24 December 2018

Sky high Christmas Eve

On 24 December, nearly all passengers flying with TUIfly travel to the Canaries.

Security checks, terminals full of hurrying passengers and the general rush of the pre-Christmas season – it’s all behind the passengers now. On Christmas Eve, the skies offer unlimited freedom – and more. “All our passengers are usually relaxed, joyfully spreading Christmas cheer,” says Mihaela Marschall, TUIfly Cabin Division Manager Frankfurt. “Our Christmas Eve services are really something special, because all passengers and crews are looking forward to Christmas. You can clearly feel the Christmas spirit.”

On 24 December, the airline operates around 30 flights for more than 4,000 passengers. Almost all of them travel to the Canaries. For TUIfly, too, Christmas Eve offers a little breathing space. “Of course, the festive season generally is a strong travel season, but on Christmas Eve itself, passenger numbers are relatively small,” says Mihaela Marschall. Unlike what many people may think, Christmas is not the world’s biggest air travel event – the biggest such events are Thanksgiving in the US and the Chinese New Year.

During the festive season, flight operations are largely business as usual. “We do not change our workflows”, emphasises Mihaela Marschall. Around 200 TUIfly staff are on duty on 24 December – apart from ground staff, they include flight dispatchers at TUI’s Group Operation Centre (GOC), technicians and crew planners. Some crew also share and spread their Christmas spirit: “Flight attendants wear Christmas pins on their jackets from as early as the first weekend in Advent,” says Marschall. “Many of them take crew photos with Christmas hats in front of the plane or at the hotel.” Special Christmas menus are available for the crew on board – and if they have to stay over at a hotel on Christmas Eve, they will have another Christmas meal. Moreover, the relative breathing space is quite short. “As early as Christmas Day, we return to our usual busy flight schedule,” says Marschall.