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

Posted at 9:22 PM, Nov 24, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — Holiday travel at Salt Lake City International Airport is approaching levels seen prior to the pandemic.

Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, the airport estimates 26,000 people passed through the facility’s doors, a sharp increase over 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 spokesperson Nancy Volmer. “We are getting close to pre-pandemic numbers.”

In the terminal, several families exchanged hugs as travelers arrived at the greeting area. Many were forced to stay apart last holiday season due to the threat of COVID-19.

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“I actually stayed by myself at home because I was nervous to travel,” said Billie Carson who traveled to Utah to surprise her family. “I feel like since things have gotten better, it feels so much better.”

With safety measures in place, Carson felt safe flying again.

“If we have the masks on and everybody washes their hands, we’ll be good to go,” she said.

For travelers like Carson, this holiday season is representing a return to normal - the way the holidays were meant to be celebrated.

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