SPRINGFIELD, Mo- When you think of Christmas Eve at the Springfield/Branson National Airport, you probably imagine the scene from Home Alone when the McCallister family is frantically running to get to their gate. Still, Christmas Eve 2019 is a polar opposite of that image.
Dave Schaumburg, Assistant Director at the airport, says that due to weather and where Christmas fell during the week, travel has been light.
“Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, you typically see a little less travel here because the passengers are where they’re going to be for that major holiday,” says Schaumburg.
“We have unseasonable weather, so very warm out. And we don’t have all of our crews in right now worrying about snow and ice,” says Schaumburg about how the weather in the Ozarks is helping flights run smoothly.
Of the travelers KOLR10 talked with, all three of them were headed to major cities to spend time with distant relatives.
Marshfield resident Regina Chavis says she is going to Southern California to spend time with family, old friends, and former coworkers.
“This year it’s going to be spending time with my grandson, he’s five-months-old. Everybody’s out there, so I’m just out here,” says Chavis.
Carolyn Meadows and her husband are heading to Chicago to spend Christmas with their daughter. She says for about five years, her big family has held Christmas a couple of weeks prior so that on Christmas Day, they can spend time with immediate family, and for Carolyn, that means flying to Chicago.
“We have a very large family, and so we have that a week or two ahead so that everyone can make it. We’re going to their churches’ evening service then out to eat. Then we will just have a quiet Christmas with them at their house,” says Meadows.
And Bernard Clark Jr. is headed home to Atlanta to spend Christmas with his family. Bernard is in the Army stationed at Fort Leonard Wood.
“It means a lot cause I just love anytime I get to spend with my family. I just thank God for it,” says Clark Jr. He says his family has a massive soul food cookout and watches sports.
Some advice from airport officials: Arrive two hours early and plan when it comes to parking, parking can be limited this time of year.