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Virginia flyers face short to nonexistent lines on Christmas Eve, some hit snafus in travel plans

AAA projects 2.9 million Virginians traveling on the roads and sky for the year-end holidays this year.

NORFOLK, Va. — Across the country, a domino effect from the omicron variant forced some airlines to cancel hundreds of domestic flights on Christmas Eve.

Locally, though, passengers at Norfolk International Airport (ORF) and Newport News/Williamsburg International (PHF) didn't have to worry about flight cancellations. They didn't have to worry about long lines either. 

“Leaving [Norfolk International Airport] earlier this week, it was a little bit crowded leaving, but I’ll tell you what, coming back today, there were no lines at all," said traveler Jeannette Rincón.

Rincón and her young son, Parker, returned to Hampton Roads after a trip to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida. 

“Hand sanitizing, washing all the time. We wore our masks any time we were indoors. We took them off outdoors. Any time we were in public transportation, we wore them. That means Ubers, aircrafts, anything like that," Rincón said. 

More than 150,000 Virginians were forecasted to fly for the year-end holidays in 2021 according to AAA. The agency recorded 53,957 air travelers last year and 175,199 in 2019.

"The lines haven't been that bad [in Norfolk]. But when I went to New York City for my connective flight, that airport was really busy compared to this one and Syracuse," said flyer Nicholas Deyoe. 

And in the day and age of an ever-evolving pandemic, testing continues to play a key role.

Hannan Awan, 17, of Chesapeake, and his mom, lined up for PCR tests at CVS ahead of their flight to Canada. When 13News Now spoke with him, he was still awaiting results.

"For some reason, she got hers 12 hours ago and I have yet to receive mine. And due to that fact, they won't let me on the flight and she's already gone," Awan said. 

Awan has called the pharmacy repeatedly for help, all in hopes to visit family during his winter break.

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