03/12/2010 Travellers can eat, drink and be merry onboard flights to Lapland and other festive destinations this Christmas Day.
“While travelling Christmas Day has advantages such as beating the holiday crowds, and enjoying lower fares, it can also mean missing out on the festive fun, unless you’re on the right flight,” says Nadine Hallak, travel expert for Cheapflights.co.uk.
“Some airlines really get into the Christmas spirit, providing carol singing, festive menus, and even a special cocktail hour,” continues Hallak.
Read on for the world’s top five airlines for festive fun, some of which include celebrity appearances.
Monarch’s star-studded extravaganza
Monarch’s flights to Lapland operate on behalf of tour operators such as sister company Cosmos Holidays. The celebrations here go beyond Christmas cheer, combining the event with charity work to benefit organisations like When You Wish Upon A Star, which specialises in providing uplifting experiences for children diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses.
The ‘celebrations’ comprise children being accompanied onboard flights by celebrities. Events from recent years have featured X-Factor finalists Eton Road, as well as Fiz and Liz Battersby from Coronation Street, Saracen from Gladiators, the Disney Princesses, Captain Jack Sparrow, and even the mascots from Manchester United and Manchester City United to give the kids a starry send off.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Once on-board the flight, a member of Monarch’s cabin crew adopts the role of on-board entertainer, dressing up in a Christmas elf outfit and keeping the kids amused during the 4hr flight to Lapland. Additional in-flight entertainment includes Christmas music and a festive film.
Cocktail hour on-board American Airlines
From 1st December, customers on-board select flights with American Airlines, American Eagle, and American Connection are treated to 5@5 Happy Hour featuring cocktails, wine and beer at the discounted price of US$5.
“As we wrap up the year, we want to show our customers that we appreciate their business. Offering an in-flight happy hour is our small way of saying thank you,” said Rob Friedman, American’s Vice President – Marketing.
“We know travellers have many options for air travel and the 5@5 happy hour enhances the travel experience for our customers while adding an element of fun onboard during the holiday travel season.”
Thomson Airways, the airline for Thomson and First Choice
Festivities are carried out throughout the entire month of December for all flights to Lapland with cabin crew quite literally transforming into, and referring to each other as, Santa’s Little Helpers, donning festive hats, making festive announcements, and serving festive feasts.
Carol singing is conducted on-board with carol sheets passed to customers so they can participate too. In true elf-like style, Santa’s Little Helpers gift Lapland fun packs to children and offer a colouring competition with prizes delivered on the outbound flight.
Passengers can also enjoy the film Nativity on inbound flights.
Lufthansa’s flights of fantasy
Serving as the flagship carrier for a country whose Christmas markets are world famous, it should come as no surprise that Lufthansa makes a big deal out of Christmas serving festive menus featuring traditional German holiday meals such as roast goose with red cabbage and special gingerbread for Business Class travellers. All aircrafts are also decorated with wreaths and other Christmas items.
Yuletide fable on Iceland Express
Iceland Express decorates its cabins with pictures and descriptions of their Icelandic ‘Santas’ to tell the tale of their traditional Yuletide fable. The 13 cheeky chaps and their ugly ogre parents are known throughout Iceland for their mischievous antics at Christmas and it is believed that the ‘Yule Lads’, known locally as Jolasveinar, visit families over the festive season to wreak minor havoc during the Christmas preparations.
Passengers can also enjoy a traditional Icelandic meal of flat bread with smoked lamb and a Christmas platter which includes wheat bread, salat, pork steak, homemade red cabbage, mustard, parsley, peppers, Christmas cookie assortments and sizzling hot chocolate.