Record Number of People Expected to Travel this Holiday Season

December 21, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2017 year-end holiday travel season will set an all-time record for the number of Southern California travelers because of favorable economic conditions, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Nearly 8.2 million Southern California residents and 13.2 million statewide are expected to travel at least 50 miles away from home during the holiday period between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1 — a 3.6 percent increase from the 2016 holiday, the Auto Club said in a statement.

The vast majority of Southern California travelers — 7.2 million from Southern California and 11.7 million statewide, or 89 percent of all travelers — will go by car to their destinations, representing a 3.5 percent increase from last year’s Christmas-New Year’s Day holiday, it said. More than
665,000 local residents and nearly 1.1 million Californians are expected to fly, a 5.5 percent increase over 2016.

“Holiday travelers who booked ahead saved on air fares, which were about 20 percent lower than for this time last year, and on hotel rates, which were slightly cheaper than for last year’s holiday,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services. “Economic health and some lower travel costs are giving consumers more opportunities to enjoy ‘big ticket’ vacations during the holidays and throughout the year.”

Additionally, more than 260,000 Southern Californians and 425,000 statewide will travel by bus, train, cruise or other means to holiday destinations for a 1.6 percent increase over last year

Nationally, the Auto Club projects 107 million travelers over the Christmas-New Year’s Day holiday, topping last year’s 104 million end-of-year travelers by 3.1 percent.

This marks the ninth consecutive year of growth for end-of-year holiday travel, The Auto Club said.

“Holiday travelers who booked ahead saved on air fares, which were about 20 percent lower than for this time last year, and on hotel rates, which were slightly cheaper than for last year’s holiday,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services. “Economic health and some lower travel costs are giving consumers more opportunities to enjoy ‘big ticket’ vacations during the holidays and throughout the year.”

Southern California gas prices have been dropping for more than a month, but are still more than 40 cents higher per gallon than at this time last year. While that extra cost adds about $6 to an average tank fill-up, the Auto Club said it expects little impact on holiday travel.

The top five destinations for Southern California travelers, according to a poll of Auto Club travel agents, are: 1) San Francisco  2) San Diego 3) Palm Springs  4) Mexico and 5) Las Vegas. Hawaii is the top air destination for Southern California travelers this holiday. Nationally, Anaheim ranks as the No. 2 destination for travelers this holiday.

Traveling By Car or Air? Expect Long Waits

November 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’re planning to hit the road today for a Thanksgiving break, bring a big dose of patience.

Wednesday is expected to be one of the busiest days of the Thanksgiving holiday travel crunch, with traffic watchers reporting by early afternoon that freeways out of town are moving at a snails pace.

At Los Angeles International Airport, between 228,000 and 239,000 passengers are expected to pass through the facility. A similar number of people will flow through LAX on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

LAX officials are expected a record 2.38 million travelers to pass through the airport during the holiday travel period, which began Friday and will end Monday. That’s up 2.3 percent from last year. The best days to pass through the airport are expected to be Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, when
a mere 174,000 to 195,000 people are expected to be at LAX.

If you’re traveling on the freeways, you won’t be alone either. The crush of travelers was evident on freeways as early as Tuesday night, with miles-long backups already making for extended drives heading out of town.

The Automobile Club of Southern California estimated that 3.87 million Southern California residents will be traveling for the long weekend, and 86 percent of them will be traveling by car.

Statewide, 6.26 million are projected to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers since 2007, when 6.44 million Californians took a holiday trip. The Auto Club is expecting 5.37 million statewide to go by car and another 693,000 to fly. More than 200,000 are expected to use other modes of transportation, about the same as last year.

The top five destinations for Southern California travelers, according to a survey of the Auto Club’s Travel agents, are, in this order, San Francisco, San Diego, Anaheim, the Grand Canyon, and Santa Barbara. Nationally, Anaheim, site of the Disneyland Resort, is expected to be the second most popular Thanksgiving destination, according to the AAA.
 

Holiday Travel to Reach ‘Record High’

June 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The forthcoming Fourth of July travel weekend will be the busiest on record for Southland residents, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

More than 3 million Southern California residents are expected to take an Independence Day vacation this year — a 1.3 percent increase over the 2015 Independence Day weekend, according to the Auto Club.

Eighty percent of Southern California travelers, or 2.41 million, are expected to drive to their holiday destinations — an increase of 1 percent from last year’s 2.39 million car travelers. Another 375,000 are expected to go by air — an increase of 3 percent from 2015’s 364,000 air travelers.

Around the state, more than 4.9 million are expected to travel over the Independence Day holiday, a 1.3 percent increase from last year, with 3.9 million going by car, up 1 percent from 2015, and 605,000 by air, up 3 percent.

Nationally, Fourth of July travel is expected to increase by 1.3 percent — to 42.9 million from last year’s 42.3 million, according to the AAA.

“Lower gas prices have put some more disposable income in travelers’ budgets and have also lowered average airfares, encouraging more trips this holiday season and throughout the summer,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services. “We’re also seeing more travelers willing to spend a little extra on credit with a growth in consumer confidence.”

Gas prices are now on the rise toward $3 a gallon in Southern California, but for most of the year they have been well below $3 a gallon and are currently about 60 cents lower on average than at this time in 2015 and $1.20 lower than the 2014 July Fourth holiday.

According to a survey of AAA Travel agents, the top five destinations for Southern Californians this holiday are, in the following order, San Diego, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Yosemite.

In light of high temperatures recently, the Auto Club is urging those taking a road trip to have their vehicles checked by a reliable mechanic before departure. The Auto Club expects to rescue 66,000 Southland motorists over this holiday — about 18 percent of the 370,000 rescues it will perform nationwide.

Flat or blown-out tires and dead batteries are the top causes of breakdowns in extreme heat, the Auto Club said, urging people planning to travel by road to bring plenty of fluids along to stay hydrated in the event of a roadside emergency.

Millions of Californians Have Holiday Travel Plans

December 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A record 12.3 million California residents — 7.6 million of them from Southern California — will travel 50 miles or more between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Los Angeles International Airport officials said they expect a record 3.5 million passengers to pass through the airport during the holiday travel season that began Friday and ends Jan. 3, up 7.9 percent from last year. That would make LAX the nation’s busiest airport over the holidays, officials said.
The Auto Club’s estimate of 12.3 million travelers statewide represents a 1.3 percent increase over 2014. Eighty-nine percent of travelers, or 6.8 million Southern Californians and 10.9 million statewide, will travel by car — also a 1.3 percent increase from last year, according to the Auto Club. More than 598,000 local residents and 965,000 Californians are expected to fly, which is
a 0.4 percent increase over 2014.
The most popular destinations for Southern Californians over this Christmas-New Year holiday, according to a poll of Auto Club AAA Travel agents, are, in this order, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Arizona and Mexico.
Officials at LAX, meanwhile, said they expect the busiest days for passengers will be Dec. 30 (232,000 passengers), Dec. 23 (226,000 passengers), Dec. 21 (224,000) and Dec. 27 (220,000). Christmas Day will be the slowest day, with 179,000 passengers, while 180,000 are expected on New Year’s Eve and 186,000 on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.
The average daily passenger volume at LAX is 193,000.
Airport officials said passengers should arrive early over the holiday season and expect crowded terminals and domestic flights at 90 percent capacity.
Nationally, the Auto Club projected that the number of travelers will top 100 million for the first time in the 21st century, increasing by 1.4 percent compared to last year’s Christmas-New Year holiday. This year marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for end-of-year holiday travel.
The organization also said that the Southern California contingent will be the highest number this century.
Gas prices will be drastically lower over the holiday season than 2014 in most areas of the country. But the savings over last year will not be as great in Southern California, where the current average price of $2.75 a gallon in the Los Angeles area is only 15 cents lower than at this time last year. Gas prices are not dropping as quickly locally due to a refinery outage in Torrance that continues to affect supply. Nationwide, the average gas price is around $2 a gallon.
The Auto Club’s analysis of average hotel, air and car rental expenses for this year’s holiday season shows that average airfares from Los Angeles to several popular destinations will be mostly lower than at this time last year, but hotel rates at AAA 3 Diamond properties are up by an average of 4 percent, and car rental rates at popular destinations are up an average of 3 percent over 2014.
While year-end holiday travel will be spread out over a number of days, the Auto Club advises travelers that local freeways beginning this weekend will likely be more congested with holiday travelers.

Holiday Travel Expected To Set Record High

November 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A record 2.1 million passengers are expected to pass through Los Angeles International Airport over the 11-day Thanksgiving holiday travel period, a jump of 6.9 percent over last year’s record of 1.96 million passengers, officials announced Tuesday.

“As more people choose to work, visit, study and play in Los Angeles, LAX keeps on breaking records,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “L.A. is a world-class destination for visitors from around the globe, and this is great news for our local economy.”

The holiday travel period begins Friday. Airport officials said they estimate 205,000 passengers to pass through the airport on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then jump to 219,000 on Monday. An estimated 197,000 travelers are expected at the airport Nov. 25, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and the following Friday will be the slowest days, with 147,000 and 170,000 passengers, respectively.

Los Angeles World Airport Executive Director Deborah Flint urged travelers to “reduce the stress of holiday travel by planning ahead and allowing extra time for getting to LAX.”

Airport officials also encouraged people to use public transportation, including the FlyAway bus service and Metro Green Line, to avoid congested traffic at the airport. They also urged people who are picking up visitors at the airport to use the Cellphone Waiting Lot at 96th Street and Vicksburg to avoid circling the airport and adding to the congestion.

Millions Expected to Hit the Road Over Holiday

July 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

More than 2.98 million Southern California residents are expected to travel over the Fourth of July weekend, up slightly from last year and the most in eight years, the Automobile Club of Southern California predicted Monday.

This year’s number of Independence Day travelers is expected to be the highest since 2007, when 3 million Southern California residents — and 4.88 million people statewide — took trips for the holiday, according to the Auto Club.

“There is a continued overall increase in the amount being spent for travel this summer because consumers have confidence in their ability to afford vacations,” according to Filomena Andre, vice president of travel products and services for the Auto Club. “While the number of travelers is not increased greatly overall this Fourth of July, the summer vacation season is doing very well.”

The bulk of people traveling this weekend — 79 percent, or 2.4 million — are expected to drive to their destinations, up 0.4 percent from last year’s 2.2 million. Another 355,000 are expected to travel by air, up 1.4 percent from 338,000 in 2014.

Across California, 4.8 million people are expected to travel over the holiday weekend, up 0.5 percent from last year, with 3.69 million traveling by car and 573,000 taking to the air, according to the Auto Club. Nationwide, about 41.9 million people are expected to travel, up from 41.6 million last year.

The top destinations for Southern California residents are expected to be:

— Las Vegas;

— San Diego;

— San Francisco;

— the Central Coast, from Santa Barbara to Monterey;

— and a tie between the Grand Canyon and Yosemite.

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