Three airports, twelve hours of flying, one upgrade (on the longest leg; thank-you, Santa), and a ride on the light rail ride and in a taxi is all it took to get home to Seattle on Christmas Day from Maryland. Planes were full and there were plenty of families with babies and toddlers in tow; no doubt on their way home from grandparents’ houses.
I bet – like me – some of those families turned to NORAD on Christmas Eve to find out when Santa was heading their way. NORAD – the North American Aerospace Defense Command – not only tracked where Santa was, how many presents he had delivered and, according to this AP story, answered more than 111,000 phone calls, the agency also shared Santa-cam videos of the big guy in action.
Airports are gearing up for the holiday season and many are planning to offer entertainment, special events and even some contests and give-aways to passengers.
With Santa’s arrival this past weekend, it seems that Heathrow Airport is already in the swing of things.
Santa handed out iPads to some arriving passengers and will be surprising some other passengers with other gifts – including some fancy watches and Hamley’s teddy bears, over the next three weeks.
The airport is posting clues to the daily surprises on its Facebook page
Heathrow has lots of other surprises in store for travelers throughout December. Free chocolates will be handed out by the airport ‘Journey Team’ from the 10th through the 24th, carolers will be singing and Santa will be listening to Christmas wishes from the 14th through the 23rd. And on Friday, December 21st, when the airport expects the heaviest traffic, elves will be on hand to distribute mince pies – and 100 bottles of perfume.
Not heading to Heathrow this holiday season? There’s an on-line “load the sleigh” game you can play and possibly win some prizes as well.