HONOLULU (KITV4) -- Kiani Kaio-Perez is a frontline worker in the health care industry who hasn't been able to visit her mom in Vegas for Thanksgiving since the pandemic first started nearly two years ago.
“Last year it was really hard to travel due to COVID. And I’m a healthcare worker. It was really hard to get time off from work,” Kaio-Perez told KITV4.
But with COVID cases down in Hawaii, things have slowed down a little at work and Kalo-Perez is flying out the day before Thanksgiving to surprise her mom with a visit.
“I feel great. I am excited. A little scared because I haven't traveled since COVID but I’m excited and hopefully everything thing goes well," she said.
Other travelers KITV4 spoke to said it was also their first time traveling since the pandemic.
At the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, the TSA had to open up another check point at around 5 a.m. Wednesday to accommodate large crowds at the inter-island terminal.
Staff with some of the largest airlines at the airport confirmed that this year's Thanksgiving Eve was a lot busier than 2020.