Holiday travel returns to pre-pandemic levels

Nov 23, 2022, 6:34 PM | Updated: 7:37 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The holiday rush to get to family hit pre-pandemic levels at the Salt Lake City International Airport, where some 30,000 travelers walked through the doors.

“Today is a big kickoff to holiday travel,” Nancy Volmer, spokesperson for the Salt Lake City airport said. “We definitely are seeing numbers that are like they were in 2019, prior to COVID people are out traveling again. In fact, for Thanksgiving, what we’re noticing is that people are extending their travel.”

The rush of emotions could especially be felt among the families who were in the arrival zone of the airport, waiting for their missionary sons and daughters.

“I can’t even express what we are feeling. We are so excited,” Katie Nordstrom, who’s son has been gone for two years to Scottsdale, Arizona said.

They said they learned he would be home the day before Thanksgiving just two months ago.

“We couldn’t believe it when we heard he was coming home today,” she said to KSL TV.

The Priestly’s welcomed home their daughter who was also returning from a mission to Scottsdale. Sister Savannah Priestly had been gone for 18 months.

“That’s really what Thanksgiving is about really having family together,” Savannah’s mom Mindy said.

“I’m really excited, it’s a lot, but I’m really excited [to be with family], said Sister Priestly. “I’ve learned so much on my mission and I’ve grown so close to the Savior.”

KSL TV spoke to travelers heading to all parts of the country. From Las Vegas to Montana to California.

All of them very thrilled to see family again.

But Volmer says with so many travelers sometimes people nerves can get the best of them and that’s one of the reasons the airport also brings in musicians to play live music. Hoping to create that holiday cheer.

“I think the last couple of years have really been stressful for everyone and especially for travelers and so everyone’s just a little bit more on edge. And so I always tell people to pack your patience,” said Volmer. “Recognize that everybody at the airport is working as hard as they can to make sure that our passengers get from the curb to the gate as quickly as they can. And as efficiently as they can.”

The crowds are all expected to return again on Sunday.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Holiday travel returns to pre-pandemic levels