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Book Flights for Christmas

Buy flights over Christmas

Looking to book flights for the Christmas period? This guide provides information on getting the best deal for Christmas flights, with tips for travelling over the festive period.

Flights for the Christmas holidays

Whether you are looking to buy domestic flights to fly back home to spend Christmas with family, get away for an exotic vacation away from the stress of the holiday season, or looking for some extra festivities by visiting an alternative Christmas market, Alternative Airlines has the right flights for you.

Christmas flights are not just those which fly on Christmas Day (25th December). They can be flights departing anytime over the Christmas period, generally, the two weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year. In 2024, this period will fall from Wednesday 18th December to Wednesday 1st January.

Booking flights for Christmas

When is the best time to fly over Christmas?

For cheap Christmas flights

There is an urban myth that means people often believe Christmas Day is the cheapest day to fly over Christmas, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, Christmas Day is often the most expensive day for flying, depending on where you are travelling. If possible, try to avoid the busiest peak travel dates, from 24th to 28th December for cheaper flights. We suggest using Alternative Airlines’ best fare finder to find the cheapest day and time to fly within a week’s period.

Tip: check out our cheap flights in December page for more tips on how to find cheap flights during the month.

For quieter Christmas flights

If you want to avoid the busiest flights over the Christmas period, the 17th of the month is said to be the quietest day for travel. The Saturday directly before Christmas is said to be the busiest day for travel, so make sure you avoid this date if you are looking to avoid hectic airports. In 2024 this date will fall on Saturday 21st December.

An open suitcase with clothes inside

When's the best time to buy Christmas flights for 2024?

Based on previous years, the first week of November is considered the cheapest time to book Christmas flights. Therefore, the week commencing the 1st November to the 10th November 2024. Make sure you read our blog on the cheapest day to buy flights to find out more top tips about getting the best deal for your Christmas flights with Alternative Airlines. Why not make the most of Black Friday this year and buy a flight for Christmas with Alternative Airlines’ Black Friday or Cyber Monday Deals, or take a look at our offers page?

Top Tip: Why not make use of our calendar to find the cheapest day to fly during the festive period?

Santa hat with a passport and a model aircraft

Flying on Christmas Eve

If you're planning to fly on Christmas Eve, it's worth noting that this will be one of the busiest days of travel within the Christmas period. This is because many people are travelling to be with family or friends for the holiday celebrations. It's highly recommended that you book your flights for Christmas in advance and arrive at the airport early enough to avoid potential crowds that could potentially delay your travel plans.

Always check the status of your flight, pack light and remember to be patient if you're flying on Christmas Eve. Careful planning can go a long way in making sure you have a stress-free travel experience this Christmas.

Tips for travelling over the Christmas period

Christmas markets in Trier, Germany

Arrive early at the airport

Make sure you get to the airport in plenty of time. Roads and other methods of transport are often busier during the holiday season, meaning you should allow yourself more time to get to the airport so that you can check-in and pass through security with plenty of time.

Tips for travelling over the Christmas period

Christmas in Milan

Travel stress-free

Travelling during the Christmas period can be stressful. Ensure you have fully prepared for your flight to minimise stress when travelling. Alternatively, passengers with anxiety or other psychological disorders can travel with an Emotional Support Animal to reduce stress when flying.

Tips for travelling over the Christmas period

Christmas presents

Pack gifts carefully

Travelling with presents? Presents which are already wrapped are best kept in your hold luggage. This is because items in your hand luggage may need to be inspected at security, so gifts may need to be unwrapped to be inspected. Delicate items are best kept unwrapped in your hand luggage and then wrapped up when you get to your destination.


Top destinations for Christmas

New York

There’s a reason this magical city is often featured as a filming location in Christmas films. Fly here with JetBlue Airways or American Airlines.


Fancy visiting a traditional Christmas market this December? Airlines that fly to Berlin include Eurowings or Germania.

Alternative Christmas Markets

Prefer Christmas markets which are unique or away from heaps of tourists? Read our blog on weird and wonderful Christmas Markets around the world, complete with airlines to get you there.


Experience a different Christmas with a BBQ on Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach. Fly there with Jetstar Airways or Qantas.


Escape here for some winter sun, where December temperatures average a comfortable mid-to-high 20°Cs. Find flights here with flydubai or Emirates.


For a cheaper alternative European destination to enjoy the ski season and mountain views. Fly to Slovakia with Ryanair.

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When is the best time to buy Christmas flights?

For the most affordable Christmas flights, aim to book between November 1st and November 10th, based on past trends. Check out our blog for additional tips, including the cheapest day to book flights. We also recommend exploring our Black Friday flight discounts or visit our offers page for extra savings. You can also use our Best Fare Finder calendar to help you pinpoint the cheapest day to fly during the festive season.

Are airports busy on Christmas Day?

Generally, airports will be less busy on Christmas Day compared to other days of the year. This is because many people prefer to spend Christmas at home with their families, resulting in an overall decrease in air travel on this particular day. While Christmas Day is typically quieter in airports, we recommend checking with the airline you're flying with or the airport you're flying to/from for more updated information.

When do Christmas flights go on sale?

Different airlines have different times that they put their tickets on sale. Generally, these go on sale around a year before departure, meaning you can book in advance to get better deals.

Are Christmas flights expensive?

Christmas flights can work out quite expensive because there is so much demand for them. Using Alternative Airlines can help get you the best deal with out Best Fare Finder and offers and vouchers including our Black Friday Offers.

Can I fly with gifts?

Christmas gifts are usually best transported in checked luggage, or unwrapped in hand luggage in gift bags. See above for more information on our tips for flying over the Christmas period.

Can I pack party poppers or crackers in my luggage?

Party poppers are not permitted on any airlines in wither hold or hand luggage. Christmas crackers which are purchased from a store may be permitted on some airlines, but airlines operate different rules as to where they can be stored, and how many you can take. It’s best to check with the airline before flying to avoid having to bin them. You should also check the rules of the airports you are travelling through, because most UK airports won’t allow them in hand luggage in security, regardless of the rules of the airline. Similar rules apply in the US, where they aren’t permitted in either checked or hand luggage.

Can I take snow globes in my hand luggage?

Unless snow globes display the measurement marking on the container, they will not be permitted through security as hand luggage as the liquid can not be proved to be under 100ml. Therefore, it is best to pack this safely in your checked luggage.

Can I take a frozen turkey or ham on a flight?

Although the rule is that you should check with the airline you are flying with, and check the rules surrounding transporting goods of the countries you are departing and arriving at, you usually are permitted these. It is recommended that you properly pack this according to the regulations, for example, some airlines only permit a certain amount of dry ice, and freezer blocks must still be frozen and not liquid at the time of travelling. Also bear in mind any stopovers you may have which may increase the length of your flight - the turkey may have to sit in hot temperatures for a long time during a stopover. Read more about what foods you can fly with here.

Is there a good time to buy flights for Christmas?

The best time to buy flights is usually around 6 weeks before you go. For Christmas flights, the best time to book is usually the first week in November. Read above for more information on getting the best deals for your Christmas flights.

Where are the best destinations for skiing?

Looking to do some skiing over your Christmas break? Take a look at our blog, the best resorts for skiing, for lots of inspiration and top tips.

Can I book flights on Boxing Day?

Yes, you can book flights on Boxing Day and you can also book flights that depart/arrive on Boxing Day. Use our search form at the top of the page to start searching for Boxing Day flights.