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Memories are made as planes land on Thanksgiving at Tampa International Airport

Posted at 4:18 PM, Nov 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 17:48:19-05

TAMPA, Fla. — With each landing plane comes hundreds of stories. Each of them are individualized and different than the next.

“We haven’t been back to Florida in many years. This is where our mom’s parents live. Our grandparents, they passed years and years ago, but now we’re back and we’re making it a tradition again,” said Anna Sirianni, standing next to Suz Sirianni.

They packed a little token of love and appreciation.

“I think I should show you," Anna said, gleefully, as she pulled out a small turkey stuffed animal. "To celebrate this season our little turkey, for our mom."

More families wait in anticipation and hugs are plentiful.

Cathy Seiders greeted her sister and brother-in-law. Their thanksgiving celebration means a lot to her. Especially this year.

“My wife is in the hospital," she said. "She’s at Moffitt. So, having them come is a blessing. We can’t wait to celebrate for a few days."


And while this Thanksgiving day visit is no surprise, Sarah Baldwin talks about how her daughter and husband worked together to pull off a pretty epic birthday surprise in October.

“When he came home I said, 'do I need to close my eyes?' And he said, 'yeah, I think that would probably be a good idea.' Next thing I know when I open my eyes there’s my daughter that I haven’t seen for two years,” she said.

20 minutes later, after their wait in front of Gate C, her daughter Morgan Avery gets off the tram. Sara laughs as she walks towards her — she's quite literally repaying the favor in the most random way.

“What?” asked Morgan. “Why am I on TV?”

Sarah yells, “Surprise!”

We found Sarah to be clear, but her family’s story is something all of us can relate to especially with COVID-19 putting a damper on travel plans for a while.

“I hadn’t seen her since July 4, 2019. So, yeah I just kept trying to come out and I kept feeling bad like oh it’s the wrong thing to do, so it was really special to finally be able to make it,” Avery said.

She brought her fiancé as they escaped the snow for sunshine.


I was looking in the plane and I was like it looks warm down there!” Avery said.

A Thanksgiving in the high 70’s — who could ask for anything better.

Happy Thanksgiving, 2021.

For tips from TSA on safe travel during the holiday weekend, click here.