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How bad is traveling on Christmas Day really going to be?

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  • How bad is traveling on Christmas Day really going to be?

    My wife and I are planning to get away for a short vacation starting on Christmas Day (9 a.m. Departure) through the 29th. I've reviewed the site and several others, and they give a good guide on the days around the holidays, but not the holidays themselves. Can anyone weigh in on what the actual day is likely to bring in terms of travel woes or benefits. We have a long standing disagreement about this. For the record she thinks its going to be a nightmare and I think its likely to be a ghost town at the airport. She wants to be there for a domestic flight 4 hours in advance, and I want to be there no more than 90 minutes in advance. Anyone who can give me some insight and possibly sight some supporting weblinks for reference and support for the likelihood of either extreme would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: How bad is traveling on Christmas Day really going to be?

    In my experience, traveling on Christmas Day is far less of a hassle then traveling say, on Christmas Eve, as many people are already at their destination. However, you just never know. Check the status of your flight before you leave for the airport and try to get there two (2) hours before the flight is scheduled to depart. Merry Christmas!
    GenevieveS
    Editor
    The Independent Traveler

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    • #3
      Re: How bad is traveling on Christmas Day really going to be?

      Not bad at all. I've flown most years on the 25th, in the middle of the day, and found fares to be low, planes half empty, and those poor folks who had to be working in a surprisingly good mood. What's bad is that most everything may be closed on arrival, so depending where you're going, you may need to make sure your hotel has a restaurant and that it is actually open and serves dinner (not just a special festive menu at triple-price...), things of that nature. Memories of stalking all over bitterly cold Padova come to mind, that time on Jan. 1st (another good flying day except for reasons stated), to find one very upscale place only where we wouldn't have normally spent all that much money, but it was the only game in town.
      Happy trails
      O.

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      • #4
        Re: How bad is traveling on Christmas Day really going to be?

        Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day are well known to Airline employees as THE days to travel (space available) as the flights are generally close to empty, even with last minute ticket specials offered by the airlines. The thing to worry about is the airline may cancel about 25% of flights on those days due to low volume of passengers. If you can adjust your holiday celebrations, the best and cheapest times to fly (with less OVERALL hassle) are on these days. Have a great trip.

        Doug
        DABandA
        (ex-airline employee)

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