Nearly 1.8 million passengers will fly through Los Angeles International Airport during a 10-day period surrounding Thanksgiving, a number roughly equal to last year, airport officials said Wednesday.

According to the LAX forecast, the Sunday after Thanksgiving will be the busiest travel day. Airport officials say they also expect large crowds this Friday and the Monday after Thanksgiving.

"This is contrary to what is commonly understood as the Wednesday before Thanksgiving being the busiest day," said Arif Alikhan, deputy executive director for homeland security and law enforcement at the airport. "It will not be the busiest day based on the projections we have. However, it will be a very, very busy day here at LAX."

In all, airport officials say they expect about 1.786 million passengers to travel through the airport from Friday through Nov. 26. Last year, airport officials said, LAX processed 1.78 million passengers during a similar 10-day period. That number was a 16 percent increase from 2010, according to airport officials.

LAX officials say travelers should check in for their flights online and sign up to receive status notifications from their airlines.

The Automobile Club of Southern California has not released its Thanksgiving travel forecast yet, but spokesman Jeffrey Spring said the organization expects this year's numbers to be similar to last year, when about 3.3 million Southern Californians were on the road.


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"By auto we still expect to see a busy Wednesday and, believe it or not, a busy Thursday morning," Spring said. "A lot of folks try to avoid Wednesday. They leave Thursday morning, and it gets pretty busy on certain freeways until about 1 p.m."

Nationally, AAA has projected 43.6 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from Wednesday, Nov. 21, to Sunday, Nov. 25, an increase of less than 1 percent from 2011. About 39.1 million of those people will travel by car, according to the organization.

brian.sumers@dailybreeze.com

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