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Old 01-31-2005, 09:04 PM   #1
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How busy are airports on Christmas Eve?

We're going to WDW on December 17. I'm debating between flying home on December 24 or December 26. I don't want to come home on Christmas Day; it doesn't seem right to travel on Christmas. I'm not sure how busy Christmas Eve is at airports, but it just seems to me like it'd be pretty bad. We don't want to deal with flight delays. We'd rather stay 2 extra days (that wouldn't be too hard to take!) and come home on December 26. Has anyone traveled Christmas Eve? Should we avoid it? Is Dec. 26 any better?

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Old 01-31-2005, 10:41 PM   #2
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never have travelled on Christmas eve, but did on 12/26/04---it was a madhouse...almost missed the plane...never again..good luck
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Old 01-31-2005, 11:35 PM   #3
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It depends on what day of the week it is. If it's on Saturday or Sunday it probably will not be too bad, if it is midweek it will be a zoo. Most people don't work on Xmas Eve, so they often leave the night before, after work. However, they usually won't do that if Xmas falls in the middle of the week, like Wed-Thurs.

Xmas Day is usually very quiet unless there has been a major weather delay. I've gotten upgraded to FC twice when flying on Xmas Day.
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Old 01-31-2005, 11:46 PM   #4
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our experience

My son and I were at WDW in December 2003. We flew home on Christmas Eve night. The Orlando airport was absolutely DEAD!!! There was no one in line for security. In fact, we chatted with the woman doing the security checks about how deserted the airport was. She told us how the day before the airport was insane with sooo many travellers. She also told us about a woman who was arrested the day before for trying to run over a police officer AFTER she spit at him. I guess she decided that the drop off for the ticket counters was long term parking and she didn't like the police officers asking her to leave. Some people think rules are for everyone except them. I don't know if the day of the week matters, but in 2003 Christmas Eve was on a Wednesday. After our experience, I would have no qualms about flying on Christmas Eve.
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Old 02-01-2005, 07:26 AM   #5
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Flew out of Dulles on the 24th in 2004 and it was a MADHOUSE! At 6:30 a.m. curbside checkin lines were 30+ minutes and inside lines were worse! That was a Friday and that may have contributed. In general I'd guess the 24th to be busier as people have different schedules for when they have to be back home, but almost everyone wants to be somewhere BY Christmas!
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Old 02-01-2005, 12:09 PM   #6
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We flew out of LGA (NY) on 12/24/04 mid afternoon.......NO ONE THERE !!!! We couldn't believe it !! No line at line at line anywhere!! Driver said he had just come from EWR (NJ) ........which was a mad-house. He was very surprised as well.
Even upon arriving at MCO........I don't remember thinking it was heavily crowded there either.

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Old 02-01-2005, 12:46 PM   #7
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skiingwife, those are our dates also, 12/17- 12/24. Our flight on Xmas eve leaves out at 7:10 pm. I'm hoping by that time it will not be that crowded.

I did not want to fly back on the 26th because DH has to leave on the 19th (can't get off work the week before Xmas , it's not like he works retail or anything), so I really don't want to spend Xmas without him.

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Old 02-01-2005, 01:31 PM   #8
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Stick with midafternoon/evening flights Xmas Eve. The morning of Christmas Eve is pretty crazy and the day after can be much worse.

I would imagine, with Orlando being such a major tourist destination, you would see many more people flying IN to MCO on Christmas Eve as opposed to OUT.

Hope this helps!
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