgt. Belinda Nettles
NEARLY 1.8 MILLION PASSENGERS EXPECTED AT LAX THIS THANKSGIVING; NEW AIRPORT POLICE EQUIPMENT, PROGRAMS INTRODUCED TO HELP MANAGE VEHICULAR TRAFFIC AND ENSURE PUBLIC SAFETY
(Los Angeles, California – November 14, 2012) Airport officials forecast that over 1.792 million passengers will pass through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) this Thanksgiving, a modest increase of 0.3 percent over last Thanksgiving’s 1.786 million passenger level. Sunday after Thanksgiving, November 25 – and NOT the traditional day before Thanksgiving -- is forecasted to be the busiest day of the holiday travel period. Other busy days are expected to be the beginning and end of the 10-day travel period, Friday, November 16, and Monday, November 26, respectively.
According to on-line travel agency Orbitz Worldwide, LAX will be second to Chicago-O’Hare International Airport in terms of the number of passengers this Thanksgiving. This means passengers should expect to see busy terminals and many domestic flights 90 percent full. Passengers on flights between LAX and cities that are traditionally popular with Southern Californians -- such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York and Boston – may find those flights fully booked.
To help departing passengers catch their flights on time, Los Angeles World Airports will repeat a well-received program from past holidays, whereby volunteer employees wear red vests and roam the Upper/Departures Level in all terminals on the day before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This is in addition to the Volunteer Information Professionals and Customer Service Representatives regularly assigned to assist passengers in the terminals.
New Airport Police Equipment and Programs
In time for the busy holiday season with its accompanying pedestrian and vehicular traffic congestion, Los Angeles Airport Police Division is introducing new equipment and programs designed to improve traffic management, as well as enhance public safety and security.
Of the more than five million vehicles parked in LAX public parking facilities through October 2012, there have been 13 reports of burglary from locked vehicles and 17 reports of property theft from unlocked/unsecured vehicles. These levels are 13 percent and six percent lower, respectively, compared to the same period last year. While the actual number of incidents is considered very low, Airport Police follows a policy of zero tolerance for thefts from vehicles. To achieve this goal, Airport Police has adopted a city-wide, public awareness campaign developed by the Los Angeles Police Department called "LOCK IT. HIDE IT. KEEP IT." Soliciting the public’s help in reducing property thefts, new signage in all LAX parking facilities will remind motorists to protect personal items by taking a few minutes to store items out of plain view, to roll up windows, and to lock doors before leaving their vehicles unattended.
A few months ago, Airport Police began phasing in 24 new Chevrolet Caprice "police cars of the future" at LAX. These new police cruisers are equipped with innovative technologies, including: radios with push-to-talk capability; automated license plate recognition system; in-car video dual-camera system; Federal Signal (V-shaped) Valor light bar; easily accessible in-car computer; weapon system that allows different types of rifles to be mounted inside the vehicle; and a Rumbler device built into the siren system that emits a low-pitched signal with vibration so that police officers can get the attention of distracted motorists more quickly.
Airport Police also began phasing in six Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS police motorcycles considered by motorcycle experts to be faster; better handling at high speeds and more maneuverable at slow speeds; higher performing with improved traction control, ABS braking system, and tighter turning radius; and equipped with a variety of customized law-enforcement add-ons, including removable saddle bags, LED lights, and protective bars.
To navigate through and patrol passenger-congested terminals more easily, three Motion T3 Patroller electric stand up (three wheel) vehicles also have been added to the Airport Police fleet.
These clean-energy vehicles allow Airport Police officers to see above crowds of people during routine patrol inside terminals, as well as to respond more quickly to radio calls for assistance in the airline terminals, parking structures, or other Central Terminal Area facilities.
General Travel Tips
Airport officials recommend passengers departing LAX during daily peak travel periods – from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.; from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. – arrive in their airline’s ticketing lobbies two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.
Most domestic air travelers can save time and avoid ticketing counter lines by checking in for their flights through their airlines’ Internet websites before coming to the airport. They can also sign up to receive electronic alerts from their airlines regarding flight status. Passengers should ensure any carry-on baggage complies with the airline’s size and weight limitations and that they do not contain items prohibited by federal law.
Daily, convenient and economical FlyAway® nonstop bus service to and from LAX is available at Union Station ($7 one way), Van Nuys and Westwood (both $10 one way). Tickets may now be purchased online for the Union Station and Van Nuys routes. Children age 5 and under ride free. For more information, visit www.lawa.org/flyaway.
Timely information on flight status, traffic conditions, and other travel tips is available on LAX’s Internet website at www.lawa.org/lax, and social media sites at www.twitter.com/LAX_Official and www.facebook.com/LAInternationalAirport.
The Transportation Security Administration website at www.tsa.gov lists items that are permitted onboard with passengers, items which must be packed in checked luggage, and items totally prohibited on flights. U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s website at www.cbp.gov advises travelers on what items can be brought into the U.S. from overseas.
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