CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis joins international travelers for long-awaited reunion at JFK Airport – CBS New York

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NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – The United States lifted COVID-19 restrictions on vaccinated international travelers on Monday, finally allowing families to see loved ones for the first time in nearly two years.

CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis joined a flight from London to John F. Kennedy International Airport to capture the touching reunion.

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The historic flight marked a major milestone for tourism and business, but especially for families who have been separated. Americans were allowed to cross the pond, but foreigners couldn’t come here.

“The excitement kind of builds as I get closer. So I’m really excited, ”said Katie Mydlarz, who was traveling from the UK.

From the departure gate at Heathrow Airport in London, Mydlarz was one of many impatient Britons who waited more than 600 days to travel to the United States to see their family.

“Thank goodness President Biden said we would open the doors on November 8. So I thought I was going to get a ticket,” Mydlarz said.

She got a ticket to finally meet her newborn grandson in person.

“Really excited to hold it now.” So it will be a wonderful trip, ”said Mydlarz.

The plane was full of travelers heading to the United States for a variety of reasons, from family reunions to business to honeymooning.

“Eat a lot of food… go to a comedy show… see the scenery, be romantic,” said India and Ash Tunnard Johnson.

“I’m going to New York for the first time, I’m going to visit my team in Manhattan,” said Thomas Lau.

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Before anyone could board, British Airways agents checked the required documents, including negative COVID test results and proof of vaccination.

DeAngelis was invited by British Airways to document the historic journey. The airline’s first flight to the United States after the restrictions were lifted took off from London in a synchronized takeoff with Virgin Atlantic.

“Thirty-five percent of the fuel on board this aircraft is sustainable aviation fuel, which gives us insight into the sustainable path of aviation,” said Sean Doyle, CEO of British Airways.

The showcase of sustainability and international travel has taken off for tourists.

“The UK is generally our primary source of international travel. It has been that way for many, many years. They are so important to the lifeblood of New York tourism, ”said Chris Heywood of NYC & Company.

“This is a great time to continue to be able to stimulate this economic growth, this commercial development. And without a human connection, it’s all a little more difficult, ”said British Consul General in New York Emma Wade-Smith.

There was excitement in the air and on the ground as impatient families waited to kiss their loved ones.

“I’m going to be so emotional,” said Jill Chambers, another UK resident.

After landing there were cheers and tears from those touched by a two-year reunion in the works.

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Find more information about Jenna’s trip on CBS2 News at 11 p.m. and on CBSN New York and CBSNewYork.com.



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