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Traveling on Christmas Day

Tue, 12/13/2016
Christmas Time at the Airport

Traveling at any time of year can be stressful, but the end of December always promises to be the busiest and most uncomfortable time of year to travel. As millions make the pilgrimage to family homes or to their favorite Christmas getaway spot, airports become crowded and hectic. And as we all sit at home enjoying festivities on Christmas Day, there are people out there who are in the airport, working or traveling.

Nobody wants to spend Christmas Day in transit, but it is a good way of avoiding crowds and taking advantage of certain benefits and perks. In fact, it’s sometimes called the ‘national day of Jewish travel’ as those who don’t celebrate the holiday get to benefit from quieter airports. Flights will certainly be cheaper on Christmas day, but if you do decide to take the plunge and travel, be sure to follow these tips:

It’s likely that a lot of the shops and restaurants in airport lounges will be closed, so make sure you’ve got something with you if you plan to eat before you fly.

Public transport will be running on a different schedule for the holiday, so leave extra time to get to and from the airport. Be aware that taxis and car services may be charging extra fees for working on Christmas Day.

The airport will be quieter than usual, so utilize the peace and quiet to your advantage and get engrossed in a good book. Remember the book store or news agents at the airport will probably be closed though so you shouldn’t forget to bring your own.

Respect the fact that much of the airport staff working on Christmas Day will be those who don’t celebrate the holiday, and equally, those who are working who do celebrate the holiday might not be best thrilled about having to work, so go about your travel plans with respect for these people. Be extra nice, and you may even score an upgrade, after all, if flights are half empty you have a much higher chance of getting one!

Christmas Day might be an easier day to travel, but it’s still in the middle of winter, so don’t be surprised if your flight is delayed by bad weather. As airports will have less staff at hand, it’s good to have emergency contact details with you, in case you can’t easily talk to someone at an information desk.

As a weather is seen as an extraordinary circumstance under Article 5, Paragraph 3 of the EC Regulation 261/2004, passengers who are affected are not entitled to compensation. However, under this regulation of the European Union, the airline should provide welfare to these people.

Welfare includes basic services, food and refreshments during the time the passengers are forced to wait for their rescheduled flight. If these passengers are forced to wait overnight, they are entitled to a hotel room provided by the airline, as well as transportation between said accommodation and the airport. Meals and drinks should be provided also. The affected passengers should bear in mind to keep such expenses to a minimum and keep their receipts as proof.

You are entitled to welfare if your delayed, cancelled or rescheduled flight fits the following criteria:

A flight distance of up to 1500km that is delayed for more than 2 hours
A flight distance of between 1500-3500km that is delayed for more than 3 hours
A flight distance of more than 3500km that is delayed for more than 4 hours

If you are unsure of your flight distance, you can use our flight distance calculator on our website!

We don’t charge a fee and never take a commission, so use Get Paid When Delayed today to start your claim and keep 100% of the money you’re owed!