Flying on Christmas Day? Here's what the airlines will be doing for you

Australian airlines will be showing some goodwill to their passengers this Christmas, but don't for a minute think they will be as generous as over-the-top Canadian airline WestJet.

Recently, passengers waiting for flights from Hamilton and Toronto to Calgary were asked by a virtual Santa what they wanted for Christmas. Most of their wishes came true when they landed in Calgary and their requested gifts came out on the luggage carousel.

There were flat-panel television sets and tablets, but pity the guy who asked for socks and undies.

Video of the pre-Christmas stunt has gone viral and has already been seen more than 32 million times, far surpassing the airline's goal of 200,000 views on YouTube.

The Aussie airlines aren't handing out the big-ticket items like WestJet, but they are talking turkey.

Virgin Australia is serving a special Christmas lunch and dinner of roast turkey with chestnut stuffing, cranberry jus, herb roasted potatoes, green beans and roast pumpkin.

The turkey treat is for all business-class passengers, as well as any passenger travelling on the transcontinental route or internationally.

Until December 26, the airline's lounges have roast turkey and stuffing sandwiches, with cranberry sauce, caramelised onions and rocket, along with Christmas biscuits and mince pies.

Jetstar says a lot of families travel in the lead-up to Christmas. "Because of this we will have extra team members on hand in our major Australian airports to entertain the kids and to offer some small gifts to wish our customers a happy holiday," a spokesman said.


On Christmas Day, economy passengers will have the option of Christmas turkey and shortbread for dessert and a small confectionary will be handed out.

Qantas is diving into its Santa sack to give an in-flight chocolate gift to all of its passenger flying internationally and domestically on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Business-class passengers on some domestic flights will also receive fruit mince tarts until New Year's Eve.

Low-cost airline Tiger Airways is also getting into the Christmas spirit, but there will be no hand-outs or special turkey dishes for its budget-conscious passengers.

"There will be Christmas-themed decorations at the check-in areas and our staff will wear Santa hats on the big day to add some festive cheer," a spokesman said.

Low-cost bedfellow AirAsiaX has roast chicken as a December menu special, but has also treated itself to a Christmas gift by ordering 25 more A330-300 aircraft, a $US6 billion order, and flagging a return to European destinations.

Garuda will be giving Christmas Day passengers departing Australia a gift of specially wrapped mince pies or chocolate treats.

Pak Uun, the regional vice president of Garuda, said: "Christmas Day is probably not the preferred day to fly for our Australian passengers, so we try to lift the Christmas spirit by giving each passenger a little treat."

Singapore Airlines is decorating its planes with mistletoe, and turkey is an option for all passengers on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Air New Zealand's Sydney lounge takes on a festive theme from Monday with Christmas trees and the airline will be serving turkey with stuffing, mince pies, New Zealand pavlova and plum pudding with custard.

Some social media fans of Air New Zealand are also in for a Christmas surprise.

The airline has identified 12 "fans" and is giving them flight upgrades, lounge access and goodie bags.