Save Money / Consumer News

Midwest blizzard not affecting LAX holiday travel

Friday, December 21, 2012
A man is seen at a gas station in this file photo. A busy Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012.

It's time to get away for the holidays. The season of dashing to the airport, hauling luggage and waiting in line has officially begun.

LAX estimates that around 2.2 million people will fly in and out of their airport through Jan. 2.

However, the big concern Friday wasn't Christmas but the weather in the Midwest. A blizzard hit the Midwest and Great Lakes area, dumping more than a foot of snow in some places. More than 1,000 flights have been canceled. Most of those cancellations were into and out of Chicago, a major destination and connector city for people flying across the country. More than 350 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport and another 150 at Midway Airport.

Despite traveling during the holiday season and dealing with delays brought on by Mother Nature, most folks are keeping their spirits up.

"My daughter checked everything and it seems like everything's going to be OK," said Maryce Bruce of Long Island, N.Y. "I live in Long Island and we just had Superstorm Sandy come through and that was devastating, so a little wait at the airport, a little delay is not going to set me back."

There were no major delays or canceled flights out of Los Angeles International Airport Friday. Only a few flight delays were reported to San Francisco due to heavy fog.

Visitors arriving from the East said they were glad to have chosen Southern California as their holiday destination.

In addition to customer service representatives, additional airport volunteers will be roaming LAX terminals in red vests to assist travelers and answer any last-minute questions.

Airport officials advised passengers traveling with domestic airlines to avoid the wait in line at the airport by checking in online.

Travelers were also advised to arrive two hours early for domestic flights and three hours for international trips. Check on your flight status before leaving home. Lastly, make sure your carry-ons meet airline requirements.

One thing to be thankful for this holiday weekend - gas prices aren't interfering with people's getaways.

The holiday rush was also in full swing on the roads Friday.

AAA says 88 percent of travelers are expected to head out of town by car.

For the Lopez family, that means joining the more than 7 million Southern Californians who will hit the road for the holidays, according to AAA.

"We're going to San Jose," said Patsy Lopez of Harbor City. "We're just heading out to family, for the holidays.

The AAA said travel across the country is expected to hit its highest level in six years, a 1.8 percent increase over 2011.

"I'm going to be heading into Mammoth, for the weekend, for Christmas weekend," said Miguel Cortez of Sylmar. "I'm looking at about a good four hour drive."

The cost of topping off your tank has been dropping for nine straight weeks, according to AAA.

Regular unleaded gas is now averaging $3.59 a gallon. A week ago, regular unleaded gas was $3.65. Last month, it was $3.83, dropping $1.12 compared to the high in October.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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