Statue of X and O in front of San Jose airport Terminal B with airport sign in back
San Jose Mineta International Airport has seen a slight uptick in foot traffic this holiday season compared to last year, according to airport officials. Photo by B. Sakura Cannestra.

Holiday travelers flying out of the South Bay have been treated to short security lines and few cancellations this year.

While other travelers across the country have fallen victim to long check-ins, cancellations and delays amid winter weather, San Jose Mineta International Airport spokesperson Ana State said this year’s holiday travel season has been without any hitches.

“We didn’t have any long lines or incidents,” State told San José Spotlight. “It’s been a great holiday season here at SJC.”

Last year, travel was halted for many by bad weather and ill-prepared airlines, most notably Southwest, which canceled about 60% of its flights starting on Christmas Eve. State said this year, a few flights had been delayed or canceled per day, mostly because of weather conditions at the destination, but not nearly as many as last year.

The holiday season is measured between Dec. 15 and Jan. 1, and the airport has already seen an uptick in travelers compared to last year, State said. The exact number won’t be available until later next month. Foot traffic over the holidays has been steadily increasing as air travel recovers from the pandemic.

Husband and wife posing and smiling together inside the San Jose airport
San Jose resident David Bustos and his wife, Carol. David said he doesn’t fly often, but he’s found that San Jose Mineta International Airport is reliable. Photo by B. Sakura Cannestra.

San Jose resident David Bustos said he doesn’t fly often, but he’s found SJC usually provides a good experience.

“A while back, you heard all the hoopla with Southwest, but nothing this time. Everything went smoothly,” Bustos told San José Spotlight.

He and his wife, Carol, had flown back from Las Vegas, where they spent a few days on and around Christmas with friends. Sitting at one of the airport benches, they waited to be picked up at the airport by their grandson and will spend New Year’s with family.

Not everyone had a smooth trip, however. Violet Saena’s Southwest flight to Honolulu was delayed for hours after the plane had maintenance problems. She told San José Spotlight everyone boarded and sat on the plane for two hours before disembarking again at the gate. Southwest representatives told her they aimed to take off at about 4 p.m. But she worried about the plane’s safety and knew the delay would make it harder to catch her connecting flight from Honolulu to Samoa.

The connection with Fiji Airways only runs once a week. She had hoped to spend three weeks in Samoa and ring in the new year with family. Instead, Saena had to delay her trip by a week because other flights to Honolulu were either fully booked or too expensive.

“It’s a lot to think about, trying to change my flight. I was trying to check Hawaiian (Airlines) and it’s $1,600 for a one-way,” Saena told San José Spotlight. “I’m sure everybody will understand … (but) cancellations are terrible.”

Husband and wife sit and talk to each other in San Jose airport
Veronica Regalado, sitting beside her husband Benjamin, said the airport was flowing smoothly while traveling on Thursday. Photo by B. Sakura Cannestra.

Veronica and Benjamin Regalado arrived at the airport three hours before their flight, planning for long lines and crowds. The couple was flying to Las Vegas to pick up the keys to a new house, which they plan to rent.

“Usually, airports are jam packed, but today the flow’s just going,” Veronica told San José Spotlight. “I know in Vegas the airport’s probably going to be more packed. We’ve gone to San Diego in an airplane on Thanksgiving and Fourth of July, it seemed very packed and crazy.”

Veronica said they want the house to be a way to teach their children about investing. They only planned on staying in Las Vegas a few days to visit family and deliver Christmas presents, hoping to be back for New Year’s Eve.

“(We) hope we get there safe, have a safe travel and our luggage is with us,” Benjamin said. “We haven’t had a problem.”

Young woman waiting among crowd at luggage carousel
Taylor Spurber said she has flown between San Jose and Denver more than a dozen times in the past year, and the trip is usually smooth. Photo by B. Sakura Cannestra.

The travel ease is something Taylor Spurber has come to expect when flying out of SJC. Spurber moved to Silicon Valley from Denver last summer to live with her partner. She just returned from Denver after two weeks visiting family and friends.

“This airport is always so easy,” Spurber told San José Spotlight. “I have flown from San Jose to Denver in the past year probably 14 times, and every time it’s easy.”

Contact B. Sakura Cannestra at [email protected] or @SakuCannestra on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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