Hundreds of thousands expected to travel through LAX Sunday as Thanksgiving ends

Los Angeles International Airport was expecting Sunday to be the busiest day of a long Thanksgiving weekend that was already predicted to see a record number of Southern California travelers.

"Today is expected to be the busiest day of the Thanksgiving holiday travel period at LAX, with about 215,000 guests using the airport. Make sure you check your flight status, pre-book parking at and arrive early for a smooth journey!" airport officials tweeted Sunday morning.

Hollywood Burbank Airport issued a similar advisory for travelers.

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A record 4.5 million Southern California residents were expected to travel this holiday period, up 2.5% from last year, contributing to what the Automobile Club of Southern California projected to be the third-busiest Thanksgiving travel period on record nationally.

"Despite inflation and high gas prices, consumers are continuing to prioritize valuable and memorable time with family and friends through coming together at the holidays," Heather Felix, the Auto Club's vice president for travel products and services, said in a statement. "Our members still want to make up for their delayed or missed opportunities to travel during the pandemic."

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According to the Auto Club, 3.9 million Southern Californians were expected to drive to their destinations, while 542,000 were expected to travel by air and 109,000 to take other modes of transportation, such as buses, trains or cruises.

The most popular destinations for Southern California travelers were anticipated to be Las Vegas, San Diego, the Grand Canyon/Sedona, Yosemite and Mexico cruises.

Nationally, Anaheim was expected to be the second most popular travel destination, behind Orlando, Florida.