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Unread 12-22-2009, 07:02 PM   #1
JClarke
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Why flying on Christmas Day is great

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MOST people would never dream of flying on Christmas Day.
Who could think of anything worse than spending one of the best days of the year on a bum-numbing flight or battling through customs and immigration?

And imagine the expense. Everyone knows that buying a flight at Christmas requires the finances of an Arab Emirate.

Or does it?

We checked the prices for a return to London in mid-December on four major carriers – Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Singapore Airlines – and found fares ranging from $2600 to $3300.

Depart on Christmas Eve, however, and all the fares dived by $200-$350. Leave on Christmas Day and you could have an extra $600 in your pocket to spend in the January sales.

According to Lisa Ferrari, general manager of travel.com.au, another potential bonus of flying on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day is that there are less business-class travellers, so there’s a better chance of getting upgraded.

But what’s it like travelling on Christmas Day?

Fantastic. Last December I left Sydney on Christmas Eve and landed at London’s Heathrow Airport at 5am on Christmas Day and I can honestly say it was one of the best flight experiences I’ve had.

Leaving on Christmas Eve meant I could indulge in all of the Aussie festive season shenanigans that I’d normally miss out on by flying in early December. And by the time I jumped in a cab to the airport, I could think of nothing more appealing than sleeping and watching movies for 24 hours.

Sydney airport was quiet. No queues, no hassles from Customs, no stress. And there was an infectious festive buzz about the place (yes, they are human).

YOUR SAY: Tell us your Christmas Day travel stories below

People were flying home to see family, to catch up with friends, to see loved ones. It was Christmas. I was excited. It was all I could do to stop myself hugging random people in the departure lounge.

Christmas cheer and tears

The flight from Sydney to Hong Kong was uneventful and after a brief transit we set off for London. Shortly after takeoff there was an announcement on the PA: “Hello everyone, this is your captain speaking. Just to let you know that it is now officially Christmas Day. Happy Christmas to you all.” I almost burst into tears (I get quite emotional at Christmas).

The cabin crew adorned themselves with reindeer antlers and tinsel and served us champagne and a Christmas dinner. The flight was busy but not full and everyone said cheers to their neighbours and wished them a Happy Christmas. It was a genuinely lovely atmosphere.

The biggest surprise, however, was still to come. Normally, negotiating Heathrow Airport would be right up there with putting together flat-pack furniture and removing my own tonsils as one of my least favourite experiences.

But on Christmas morning it was a revelation. It was deserted. I thought there had been a bomb scare or some sort of military coup. There were no queues at immigration and my bag appeared in record time.

My father was coming to pick me up and traditionally spotting him in the Beirut-like carnage that is the Heathrow arrivals hall is like a particularly tricky game of Where’s Wally. But there he was – a little bleary eyed from his 4am start – but one of only a few dozen people there.

A jet-lagged induced coma

The final instalment in this mind-wrecking saga was driving for a full three minutes along the M25 without passing another car. It’s a sight I may never see again. Looking back, I should have videoed it and put it on YouTube.

After getting back to my parents’ house at 7am, Christmas Day panned out like all Christmas Days do. I ate too much, drank too much and was in a jet-lagged induced coma in front of the TV with a half empty tin of Quality Street on my lap by 3pm. It was brilliant.

So, if you’re thinking of travelling somewhere this Christmas, look at the option of flying on Christmas Day. It’ll probably be cheaper than flying earlier in December and it’ll be an experience you’ll talk about for years.

If you’re a Christmas junkie you can even arrange to have two of them. Spend Christmas Day at home with the family and then hop on a flight to the US and you’ll arrive in the afternoon where you can do it all again.

Link: Why flying on Christmas Day is great | News.com.au


This makes me feel christmasssy. Do you?

Have you ever had similar experience flying on Christmas day?
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Unread 12-22-2009, 08:27 PM   #2
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We came home on New Years Day once and hit turbulence with what seemed to be a very hungover pilot from celebrating New Years Eve.
My husband swore he would drive anywhere we went after, and so far this is true!
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Unread 12-22-2009, 08:28 PM   #3
shel90
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Never flew on a holiday..
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Unread 12-22-2009, 08:30 PM   #4
JClarke
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But to me - it would be different since I am from the southern Hemisphere, and I'd like to give this a go, flying out from Australia on Christmas Day, and arrive in U.S on Christmas Day to do it all over again!
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Unread 12-25-2009, 01:01 PM   #5
Dixie
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there you go again, talking about traveling in time!

Actually if you've got the funds for, I would give it a go, although finding lodging might be an entirely different story.....
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Unread 12-25-2009, 01:58 PM   #6
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have always liked time travel themes

We may not get to see real time travel but it is out there ahead of us.
Anyway my Christmas day travel story was last Christmas. I flew up to the job I had at the time in the Arctic. My shift change happened to fall on that day.
This particular day I was extremely unhappy and at the end of a long series of events with that job that were all negative. I had been grappling with should I stay or should I go for quite a while as incidents that were thoroughly obnoxious to me continued to happen. Here I was on a great financial opportunity working an actual two week on two week off shift that fit with my plans perfectly and I was caught up in a work scene that was a Human Resources disaster zone. I was so enraged over various incidents that I could feel my heart racing in my chest even when on my time off. So I am flying up to my job thinking about all of this and what Christmas could be instead. I get up there- flying in the same jet with the fellow employee on my shift - the same guy who had accosted me at the airport on the way out on time off yelling f you at me and saying in a loud voice how what a mental retard I am. Making sure I could hear him. How nice to work with a borderline psycho, many others I later found out had had troubles. To cut this short I got up there at 11:30 and quit at 1:00. In order to get out of there I had to overfly Fairbanks and land in Anchorage and buy a ticket back to Fairbanks. I ended up with a 2 hour layover and my cousins Douglas and Sally brought out a small Christmas meal and we had Christmas dinner in a nook off of the luggage area in the Anchorage airport. Very heartwarming. So that is how I ended up flying across Alaska from midway to furthest north to furthest direct south back to midway again on Christmas day.
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