Despite growing concerns about the Omicron variant, hundreds of thousands of people will be flying over Los Angeles International Airport over the 2021 holiday season.
Sunday, December 19, along with the following two Sundays, is expected to be the busiest day of the year.
At LAX, the rush was already in full swing, with traffic, crowds and long lines on the weekend before Christmas.
“It usually takes about two and a half or three hours to get here,” said Shawna Zaragoza, who is traveling from Tehachapi, California. “It took about five.”
Some people even missed their flights in the hustle and bustle.
“We were just a little later than we should have been,” said Howard Nehdar on the way to Lake Tahoe.
LAX staff say they expect the next two Sundays to be just as busy, with an estimated 200,000 people passing the airport on each of those days.
LAX expects the main travel times to be between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 8 p.m. and 11.30 p.m.
They also warn that parking garages are likely to fill up quickly and advise people to pre-book a space on this website.
Air travel is making a big comeback this year due to concerns about the Omicron variant. But the passengers say they are comfortable flying.
“I’m confident of what’s going on and everyone is wearing masks and is safe,” said Dott Jay, who was traveling to New York. “We’re all vaccinated so don’t worry.”
Also of note are the new federal guidelines that require international travelers entering the United States to receive a negative COVID-19 test within one day of their departure, regardless of their vaccination status.