Families unite at Salt Lake City airport for Thanksgiving after year apart

SALT LAKE CITY – Vacation travel at Salt Lake City International Airport is approaching pre-pandemic levels.

On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, the airport estimates 26,000 people passed the facility’s doors, a sharp increase from the same day in 2020.

“Last year during the pandemic, we had about 13,500 people through the front door,” said Salt Lake City Airport spokeswoman Nancy Volmer. “We’re getting closer to pre-pandemic numbers.”

Several families were hugging in the terminal as travelers arrived at the welcome area. Many were forced to remain separate over the last Christmas period due to the threat of COVID-19.

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“I actually stayed home alone because I was nervous about traveling,” said Billie Carson, who traveled to Utah to surprise her family. “I feel like since it’s gotten better, it feels so much better.”

With the safety measures, Carson felt safe flying again.

“When we have the masks on and we all wash their hands, we’re good to go,” she said.

For travelers like Carson, this holiday season marks a return to normal – the way the holidays should be celebrated.

“We are so grateful to have all of our passengers back,” said Volmer. “People are traveling again, they feel much more comfortable and we welcome them.”

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