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Airlines reveal the busiest day to fly this Christmas

Sarah Pollok,
Publish Date
Mon, 11 Dec 2023, 9:47pm

Airlines reveal the busiest day to fly this Christmas

Sarah Pollok,
Publish Date
Mon, 11 Dec 2023, 9:47pm

As one may expect, the days close to Christmas are the busiest for major airlines, as people finish work and attempt to get around the country, or world, for Christmas.

A Jetstar spokesperson said December 23 is expected to be the busiest for the airline. Around 5000 people are booked to fly on the domestic and Trans-Tasman network on this day.

More than 180,000 people are booked to fly Jetstar over the Christmas and New Year period. As for where they are going, Auckland to Christchurch is currently the most popular domestic route, while Auckland to Gold Coast is the most popular trans-Tasman journey.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand expects more than 30,000 customers to take flight on Christmas Day but its busiest day across domestic and international routes will be Friday, December 22.

Almost 50,000 people will fly with Air New Zealand on December 22, likely in an effort to reach their destination well before Christmas Eve celebrations kick off.

In 2022, Auckland Airport’s busiest day for domestic departures and arrivals was also the Friday before Christmas, December 23.

However, the airport had the highest number of international arrivals and departures on Sunday, January 8. This could have been caused by people returning home after visiting New Zealand for the holidays or jetting off on a holiday abroad after celebrating Christmas and New Year with family.

If you have an airline ticket for one of these busy days, there is little you can do to minimise the crowds. However, there are steps you can take to move through airport queues quickly.

Advice for flying during busy Christmas periods

  • Consider checking in to your flight online to avoid queues at the check-in desk
  • Pre-booking a car park at the airport as these can become full
  • Allow yourself more time to drive to the airport as traffic can cause delays
  • Plan to arrive earlier than usual in case of long queues at check-in and security
  • Remind yourself what items can be taken in carry-on and luggage, and ensure bags are correctly packed
  • Pack any important gifts or items in a carry-on bag in case of lost luggage

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