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Thousands of holiday travelers hit the skies for Thanksgiving

Bradley International Airport says it expects approximately 85,000 people from last weekend to Thanksgiving Day.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — While some people traveling for the holidays are hitting the roads and railways, others are hitting the skies. 

Bradley International Airport was very busy Wednesday evening. A lot of families got the urge to hop on a plane and reconnect with loved ones after having to stay put last year. 

"I haven’t been home in two years," said Christina Apatow of Andover. 

Apatow finally made the trip back to the Golden State. 

RELATED: TSA issues reminders for travelers ahead of busy holiday travel week

Being a Connecticut native, she said the warm weather in California is a little more welcoming. 

With flights taking off once again, Apatow knew this was her chance to head west while still being mindful of COVID risks.

"I have a hand sanitizer but I think that honestly, it’s been a great experience where they give you hand sanitizer or wipes on the plane," added Apatow. 

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The airport was filled with excited families rolling their luggage along and ready to hop on a plane. 

This was a big deal for many people since the CDC urged against holiday travel last year as COVID cases were on the rise. 

RELATED: As passengers return to the air, Bradley Int'l has advice for travelers

This year, however, came with a different mentality.

"Oh I’m feeling great. Feeling great, everything’s good. Holidays are here. I’m going to be with the people I want to be with," said Craig Peters of Oxford.

"If I did want to visit my family, I’d have to kind of pick the lulls in the travel - like not travel during peak holidays and try to figure out when people wouldn’t be traveling to reduce the chance of anything happening so that was kind of it last year but this year, I feel like it’s not as stressful," said Cha Li of California. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) still reminded travelers about COVID-19 safety requirements such as having to wear face masks.

Passengers are also reminded they can bring items like liquid sanitizer up to 12 ounces and hand wipes.

RELATED: CT DOT offers Uber discount to reduce impaired driving during the holiday season

Despite the pandemic still lingering, it is a thought in the back of people's minds, focusing more so on the good times.

"Football on TV and a good meal," added Peters. 

If you are planning to leave your car at the airport for several days, keep in mind many of the parking lots are full and you may have to park a little farther.

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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