How To Survive Thanksgiving Airport Traffic

LAX_airport_sign.jpgI spent most of the week in Pittsburgh for the Thanksgiving holiday, visiting the boyfriend’s family. It was unbelievably wonderful to get home yesterday, to actual warm sunshine – not that deceptive brittle light that I remember from clear winter days in higher latitudes. And after three days in a fleece vest, extra socks and gloves, I woke up this morning and put on my lightest cotton sleeveless dress to celebrate being back in Los Angeles.

Also, contrary to expectations, the boyfriend and I had a shockingly easy travel experience. Every flight and connection was on time. On Thanksgiving weekend. Our strategy was to fly out on a red-eye flight on Tuesday night, arrive early Wednesday, and come home early Saturday, thus avoiding heavy travel days and getting cheaper flights. And it worked. It took us less than half an hour to get from the curbside dropoff to the waiting area at the gate we flew from, including both baggage check and security check lines. And because this was at LAX, I was amazed – I’ve spent more time than that in security lines on non-holiday weeks.

So I’ve come back from my holiday travel without any horror stories to tell. Did anyone have any problems at LAX? The LA Times says they expected 1.8 million people to go through the airport over the four day holiday weekend, but that it looked pretty standard on Thanksgiving Day – “what you’d expect it to look like”. Also, did anyone go through Burbank and Long Beach airports for holiday travel – and what were those airports like? Now that I’ve shared my secret flight times for avoiding holiday rush, I may need to use those next year.

3 Replies to “How To Survive Thanksgiving Airport Traffic”

  1. No problems here. The wife and I were destined for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this Thanksgiving via Atlanta and coming back to L.A. via Cincinnati and it was a charmed trip. We left on a 6 a.m. Wednesday flight and boomeranged home Friday evening. It couldn’t have gone smoother. Even the downtown transition from the 110 north to the 101 north on the drive home was flowing smoothly and that just about never happens.

  2. I had a 7am flight to Boston out of LAX on Thanksgiving morning and even with curbside check in I was inside the terminal under 40 minutes. Of course the conversation with the cute UCLA student I met in the security line made it pass by much quicker.

  3. I had a ridiculously early morning flight on the day of Thanksgiving due to personal scheduling issues. For future reference to anyone flying in the early A.M. – TSA does not open at the gate screening until 4:30 AM. There was a lovely line filling the upstairs corridor to the escalator and outside the building for people who thoughtfully got to the airport early expecting delays waiting for security to open. I think it cleared up pretty quickly once the security check points opened up.

    And Starbucks didn’t open until 5. That line seemed to be longer/slower than security.

    Otherwise, abnormally reliable. My connecting flight that is always late or cancelled actually arrived early. That never happens.

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