TSA screened more than half a million people at LAX during Fourth of July week

Los Angeles, CA - July 07: A large number of travelers make their way through Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, as a record amount of passengers pass through the airport today wrapping up a busy July 4th holiday on Sunday, July 7, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
A large number of travelers make their way through Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, with a record amount of passengers passing through the airport on July 7, 2024, wrapping up a busy July 4th holiday. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

If you thought Los Angeles International Airport was even more crowded than usual last week, you weren't imagining things.

Nearly 670,000 people flew out of LAX from July 2 to July 7, with Sunday being the busiest day of the extended holiday weekend, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Sunday was a red-letter day for airports across the country, the TSA reported, with a record 3 million people filling the security lines — a smidgen higher than the previous record of 2.99 million, which was set on June 23.

No records were set at LAX, however. Sunday's tally of 122,254 screenings fell below the single-day high of 139,000 people, set in June 2018.

Orange County's John Wayne Airport and Long Beach Airport also experienced their busiest day of the week Sunday with 19,357 and 6,449 travelers, respectively, passing through security, according to data provided by TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers.

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The lightest day of the week for LAX, John Wayne and Long Beach was July 4, as expected. LAX recorded 102,562 departing travelers, while John Wayne and Long Beach recorded 13,020 and 4,348, respectively.

By contrast, the national holiday was Hollywood Burbank’s busiest day of the week. There, 11,549 travelers passed through security, or 44% more than were screened on Sunday.

Other airports on the West Coast including San Diego International Airport and Seattle–Tacoma International Airport also dealt with a flood of travelers last week.

A record 47,964 people passed through security at San Diego International Airport on Sunday, up 4% from the previous record set on June 9. Seattle–Tacoma International Airport recorded its second busiest day ever with nearly 73,000 people passing through security on Sunday.

The American Automobile Assn. projected that 70.9 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more from home from June 29 to July 7, a 5% increase from the previous year. About 5.74 million of those travelers were expected to fly to their destinations, up 7% from 2023.

Domestic airfare over the Fourth of July week was 2% less expensive than last year, according to AAA booking data.

The majority of Americans, however, opt to drive to their Fourth of July destinations. The AAA predicted that more than 85% of holiday travelers would go by vehicle this year.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.