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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Holiday travelers fill Jack Brooks Regional Airport


Families in Jefferson County have an option this Christmas that was unavailable last year. This December, families can choose to fly out of the Jack Brooks Regional Airport, instead of driving to Houston. American Airlines began commercial service out of Jack Brooks to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in February of this year.

Today, holiday travelers filled the lobby of the Regional Airport. Samantha Howard sat with her husband, waiting to go through security. The two got married last week, on December 19th, but now must part ways for Christmas. Howard says plane tickets are too expensive for her husband to travel home with her.

"You have no idea. Especially this being our first Christmas together, and we got married so close to Christmas, but he's happy that I get to see my family," said Howard.

Family she hasn't seen in 13 years. Howard says she can't wait to visit with aunts, uncles, and cousins in Columbus, Ohio.

"Two of them actually just had newborn babies like two months ago, and I've never even met them," said Howard. "So I'm excited to hold my cousins' babies and see them for the first time and meet all their children that I haven't met before."

Howard says she keeps up with her relatives on the phone, and would visit more if she could.

"Well they all live so far away and I just never really had the money or the way," said Howard, "and I'm usually working. So I don't really  have time off to fly that far and spend time with them."

Other people traveling today make the trip every Christmas.

"Absolutely, we wouldn't miss it ever. Wouldn't miss it ever or my mom would kill us all and disinherit us." said Teri Kelley, traveling with her family to visit relatives in Des Moines, Iowa.

Cars filled the Jack Brooks Regional Airport parking lot today. Kelley says she and her family drove in from Houston because of Jack Brooks' free parking and cheaper tickets.

"I pulled right up front, dropped them off, pulled around parked, walked in, didn't have to wait in line," said Kelley. "It was great."

Kelley and her family are looking forward to landing in Des Moines and spending Christmas with family.

"Well, I'm going to open presents, drink hot cocoa, and sleep because I'm tired," said Jolie Laporte, Kelley's step-daughter.

Whether it's every year, or once in 13 years, these travelers are happy they will be home for Christmas.

"Merry Christmas everybody!" said Howard.


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