Flying during the holidays can be bittersweet. While it’s the season to be jolly and reunite with loved ones, it’s also quite stressful. A survey of more than 2,000 people in the US showed that 43% feel stressed about the holidays.
Then there’s the fact that winter is notorious for flight delays and cancellations. It’s no wonder that travelers are anxious at this time of the year.
So here is something to de-stress you: six airlines celebrating the Christmas season on board.
From ugly sweaters to Mariah Carey, here are our tips on how to enjoy flying during the most wonderful and stressful time of the year.
Alaska Airlines – ‘tis the season to rock ugly sweaters
Christmas is the time to get comfy-cushy. If you’re into ugly sweaters, cheesy Christmas flicks, and cheesy snacks, then Alaska Airlines is perfect for you.
What to wear
First, let’s get into the season by dressing the part. For Christmas 2022, Alaska Airlines has released the perfect merchandise: cozy ugly Christmas sweaters. It’s available in different designs featuring Alaska’s signature colors of green, blue, and white.
The airline suggests picking a bigger size for extra comfort. Even if it doesn’t snow where you are, it’s still great to wear a comfortable sweater on your flight because the temperature drops inside the cabin.
What to watch
If you’ve had it with family and relatives asking, “Why are you still single?” at every Christmas gathering, ‘Single All the Way’ is the perfect Christmas film for you.
The plot is about a guy desperate to avoid the grilling by family members during Christmas about being single. He manages to persuade his best friend Nick to pose as his boyfriend during a trip home for the holidays.
Will they remain BFFs or will the charade go beyond the holidays?
Fresh off Netflix, this rom-com is perfect whether you’re perfectly paired, single or in that ‘occasionally single’ stage.
If you’re really feeling the Christmas sweater vibe, you can also catch ‘Almost Christmas’ on an Alaska Airlines flight this December 2022.
This 2016 film is about a bickering family forced to be under one roof for Christmas. A lot of laughter, tears, and Christmas family drama that’s perfect for the season.
What to snack on
A crunchy, cheesy snack is the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas flick. Get your fingers orange and cheesily good with these plant-based cheese curls called PeaTos, available to purchase on Alaska Airlines flights.
For $2 a pack, you have Santa’s permission to indulge in a few snacks.
Singapore Airlines – ‘tis the season to be shopping!
If you haven’t ticked off everything in your Christmas shopping list yet, don’t worry, Singapore Airlines has got some last minute shopping ideas.
KrisShop, the airline’s onboard shopping inflight shopping retailer, has ongoing promos for Christmas: shoppers can enjoy 15% off (minimum purchases of items required) and earn 2,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles. Their Christmas top picks section also has 60% off markdown prices.
Our gift suggestion: for something unique, pick out something exclusive from Singapore Airlines, like this limited edition poker set.
What to eat
After your in-flight shopping spree, it’s time to indulge yourself. If you are booked on a Singapore Airlines Suites, First Class or Business Class flight beyond 1.5 hours’ flight time, pick an extra special meal before your flight and use the airline’s Book the Cook system.
We suggest being a little indulgent (it’s Christmas, after all!): try the airline’s famed lobster thermidor.
What to watch
For December 2022, Singapore Airlines has a number of holiday classics lined up for its in-flight entertainment program. It’s not as extensive as other airlines, but here’s a slightly new film. ‘Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris’ may not be a Christmas-themed movie, but the plot is quite endearing. It’s about a widowed cleaning lady who falls in love with a couture Christian Dior dress and sets off to Paris on an adventure to fulfil her dream.
Between your in-flight shopping spree, lobster meal, and a film about Dior dresses in Paris, we trust that your Christmas flight will be as dreamy and indulgent as you deserve.
Emirates – ‘tis the season to eat heartily!
If you’re a really big Christmas person, and want to have a flying experience that’s unapologetically, all-out Christmas, you will love this.
Emirates started celebrating Christmas early. For the entire month of December, Emirates is serving a Christmas menu in its Dubai lounges and on board that is festive enough to celebrate the holidays in the air or at the airport.
What to eat
Let’s start with this one because Emirates seems determined to have everyone looking like Santa with their extensive Christmas menu. All we can say is, calories don’t count during Christmas, or at 35,000 feet, so happy holi-glaze!
Here’s what you can expect to indulge in when flying Emirates this month.
For First and Business Class: all the classic Christmas dishes for starters – from lemon and herb marinated king prawns with fennel salad and marie rose sauce, to cured salmon gravlax with mustard crème fraiche.
A full festive main course with all the trimmings for all classes, including Premium Economy and Economy: roasted turkey with cranberry compote, chestnut stuffing, pumpkin with honey and thyme, potato wedges and crunchy brussels sprouts peppered with turkey bacon.
Desserts include a variety of delectable dishes – Christmas pudding with a generous dollop of crème anglaise, festive ginger cake smothered in dark chocolate ganache, or a vibrant red currant chocolate mousse cake in the shape of Santa.
Economy Class passengers will also have a moreish Christmas meal featuring roasted turkey with chestnut roulade, pommes Parisienne, a medley of parsnip, carrots, and green peas, followed by a sumptuous gingerbread cake doused with cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sauce.
Kids will also be given Christmas treats, including a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows served directly to their seat – in all cabin classes.
What to listen to
We found the perfect soundtrack for you to listen to while enjoying Emirates’ Christmas feast:
Imagine digging into that ginger cake smothered in dark chocolate ganache while Frank Sinatra croons, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas”. We all need that kind of festive cheer.
What to watch
Emirates has plenty of Christmas classics on its in-flight entertainment this December, but here’s a relatively new one that stars Mel Gibson, with a title that befits the airline’s sumptuous Christmas menu: ‘Fatman’.
“To save his declining business, Chris Cringle, also known as Santa Claus, is forced into a partnership with the U.S. military. Making matters worse, Chris gets locked into a deadly battle of wits against a highly skilled assassin, hired by a precocious 12-year-old, after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking.” (IMDB)
Sometimes, all you need is a perfectly convoluted plot for a good Christmas flight snooze.
British Airways – ‘tis the season to live long and prosper!
If you’re flying British Airways this December, you’re in extra luck because the airline has just signed a partnership with Paramount+ to preview some of the streamer’s best television series on long-haul international flights.
On December 1, 2022, the airline surprised travelers at its home base in London Heathrow Terminal 5 by dressing up five BA colleagues in unique Star Trek lieutenant uniforms with two transformed into Vulcans by Star Trek’s prosthetics team and dressed in state-of-the-art Vulcan robes.
What to watch
If you’re a Trekkie, you probably won’t need our recommendation of shows to watch on your flight. However, you don’t need to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy what British Airways and Paramount+ has to offer.
BA passengers will be able to watch a curation of exclusive Paramount+ series on the airline’s Highlife entertainment platform, including HALO, The Offer, Queen of the Universe, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, iCarly, and Yellowstone.
What to eat
Those traveling on BA’s business class cabin are in for a treat: the airline recently upgraded its Club World (business) menu, bringing back full-service meals, which was simplified during the pandemic period as an extra precaution.
For its winter 2022 menu, the airline is serving signature hot soups and warm desserts, such as artichoke and parmesan soup with rye croutons and warm apple strudel with vanilla sauce.
BA has yet to release its Christmas menu for 2022, but going by the previous year’s offering, it looks like a classic feast up in the air. 2021’s holiday menu included a 21-day aged British beef, served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, seasonal vegetables, horseradish cream, and gravy.
Delta Air Lines – ‘tis the season to be a diva!
If you’re a big fan of music and flying over the holiday season, you’ll be pleased to know that Delta Air Lines has a curated collection of holiday-themed in-flight entertainment fit for a diva.
The airline’s focus on its in-flight entertainment is more on music (but it has great movies, too), with its own Spotify playlist available on board and off the aircraft too.
What to eat
It’s Christmas all day, everyday for those traveling during the holidays with Delta. Whatever time of day you catch your flight, you’re sure to have a Christmas-themed meal on board.
Here’s what Delta is offering its First Class domestic travelers.
- Warm French Toast Bread Pudding with cherry compote and orange mascarpone.
- Charcuterie and Cheese plate with Brooklyn salami, Cowgirl Creamery Wagon Wheel, Midnight Moon Gouda, grapes, dried fruit and olive oil crackers.
- Chef Mashama Bailey’s Roasted Sweet Potato Tagine with chermoula (Vegan).
- Classic Cheeseburger on a brioche bun with smoked cheddar and Kosher dill pickle.
- Korean Style Poke Bowl with sticky rice, gochujang chicken, shiitake mushrooms, butternut squash, broccoli florets, sesame spinach, shredded carrots and kimchi served with a carrot ginger dressing.
Nashville Spicy Chicken Salad with baby romaine, pickled red cabbage, chopped egg, black eyed peas, tomatoes and buttermilk ranch dressing. Served with sweet potato salad with honey mustard and chopped pecans.
What to watch
For the 2022 holiday season, Delta is featuring the Queen of Christmas herself, Mariah Carey, with an HD concert video of the diva in her 1996 Daydream Tour at the Tokyo Dome.
Enjoy front row seats to Mariah Carey’s performance at the peak of her career in the 90s. And yes, the song list includes ‘All I Want for Christmas’.
What to listen to
Delta and Spotify have teamed up in 2021 to create curated playlists. They added five new playlists for December 2022 with three separate holiday collections including Spotify Singles: Holiday Collection, Christmas Classics, and Happy Holidays Mixtape.
Etihad Airways – ‘tis the season for a grand countdown!
If you’re flying over New Year’s Eve with Etihad this year, you’re in luck.
For the first time, Etihad will be ushering in the New Year on its flights in real style. On December 31,2022, all flights crossing midnight in the sky will join in the countdown and celebrate the new year on board with customized fun props for guests, as well as celebratory giveaways.
Celebratory drinks will be served just before midnight, too.
For those flying over the Christmas period, there’s a classic festive-themed menu to look forward to. From December 23-25, passengers flying to / from the US, UK, Canada, Lebanon, South Korea, the Philippines, the Seychelles, South Africa, Australia, and most destinations across Europe will be served from a special Christmas menu.
The in-flight options include festive favorites such as turkey roulade, chestnut stuffing and chocolate yule log with cherry compote.
What to watch:
Love it or hate it, Love Actually is a mandatory holiday movie if you want to feel loved up. If you’ve already seen it a dozen times, watching it 35,000 above ground will give it that extra special feel.
If you’ve managed to avoid the 2003 film all this time, watching it with all the in-flight festivities and drinks might help you to actually love Love Actually.