Holiday reunions fill airport with Christmas joy

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Steve Phillips – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS  (WLOX) - The familiar holiday lyric, "I'll be home for Christmas", is coming true at airports across the country.

Christmas Eve is traditionally a busy travel day, as family members head home for the holiday. And there were more than a few happy homecoming moments at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport on Friday morning.

"Delta Flight 2294, service to Atlanta, Georgia," the overhead speaker sounded.

Holiday travelers reunited with loved ones at the Gulfport-Biloxi International airport.

"What a smile on that little monkey's face!" said grandpa Bill, as he welcomed his grandson home for Christmas.

The Fuchs family is celebrating a holiday reunion. Little Brighton Jasper made it to grandma and grandpa's.

"He seems to be in good shape after flying all night from Seattle to Atlanta to here. They've been on the road for a day, trying to get home," said the proud granddad.

Jason Fuchs was glad to be with family, "The flight was a little long. But we finally made it. We've been traveling all night," he said.

"I am so excited to have them home.  Merry Christmas!" said Linda Fuchs.

Virginia Kelly couldn't hide her emotions when her son and daughter in law arrived from Virginia.

"Ohhhhhh!!!!  Don't make me cry," she sobbed, while embracing her just arrived loved ones.

It's a homecoming for two month old Tristen:  His first visit to Grandma's house.

"I'm very happy to be back home," said Tristen's mom.

"And there wasn't a lot of flight traffic I guess you could say. We got here pretty quick," said daddy.

Not quick enough for Grandma.

"I am very happy. The first time my grand son gets to come to the coast," said Ida Harris of Moss Point.

It's a day filled with anxious waiting, followed by joyful family reunions. The moments need no explanation; spontaneous hugs and kisses and Christmas joy.

"I've been waiting pretty much the whole year just to come home for three weeks," said U.S. Marine Aressa Martin of Wiggins, who was headed home to be with family.

As some welcomed loved ones home, other travelers prepared to fly out; many of them headed for home and family reunions elsewhere.

Christmas Eve morning flights at Gulfport-Biloxi were either "on time" or close to it.

"It was a night flight. Better than last year. Last year we got caught in a storm. So, it took us awhile to get home. But it was a smooth flight and I'm just happy to be here. This is my second Christmas home in five years. And there's no place like the gulf coast," said Elizabeth Crawford of Gautier.

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