Christmas Airport Travel Tips

Air travel over the Christmas period is becoming increasingly popular. Whether you are jetting off for some winter sun, snow or a skiing holiday, don’t be fooled into thinking the airports will be quieter than the summer holidays.

If you’re flying over the festive season, check out our advice and tips on making your journey, cheaper, easier and less stressful:

Cheaper Flights
Did you know that actually flying on Christmas Day is often cheaper than flying immediately before or after the special day? You’ll find a great festive vibe both in the airport and on the plane itself so flying on Christmas Day can be just as much fun!

Busiest Travel Dates
Traditionally, the busiest time for the en-mass getaway is the second weekend before Christmas, so this year (2014) that's the 12/13/14th December. Although the first weekend of the school holidays will be very busy too.

Traffic Delays and Diversions
The Highways Agency often plans road works and repairs during the Christmas holidays as the roads are usually a bit quieter. Therefore, plan your journey before you leave, taking into account any delays that might hold you up when driving to the airport.

Equally, if you’re arriving by train, make sure you know of any diversions – bus replacement services are not uncommon at this time of year and are incredibly slow, so you'll need to factor in extra time to get to the airport.

Airport Parking
Forget about park and ride and instead book meet and greet parking. Don’t forget to book in advance, and online, for the very best deals!

Online Check-In
Save yourself some time queuing at the airport by checking in online.  

Pack Light
If you’re going somewhere for Christmas and expecting to come home with Christmas presents, be sure to pack light. Leave yourself room (and weight) to bring your gifts home without incurring excess baggage charges.

Hand Luggage Security Rules
Airport security doesn’t lapse over Christmas, so ensure that your hand luggage conforms to the rules and regulations governing what you can and can’t pack.  And bear in mind also, that if you have included carefully wrapped presents, you could be forced to unwrap them if their contents aren’t clear in the baggage scan – best to leave wrapping until you arrive, or pack in your checked-in baggage.  

While you might want your Christmas plane journey to be as festive as possible, you must not pack crackers, party poppers and such like - either in hand or checked-in baggage - as they contain explosive materials and will be confiscated.

Entertainment for Children
If you’re travelling with children make sure you pack plenty to entertain them during the flight.  If you’re worried about the space you’ll have in your hand luggage, remember that if your child is more than 2 years old they are entitled to their own hand luggage allowance. 

Why not pack a ‘trunkie’ or a small suitcase with toys and games, books, colouring pads etc. for their entertainment? And if you’re flying on Christmas Day, why not include some little ‘presents’ they don’t know about?  Pop some surprises in a festive bag (avoid wrapping in case you are forced to open them at security checks), so they have something to open and new to play with.