by: Leland Kim
HONOLULU (KHNL) - As the holiday season gets under way, air travelers are again making Hawaii a popular destination. Airport officials say this is the start of the busy Christmas holiday season. And many are getting an early start on their travel plans.
Some air travelers are getting ready to leave the island. Others have just arrived, getting a jump start on their holiday vacation. Many are grateful they can make Hawaii part of their holiday plans.
Gordon and Ingrid Stockman can't be happier to be in Hawaii.
Well, it was a little bit miserable in Canada, but getting cold and windy," said Gordon Stockman. "This is a lot better."
They are visiting their daughter, who goes to school here.
"It's actually some place we've always wanted to visit," said Gordon Stockman. "So, our daughter may not stay at school here, so we weren't going to miss the chance to come."
The Stockmans are not alone. Every year, visitors flock to our island paradise. And airport workers are starting to feel the Christmas rush.
"Yeah, this is probably the busiest time of the year," said Matt Babas, an airport ramp agent. "Everybody wanting to come and visit family, check out the islands because it doesn't snow here, you know what I mean."
That's why this visitor from the 49th state decided to come to the 50th state.
Sometimes it's 40 degrees and the snow is melting," said Waylon Evans, a tourist from Anchorage, Alaska. "So, it's nice to come where the weather stays the same."
But not everyone comes for the weather. This visitor from the Big Island is here to see Billy Joel.
"This is, yeah, exciting knowing that he's older and more polished, and what have you," said < Winnie Todd, who is visiting from Hilo, Big Island. "It's really great."
And this college student is leaving Hawaii, to see family on the mainland.
"I mean, I've been with them all my life and you kind of take them for granted," said Diego Ortiz, a student at University of Hawaii at Hilo. "When you're away from them, you're just like, you appreciate every little thing, you know."