- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Some flight delays and cancellations continued Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport, but operations improved from overnight after a confluence of high volume, weather problems and unattended bag investigations snarled travel on what was projected to be the busiest travel day of the holiday period, authorities said.

“We’re moving people but it is very crowded,” airport spokeswoman Mary Grady said.

Airlines were reporting that from midnight to noon Thursday there would be 78 arrival delays, 96 departure delays, 22 canceled arrivals and 33 canceled departures, Grady said.

Volume, weather and security issues became problems Wednesday.

Aircraft normally depart LAX westward over the ocean, but winds associated with the arrival of a rainstorm forced planes to take off toward the east, which Grady said tends to slow down operations.

The airport also had many more flight operations - about 1,900 - compared to an average of 1,750 to 1,800 a day, and most of those flights were full, Grady said.

In addition, three terminals were affected by security concerns over unattended bags, Chief Dave Maggard of the airport police said.

Dogs alerted on each of the bags, forcing the Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Squad to respond to each incident.

None of the bags were found to contain explosives, but the investigations caused passengers and employees to move away from those areas.

LAX expected to serve a record 4.3 million travelers during a 19-day holiday period from Dec. 16 through Jan. 3, a nearly 10 percent increase from a year earlier.

Dec. 21 was projected to be the busiest day of the period, followed by Dec. 23, with nearly 239,000 travelers passing through the airport each of those days and more than 100,000 vehicles driving through the central terminal area.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve will be the slowest days in the period, the airport said.

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