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The Los Angeles Times gets us geared up for the holiday flight rush with this story about the Thanksgiving flight mess. And no, it’s not investigating the heartburn-inducing Sbarro at Philadelphia International Airport.

Aside from the dire predictions – your flight costs more this year and chances are better your luggage will be lost – there’s an interesting tidbit in there. Passenger air travel numbers in Southern California are flat from last year.

The Times‘ Jennifer Oldham reports:

Travel is down at some airports around the U.S. but up strongly at others, where low-cost carriers have added service.

It’s a different story in Southern California, where most airports have been hit particularly hard by higher fares and flight cutbacks.

At Los Angeles International Airport, officials expect 1.8 million travelers between last Friday and next Sunday, matching traffic levels experienced over a similar period last year, according to a forecast to be released today. Passenger numbers will also be flat year-over-year at Ontario International Airport, which expects 200,000 people over the 10-day holiday period, the forecast shows.

At Long Beach Airport, officials expect passenger totals to be down slightly from a similar period in 2005, but they caution that that doesn’t mean holiday travel will be easy.

The folks at the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority are offering these tips to make your trip flow smoother than giblet gravy.

ROB DAVIS

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