Flying Christmas Day? Here’s what’s on the menu for various airlines

Dec 19, 2019

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At Christmas, flights are considerably more expensive. For instance, getting from London to New York can cost over £1,000 unless you find a good deal. So some people opt to fly on Christmas Day itself as it can be cheaper and quieter. However, this means they can spend the majority of the day in the air. To ensure passengers do not miss out completely on the fun, some airlines offer a festive menu on board during the Christmas season. Here’s a breakdown of what some of the major carriers are planning and how to order it.

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Virgin Atlantic

Christmas dinner will be served on board between 24 and 26 December on all flight routes except Delhi, Mumbai, Lagos and Tel Aviv. The menus depend on what class you are flying and there’s no need to pre order in advance but unfortunately they are unable to provide Christmas special meals.

On Tel Aviv and New York routes, Virgin Atlantic are also going to be celebrating Hanukkah from 20 to 22 December with their Jewish customers by giving them a bag of gold guild chocolate coins.

Read more: The ultimate guide to travelling with allergies

Virgin Atlantic Xmas Lunch
(Image Courtesy of Virgin Atlantic)


Upper: Main course will be a roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings and pigs in blankets or artichoke pasta with sage butter and walnuts. For dessert there’ll be Christmas pudding with brandy sauce or millionaire log with raspberry dome chocolate. This will be followed by an afternoon tea of mince pie with mince pie éclair with custard cream and Christmas macaronS with brandy ganache.

Premium and Economy: Main course  will be festive roulade — rolled turkey breast with sage and onion stuffing, sautéed shredded sprouts, cabbage, roasted carrots, potato mash and gravy. The vegetarian option will be sweet potato, spinach and field mushroom Wellington, roasted tomato sauce, parsnip and potato mash and broccoli. Dessert will be a Walkers Christmas biscuit and a mince pie.

British Airways

British Airways will be offering their long-haul passengers a festive menu from 22 to 25 December outbound and 24 and 25 December inbound. The on board Christmas meal will be part of the offering in each class which you can order on the day as you would normally.

First: On offer will be turkey, chestnut stuffing, turkey gravy, roast potatoes, buttered Brussels sprouts, honey-glazed carrots and parsnips. For dessert there’ll be Christmas pudding with vanilla sauce.

Club World: Turkey, honey-glazed carrots and parsnips, Brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, chestnut stuffing, cranberry compote and turkey gravy. Dessert will be mince pies and extra thick double cream.

British Airways Christmas Day
(Image courtesy of British Airways)

World Traveller Plus: Turkey, honey-glazed carrots and parsnips, Brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, cranberry compote and turkey gravy. Dessert will be mince pies with fresh cream.

World Traveller: Same as World Traveller Plus.

Read more: What are the best and worst seats British Airways operate between London and New York


Emirates offer a Christmas menu consisting of the following:

First and Business: On their menu will be roast turkey with apricot stuffing, roast potatoes with creamy Brussels sprouts, turkey bacon and cranberry jus lié. For dessert expect chocolate yule log garnished with meringue drops, chocolate stars and a gingerbread man or chocolate mint dome with snow fondant and festive leaf with crème anglaise.

Economy: There’ll be turkey roll with mashed potato, pan-fried Vienna chicken sausage, green peas, baby carrots and cranberry jus lié. For dessert, milk chocolate mousse with cranberry compote topped with a reindeer chocolate button.

(Photo by Getty Images/Barbara Eddowes)
(Photo by Getty Images/Barbara Eddowes)


Lufthansa will be offering a Christmas teddy bear to all children on board as well as a Lufthansa A380 model made of lego. Adults travelling business class will receive chocolate gifts on flights until 26 December.

Lufthansa are also prepping lounges in Frankfurt and Munich for Christmas. Travellers will be served chestnut soup, roast goose with red cabbage and dumplings, stollen cake, gingerbread and Christmas cookies with mulled wine and hot chocolate. Lufthansa passengers can also try their hand at baking themselves during a live baking show in the first class lounge.

Seasonal menus on board in all classes include traditional roast goose with red cabbage and potato dumplings. Business class dessert will be stollen mousse with plum compote and in first you’ll get warm gingerbread pudding with grapefruit and spekulatius crumble.

Air France

Air France will be offering passengers the following:

Economy and Premium Economy: A chocolate papillote alongside their regular meal.

Business: A “flavours and nature” chocolate.

First/La Premiere: A chocolate “La maison du chocolat” treat.

As well as a festive menu on board, Air France will also offer in their business club lounges at Paris Charles de Gaulle des petits fours, turkey with mushroom and asparagus risotto, French cheese and special breads, a Christmas photo call opportunity and a special gift for children.

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus will be offering some festive-themed limited editions to their on board purchase menu on short-haul flights

On offer is a Christmas feast sandwich and Christmas veggie croque which you can enjoy with a glass of prosecco if you are travelling on Christmas Day.

easyJet and Ryanair

easyJet and Ryanair do not operate flights on Christmas Day and resume on Boxing day without any festive celebrations.

Bottom line 

Travelling on Christmas Day itself is probably not the ideal scenario, but sometimes needs must — whether it be for an emergency or to save money. But all is not lost, these airlines have got into the festive spirit to make your journey as ho-ho-ho as possible.

Featured image by Getty/akinbostanci

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