Norfolk International Airport passengers gearing up for busy holiday travel weekend

Posted at 7:40 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 19:42:50-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Saturday kicks off the start of one of the busiest holiday travel days.

AAA projects that more than 175,000 people in Virginia will travel by air to see their loved ones this Christmas.

News 3 was at Norfolk International Airport checking out the crowd, where the check-in lines weren’t too long. Families shared hugs and kisses and things were moving.

We talked to passengers who also serve in the area. They say getting a chance to go back home for Christmas is a blessing.

AAA says Christmas Eve is the best day to travel if you’re trying to save some money. The average ticket price for that day is $527.

Related: TSA's naughty list: What you should not take on a plane this holiday season

One passenger told us her ticket cost more than $1,500 - but for seven days with her family back at home in Los Angeles, she said it’s worth it.

“I’m really blessed because not everyone can go home. Even money-wise because it gets expensive. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to go back home because I’m in an aircraft carrier and only a certain amount of people can leave, but I’m excited to go back home," said Genesis Reyes, who's flying to California.

“Today they said I can leave, so I'm getting out of here as fast as i can," Jacob Stewart told us.

He's flying to Ohio.

"I expect airports to be hectic as ever and shoulder to shoulder, but I can get through it.”

And if you’re wondering which day is the busiest travel day this weekend, it’s this Sunday.