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Old Oct 28, 11, 8:06 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Question about flying on Christmas day

I have never flown on Christmas day. This year is a first. My wife and I are flying on Delta: SFO-CVG-GSP (the 12:00PM flight SFO-CVG)

My questions:

1. I am not sure what to expect....Are the airports jammed because its Christmas? Or are the airports empty because its Christmas? Is SFO Delta terminal a nightmare?

2. I am assuming SFO-CVG will be an easy upgrade if we are both GM...?
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Old Oct 28, 11, 8:09 am   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winkdaddy View Post
I have never flown on Christmas day. This year is a first. My wife and I are flying on Delta: SFO-CVG-GSP (the 12:00PM flight SFO-CVG)

My questions:

1. I am not sure what to expect....Are the airports jammed because its Christmas? Or are the airports empty because its Christmas? Is SFO Delta terminal a nightmare?

2. I am assuming SFO-CVG will be an easy upgrade if we are both GM...?
I've found the airports to be quite busy on Christmas Day (same with Thanksgiving Day). Not crazy like the days before and after the holiday but people still need to get where they are going.

I will say, on Christmas Day, everybody justs seem to be in a better mood.
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Old Oct 28, 11, 8:13 am   #3
 
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Originally Posted by AndyTLe View Post
I will say, on Christmas Day, everybody justs seem to be in a better mood.
...and the FA's all dress like elves

MO
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Old Oct 28, 11, 8:15 am   #4
 
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Perhaps early in the morning is busier, but I've flown out on Christmas night now for years and always found that the airports are pretty empty. When I was on UA, I can remember the RCC being almost completely empty, and always appreciated hearing CH 9 and ATC and the captains wishing each other Merry Christmas.

On DL, I've found upgrades always cleared at most levels, and there is a good spirit about people.
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Old Oct 28, 11, 9:18 am   #5
 
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Christmas day(at least on the US side) in Clt very busy.
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Old Oct 28, 11, 9:21 am   #6
 
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Airports are only as busy as the number of flights flying. Airlines cut back on flights Christmas, so it will be less busy, in the terminal. but, the plane will be full so not-so-much there.

I often think we confuse busy with inexperienced. There are not that many extra flights the day before Thanksgiving--if any at all--but it can appear busier because those flying are inexperienced. Lines are slower, it takes longer for agents to explain things etc.
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Old Oct 28, 11, 9:48 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvnwz View Post
Airports are only as busy as the number of flights flying. Airlines cut back on flights Christmas, so it will be less busy, in the terminal. but, the plane will be full so not-so-much there.

I often think we confuse busy with inexperienced. There are not that many extra flights the day before Thanksgiving--if any at all--but it can appear busier because those flying are inexperienced. Lines are slower, it takes longer for agents to explain things etc.
+1

and crowds at the airport are larger because there are more meet and greeters

one advantage of traveling on any holiday is traffic away from the airports tends to be lighter

Bob H
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Old Oct 28, 11, 9:55 am   #8
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I've always found both the airports and airplanes to be sparse. If flying on Christmas Day, I usually bring the FA's a SBUX card or something as a present.

Mike
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Old Oct 28, 11, 9:59 am   #9
 
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Depends where you're flying. We did LGA-FLL on Christmas Day last year and it was an absolute zoo at the gate. Every flight was overbooked and they were offering a mere $400 to go two days later... obviously no takers and they IDBed passengers. No upgrades were given out to anyone, the GA just moved overbooked coach passengers into first. (I know this because the guy next to me offered for me to switch seats with his wife in first class who had been randomly assigned there.) Was not a very pleasant experience.
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Old Oct 28, 11, 10:08 am   #10
 
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Christmas Day travel -> "It depends" like others have said.

The airlines pull-down their schedule for a lot of late night Christmas eve and Christmas morning flights in certain destinations, traditional business destinations and small markets.

On the other hand, demand to leisure destinations on Christmas day is typically quite strong.

Christmas morning is typically busier than one might think for two reasons:
1) People who couldn't fly out earlier since they have to work Christmas eve (retail industry)
2) Bargain-hunters, typically much cheaper than the days prior
3) Leisure / vacation trips (e.g. NYC - Florida, Ski markets, etc.)

That said, it usually drops off by midday.

I would think that GM's on SFO-CVG should get upgraded quite easily on Christmas day. The DM road warriors are all comfortably at home opening their presents under the tree, enjoying their time off after a long year of slogging around the world.
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Old Oct 28, 11, 10:14 am   #11
 
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My experience has been emptier airports, but more kids/families. Upgrades are usually not a problem. I go out of my way to wish the DL folks a Merry Christmas.
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Old Oct 28, 11, 11:16 am   #12
 
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Wife and I flew on Christmas Day a few years ago, flying out of ORD early evening. The airport was more like a tomb than a zoo. No waiting at all in the security line but as others have said, maybe it is a hit-or-miss thing.
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Old Oct 28, 11, 11:18 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DTWflyer View Post
Christmas morning is typically busier than one might think for two reasons:
1) People who couldn't fly out earlier since they have to work Christmas eve (retail industry)
2) Bargain-hunters, typically much cheaper than the days prior
3) Leisure / vacation trips (e.g. NYC - Florida, Ski markets, etc.)
4) Those with family in two places. We did Christmas Eve with wife's family in NY and caught a morning flight Christmas day for FL to see my family for Christmas dinner. Besides the hassle at the airport, it worked out nicely.
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Old Oct 28, 11, 11:43 am   #14
 
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Last year, all flights at Christmas were a mess because of the weather. Delta was preemptively canceling flights left and right, so the airports got really ugly at times.

Normally, for a 12pm flight on Christmas day, the airport is bound to look about the same as any other day. However, as folks have stated, the amount of flights is actually less than normal, but the travellers tend to be more inexperienced. The nice part is that when you arrive at your destination at night, the airport will be dead. So, you'll be able to grab you bags and get out of the airport quickly.
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Old Oct 28, 11, 12:06 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefkays View Post
Last year, all flights at Christmas were a mess because of the weather. Delta was preemptively canceling flights left and right, so the airports got really ugly at times.

Normally, for a 12pm flight on Christmas day, the airport is bound to look about the same as any other day. However, as folks have stated, the amount of flights is actually less than normal, but the travellers tend to be more inexperienced. The nice part is that when you arrive at your destination at night, the airport will be dead. So, you'll be able to grab you bags and get out of the airport quickly.
One winter I flew on the 22nd Dec. to my home for Xmas . Think you'd be safe, right? WRONG. Our Pinnacle flight crew got sick or wasn't available that evening stranding us all in MSP overnight. The next day (23rd) weather hit and flights were cancelled left and right. The 24th flights all booked solid - managed to snag last flight out on XMAS Eve because I threatened a trip in vain.

So be aware that you could be stranded for quite some time due to overbookings/capacity reductions/weather/crew sicks or shortages.
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Last edited by hazelrah; Oct 28, 11 at 12:16 pm.
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