By Jamie Leary
DENVER (CBS4)– The airport is full of unique interactions during the busy holiday travel season. Take Boulder resident Cassidy Waldrip, for instance.
The 20-year-old returned to her family after being gone for 18 months. During that time, they were able to FaceTime only twice.
“I never thought I would actually like have the moment of coming home! It’s more emotional than I thought it would be,” said Waldrip.
Her younger cousin was overcome with joy.
“I haven’t see her in about like a year and a half and it’s like heaven to see her again!” said Isabella Lopez with tears streaming down her face.
Denver International Airport says approximately 1.2 million passengers will pass through during Thanksgiving week. While many, like the Waldrips, will have memorable reunions, it will likely be a stressful time for others.
That’s where people like Juanita Hefty come in. Juanita has been working as a volunteer ambassador at DIA for the last 10 years.
“What keeps me motivated I believe is entirely the people I interact with every day and every day I go home feeling energized because I helped so many people and it just is rewarding. I don’t have to be paid to do this,” she said.
Juanita says it’s her goal to make the airport a little easier for people to navigate.
“You can tell when people are kind of looking around and trying to figure out where to go and I just say ‘May I help you find something?'”
Juanita says there has been some added confusion these days with all the construction but she has a way of reassuring people who look lost.
“It’s all going to be good!” she said with a smile.
DIA says Saturday is on track to be the busiest Saturday the airport has ever seen, so if you are having a hard time getting where you’re going, just look for the blue vest.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.