Connect with us

Local News

Loved ones greet passengers who are returning home at Billings International Airport



Billings, Montana – During the year-end travel period, 115.2 million passengers are expected by AAA to travel 50 miles or more from their home base. Holiday homecomings took place all day Saturday at the airport in Billings.

During the holidays, there’s nowhere better than home.

“It’s been a little bit too long,” said Michael Stevens, a Livingston father waiting to pick up his son at the airport, on Saturday. “It’s probably (been) a year at least.”

This story revolves around love, longing, and the enchantment of holiday homecomings.

“It’s been forever since I’ve seen (my family). Probably about 2 years now,” said Augustine Hill, who flew into Billings from Indiana on Saturday. “I’m here to visit my grandma and my grandpa. Basically all my family. They live here.”

Wanderers braved the stress of the holidays in pursuit of priceless moments and life-long memories.

Early on Saturday morning, the Stevens family left Livingston and made their way to Billings-Logan International Airport (BIL) to pick up their son, who was flying in from Arizona.

“Mostly having him here at my house,” Stevens said when asked what he looked forward to while his son was home.

What they’re most excited about a unique holiday custom.

“We’re going down to Yellowstone Hot Springs. Every year, my kids come up. At least some of my kids, I have five of them,” Stevens said. “But my oldest boy, he comes up. (It’s our) tradition to go over to the hot springs. Chill out.”

Cliff Miller and Wim Lienemann, a Fromberg pair, have been dating since 2008 but are accustomed to traveling large distances. Cliff is employed in North Dakota’s oil fields.

“This is my first time home since the 14th of November,” Cliff said. “You get time off, but the best thing to do is just to work until you’re out of work.”

Cliff arrived in Billings from Sidney on Saturday after making an impromptu airline reservation on Friday.

“I just got surprised that my job ended yesterday. I was going to be working through Christmas possibly,” Cliff said. “My son actually lives in Sidney, he works in the oil field. I went over there last night.”

Getting to spend the day with family is a Christmas surprise. Hill is looking forward to that as well.

“Honestly the family. It’s been so long since I’ve seen them,” Hill said. “Haven’t joked around with them in a long time.”

Although Hill’s family resides in Lodge Grass, he usually travels thousands of miles to Indiana.

“I’m very excited to see them,” Hill said. “Might go do some hunting with my cousins.”

Spreading love, joy, and thankfulness with people who matter most is the true essence of the Christmas season, as these touching homecomings serve as a reminder.

The distance disappears under the warmth of their embrace.

“Welcome home everybody,” Stevens said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *