CHRISTMAS is usually one of the busiest times for travel. Here’s travel site Wego’s pick of terminals that pull out all the stops to celebrate the festive occasion
1. HEATHROW AIRPORT
The UK’s foremost airport in London is spreading Christmas cheer across all terminals with selected restaurants offering free meals for kids, art and craft, and visits from Pingu, The Snowman and Peppa Pig, with Santa and his elves distributing lollies to very well-behaved passengers!
Heathrow has created special boiled sweets called the Boarding Bon Bons with flavours of turkey, sage and onion stuffing that taste surprisingly like a Christmas meal. And there are also sweets that taste of Christmas pudding with hints of brandy butter, raisin and Christmas spices. To celebrate Terminal 2’s first Christmas, a 2D vinyl Christmas tree will glow with interactive lights. Passengers can make the lights flash by Tweeting hashtag #T2Christmas.
2. VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Expect to be serenaded by entertainers embracing the holiday spirit. This year you’ll hear the sounds of the Vancouver Opera, Jennifer Scott Duo, Steinway Young Artists Program, St Andrews School Choir and Clare Brett’s Mrs Claus Musical Christmas Show.
On top of that, you can save your gift wrapping for after your check-in — have them wrapped for free in a number of locations throughout the airport.
3. CHANGI AIRPORT
Named the World’s Best Airport for the fifth time at this year’s Skytrax World Airport Awards, Singapore’s Changi has some rather unique activities, including the interactive multi-sensory show Changi’s Christmas Wonderland that the kids will definitely love. It even snows for some 8 minutes.
Other activities include roving stiltwalkers, puppets, magic shows, storytelling and exquisite decorations. And meet Mickey Mouse and his friends.
Apart from a German-inspired centrepiece, there are also picturesque displays of snowy Swiss chalets at the Terminal 3 transit area, traditional Japanese cottages at the Terminal 2 transit area, a Broadway-styled New York City at the Terminal 1 transit area as well as 5-metre-high Spanish-themed Mickey and Minnie Mouse topiaries at the Terminal 2 public area.
Take a photo of youself and either Mickey or Minnie Mouse plush toys, tag #CHANGIXMAS14 on Instagram, and you may win a whole lot more!
4. HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The airport is taking bling to the next level, featuring a 16-metre-tall Swarovski Christmas tree in Terminal 1. Spanning two levels, both arrival and departure halls, the tree is made up of over a million glittering Swarovski crystals from Austria.
“A Beary White Christmas,” featuring the characters from local illustrator Bigsoil, welcomes travellers in front of a giant Christmas box. Take a selfie with the characters and share it on your social media page with the hashtag #HKIAxmas for the chance to win daily prizes.
There will also be surprise a cappella flash mobs of local arts students performing during pre-boarding times, Candy Crush art pieces are placed in the baggage reclaim hall, magicians from Las Vegas, Taiwan and Hong Kong and for the first time, a state-of-the-art light show in the departure concourse.
5. FRANKFURT AIRPORT
You can expect an authentically European Christmas at one of Germany’s busiest airports, the Frankfurt Airport. From the check-in counters and beyond to the security check, you’ll be surrounded by decorations to create a truly Christmassy atmosphere.
Live music with the singing angels of Engelsgleich and marketplaces which highlight the European festive season complete the Christmas feel. Shops, bars and restaurants will distribute treats and interactive, instant-win Christmas lotteries can be redeemed through the airport’s social media channels.
6. LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
LAX adds its own touches with decorated shuttles and musical performances by school kids and community choirs.
Among the interesting feature is its popular Pets Unstressing Passengers therapy dogs or Pups which will provide a soothing distraction to the hectic pace of an airport. Over the festive season, Pups will be dressed appropriately in their colourful Christmas gear. Cuteness overload!
7. HELSINKI AIRPORT
With Nordic lights twinkling, Finnair’s choir surprised passengers with a flash mob to launch the festive season in mid last month. This far north and on Santa’s home turf, it’s not surprising that Santa here is the most authentic you’re likely to come across. He’ll be sharing chocolate and other treats with passengers throughout December.
Look for the freshly-made mulled wine, cinnamon buns and other seasonal delicacies. In true Christmas style, the airport declined to share more, only that many more surprises would be revealed throughout the month.