AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre With thousands of travelers jamming Southland airports, airline officials are bracing for the heaviest traffic Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday – with many flights operating virtually full at 95 percent capacity. Worldwide, 27 million passengers are expected to flock to U.S. airlines over the Thanksgiving holidays, a record number that has air experts warning of looming delays and congestion. But with 3 million Southern California residents expected to leave town for Thanksgiving, roadways are also expected to bear a heavy load. Nearly 2.4 million travelers are expected to put on their seat belts and motor to their holiday destinations – up 1.2 percent from last year, according to a study from the Automobile Club of Southern California. Kevin Kertes of Woodland Hills is one of those making the traditional holiday trip. BURBANK – Thousands of travelers revving up to hit the skies and roadways this week for traditional Thanksgiving holiday pilgrimages will face more than a few challenges, including heavy fog expected to continue to snarl flights today. The murky conditions affected dozens of departures and arrivals at Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport on Monday, and weather experts said it could continue to cloak the region this morning. “Burbank has a possibility of getting dense fog again,” said David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “So they might have to be concerned about visibility at the airport that could affect flights.” By Wednesday, however, much of the fog is expected to disappear – marking good news for the more than 1.85 million passengers expected to descend on the region’s airports through Sunday. But to avoid the hassles of crowds and traffic jams, Kertes said, he will fly out a bit earlier to see his family in Detroit. He expects to leave midday today and return around the same time Saturday. Traveling ahead of the crowds bodes well for the 42-year-old, who figured out the technique after twice getting snagged in bottlenecks around Los Angeles International Airport at Thanksgiving. “I finally found a little sweet spot,” he said. “Doing it this way three times before has worked well for me.” But for those trying to dodge lengthy airport security delays, disrupted flights or other air woes, California’s roadways pose their own challenges. Families traveling north up the Golden State Freeway could encounter bad weather and treacherous fog in the Central Valley, Sweet said. Earlier this month, two people were killed and 41 injured in a massive 86-vehicle pileup on Highway 99 in Fresno because of similar conditions. Miguel Sanchez of Van Nuys has learned his own secrets for coping with traveling by car for Thanksgiving – leaving early and reserving plenty of time for the drive. Extraordinary traffic on the way to Big Bear for a previous Thanksgiving Day put the 22-year-old nearly two hours late for his turkey dinner. This year, he’s sticking closer to home. “I had planned for the traffic,” Sanchez said. “It was more than I ever thought it would be.” Motorists also face stinging prices at the pump, as gasoline costs have soared 13 cents over the past two weeks, bringing the nationwide average for self-serve regular to $3.09, according to a Lundberg Survey. The average price for regular unleaded gasoline in California is $3.42 a gallon, according to gasbuddy.com, a Web site that tracks gas prices nationwide with the help of 1.3million volunteers. Still, despite the price to fill up, travel by car remains more popular than flying because it still costs less, said Elaine Beno, spokeswoman for the Automobile Club. “It’s the most economical way to travel,” she said. “So travel plans will still happen, regardless of the high gas prices.” IF YOU’RE FLYING Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry or other accessories that contain metal when traveling through airport security checkpoints. Take metal items such as keys, loose change and mobile phones out of your pockets. Pack all coats and jackets in luggage or carry-on bags when possible, since they must go through the X-ray machine for inspection. Keep airline boarding pass and government-issued photo ID available until exiting security. You are required to remove your shoes before you enter the walk-through metal detector. Keep carry-on bags uncluttered to allow a clear, uncomplicated X-ray image of items inside. When possible, keep packed liquids in your checked baggage to make getting through security faster. Remember the rule for liquids and gels in carry-on bags: 3-ounce containers in quart-size zip-top bag with only one zip-top bag per passenger. Arrive early for your flight to allow plenty of time to get through security. Confirm all flights well before departure. Make sure all checked bags have tags on the outside and inside with your name, address, home and cell-phone numbers, and flight information. ——— IF YOU’RE DRIVING Leave early to allow plenty of time to account for traffic and still get to your destination on time. Avoid distractions such as cell phones, onboard DVD players and other items. Avoid fatigue if driving long distances by pulling over to stretch your legs and resting. Find out about any road closures or weather problems by checking www.dot.ca.gov160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. 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