BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Nov 29, 2016) - 'Tis the season when holiday sparkle and festive flair are everywhere. And, increasingly, airports are getting in on the celebration, dressing up in their seasonal best to bring festive cheer to travelers passing through.
This December, if you have time to spare after check-in or between flights, check out the special holiday events amid all the glitter and glow. There are sky-high Christmas trees, garlands galore, giant wreaths and thousands of twinkling lights. Some airports really go the distance, with live entertainment, amusement park rides, gingerbread houses, and guest appearances by Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. To usher in the holiday season, the travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, have rounded up their picks for 10 best decked airports.
Here are five of the most festive airports for a holiday stopover:
- Zurich Airport, Zurich, Switzerland - Zurich Airport is aglow for the holidays, literally. The airport is decked with 500,000 lights inside and outside. The Airport Center on the landside is draped with huge chandeliers and chains of lights. Post-security, there is a 26-foot tree decked with Swarovski ornaments and festive sleighs, which is the perfect place for selfies. Near the gates, there is another Christmas tree decorated by Tiffany & Co. Swarovski, Fogal and Lindt offer their products in specially-built and festively decorated pop-up stores. Holiday events include an Advent Brunch, fondue, raclette and wine tasting at airport restaurants. Children can decorate gingerbread and bake cookies in the Airport Bakery, and Santa Claus is making visits too. Passengers can enter to win prizes like shopping vouchers and a European flight with Germania. The grand prize, a pair of long-haul tickets in SWISS Business Class, will be drawn on December 24. All passengers get free chocolate every weekend in December.
- Washington Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C. - The season is in full swing at Washington-Dulles International Airport. Arriving passengers are greeted by holiday trees decorated by local school children, while wreaths and garland dot the whole airport. Anyone taking the Aerotrain Station can admire over-sized holiday ornaments and decorations. Look out for Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be greeting passengers throughout the season. Holiday music lovers are in luck too as the airport takes "deck the halls" to the next level with carolers, classical music performances and high school bands, while shoppers who indulge in holiday shopping get a battery pack/charger as a gift with the purchase of $100 or more.
- Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong - Hong Kong International Airport continues its tradition of decking the halls with holiday cheer. This year, neon Christmas decorations include a 26-foot-tall Ferris wheel with an interactive game, where passengers can take photos of the Ferris wheel, decorate it with digital stickers and download the photo or post it to an LED wall. Christmas caroling, a cappella performances, magic shows and meet-and-greets with Santa Claus round out the festivities.
- Toronto International Airport, Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Toronto Pearson International Airport becomes a winter wonderland during the holidays. There is a 27-foot tree in the check-in area of Terminal 1, an 80-foot tree in the check-in area in Terminal 3 and an 18-foot tree in the T1 domestic baggage hall. The airport is also decorated with wreaths and smaller trees. The Toronto airport hosts a retail and restaurant decorating contest, which ratchets up the holiday flair. Travelers are also in for some yet-to-be-announced holiday surprises and fun retail promotions.
- Heathrow Airport, London, England - At Heathrow Airport in London, passengers are treated to performances by a string quartet and carolers. Don't miss Santa Claus handing out chocolates. Children can participate in workshops to make Christmas candles and tree decorations, and can eat for free at Heathrow's restaurants during the holiday season. Travelers departing through Heathrow and shopping along the way can receive complimentary gift-wrapping. Emotional reunions are aplenty in the arrivals area, so it's no wonder parts of the holiday film "Love Actually" were filmed here.
All of the airports in the list are decked out top to bottom, but some throw fun and games into the mix as well. Pikachu and other Pokemon characters make appearances at a gingerbread house in Changi International Airport in Shanghai; snap happy travelers can take holiday photo vignettes in Vancouver International Airport; those passing through Denver International Airport can enjoy an outdoor holiday market and skating rink; passengers can glide along an artificial ice rink when stopping through Dusseldorf Airport; and Orlando International Airport goes big on Christmas with one of the tallest, most instagrammable trees travelers will encounter. For the entire list, visit Cheapflights.com's Festive flying: 10 best decked airports at www.cheapflights.com/news/best-holiday-decorated-airports.
About Cheapflights.com, part of the Momondo Group
Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform. It is now a market leader in the UK, U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating over $3 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. More than 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter receive the best deals from over 120 travel businesses -- for whom it has driven more than $65 million in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.
In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.
Follow us on: