Airlines across the world are getting into the holiday spirit—they're decking the cabins with boughs of holly, and serving up some very festive fare.
Catching a flight on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day may sound like a drag—but many travelers opt in for cheap ticket fares. And, hey, some airlines even offer specialty meals and offerings for those traveling these days.
Here, our five favorite, festive offerings available this year:
Popping Bottles on JetBlue
If you’re traveling with JetBlue during the holiday season, you don’t need to fly on Christmas to get a taste of what they’re serving up. To toast their expanded Mint service, now flying from New York City to Aruba and the Barbados—and the New Year—JetBlue is pouring complimentary glasses of vintage 2007 Cristal from Dec 19 to Jan 4. You don’t need to be a high roller to celebrate the holidays with JetBlue: all passengers can enjoy Snyder’s Sweet and Salty Cinnamon Sugar pretzel pieces From Dec 18 through Christmas, and Terra Sweets & Blues (sweet potato chips mixed in with those iconic blue potatoes) for the entire month of December.
Yule Logs on Etihad Airways
Even this United Arab Emirates-based airline is getting into the holiday spirit, offering travelers in every class festive fare. Economy passengers on certain routes may find “festive” roast chicken with chestnut stuffing, butternut squash, and a side of roast potatoes, green peas, and cranberries, while travelers flying in first can end their multi-course meal with a vanilla crème anglaise and seasonal berry Yule log.
Treats for Children on Emirates
Children flying during the holiday season (December 15 through January 5) can get into spirit early: and continue the celebration well into 2016. A special menu features rolled turkey breast with mashed potatoes, chicken chipolatas, cranberry sauce and seasonal vegetables. Economy dessert includes chocolate and cream cheese cake, while extra-pampered tots can end the night with a traditional Christmas log.
Southwest Serves Holiday Shandy
In traditional Southwest spirit, travelers flying on New Year’s Day will receive a complimentary drink to ring in the New Year. The airline is also bringing in seasonal fare, such as Cranberry Ginger Shandy by Leinenkugel’s and Coffe-Mate hazelnut creamer.
A Traditional English Feast on British Airways
More than 35,000 people are expected to fly with British Airways on Christmas Day alone, with an additional 5,500 taking flight on Christmas Eve. The United Kingdom’s flag carrier is planning a traditional feast for passengers: roast turkey with chestnut or sage and onion stuffing, cranberry compote, Brussels sprouts and carrots, roast potatoes, and mince pies. To be specific, British Airways is serving nearly 300 turkeys, 1,820 mince pies, 12 gallons of gravy and at least 50,000 bottles of champagne—that’s at least one per person. All of this can be enjoyed while watching Christmas classics such as Four Christmases and Elf, or singing along to Frank Sinatra’s The Christmas Collection.
Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.