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COVID: SFO Busy Again For Thanksgiving Reunions After Lifting Of Travel Restrictions

SAN FRANCISCO INT'L AIRPORT (KPIX 5) – Bay Area airports, including SFO, were busy Wednesday as travelers reunited with their loved for the first Thanksgiving since COVID-19 travel restrictions were lifted.

Wednesday night was just the beginning of the reunion of the Miller family from New York. The family packed into a minivan heading to their grandmother's, after the 2017 Tubbs Fire destroyed Rebecca's parent's house in Santa Rosa, and then the COVID pandemic struck.

"This is our first chance to have Thanksgiving in the rebuilt house so that feels amazing," said Rebecca Miller.

SFO Thanksgiving Reunion
The Miller family arrives at San Francisco International Airport for Thanksgiving, November 24, 2021. (CBS)

Inside SFO, Benjamin Reeves and his brother, John, were waiting for their nephew Josh, whom they haven't seen in two years. They're hoping their carefully crafted sign and 'prison' joke, get a chuckle.

"It's his first time flying here by himself so we are going to make him feel special," Benjamin Reeves told KPIX 5.

"It was very sad last year because it was just me and my wife," said John Reeves.

Long embraces, kisses, and smiles emerge everywhere like the constant flow of cars, dropping off and picking up travelers.

"It's been such a long time it's nice not seeing them on a screen," said Sabina Dzankic of Oakland.

COVID-19 delayed countless gatherings, but reunions are once again, looking, and sounding like they should.

It's something Josh and his uncles are thankful for.

Travel experts say to expect longer lines and to arrive two hours before domestic flights.

If your flight gets canceled, they recommend travelers use an airline's website or app for faster rebookings.

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