By Madisen Keavy

SACRAMENTO (CBS13)- The Sacramento International Airport is edging towards pre-pandemic travel numbers during the holiday season with an expected 16,000 travelers through the airport everyday until January 3rd.

Those numbers put SMF at about 85% of 2019 levels, according to a release from Sacramento County. They also align with national statistics that show travel is back, at least, more than it was in 2020.

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Triple A reports more than 109 million people — an almost 34% increase from 2020 — will travel 50 miles or more as they hit the road, board airplanes or take other transportation out of town between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2.

The day after Christmas, travelers at SMF told CBS13 their holiday didn’t look the same as it did in 2020 because many of them didn’t have to spend it alone.

“Such a relief. It’s crazy this past year, this year as well…but you know, set everything aside I’m just glad to be with everybody right now,” said Christopher Tellez, flying back home after spending the holiday with family in Sacramento.

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Tellez is flying within California. He’s not concerned about delays, or worse, a cancelation.

SMF is not seeing airport-wide cancelations due to COVID-19 staffing shortages, but flights are still impacted by other airports and weather.

According to, there were 103 flight delays at SMF the Sunday after Christmas, 59% of those flights were Delta Air Lines, the company canceled more than 600 flights Friday and Saturday, due to staffing shortages because of the rise of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, as well as weather, according to the Associated Press.

The same website,, also shows that the majority of impacted destinations include Seattle, Houston, and Denver.

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Flight updates for Sacramento International Airport can be found online.