Emirates holiday menu

Emirates is serving roast turkey and Yule log cakes this holiday season, as part of a special Christmas menu across all cabin classes. Image via Emirates

APEX Insight: From ticket deals to festive menus, airlines are spreading cheer this holiday season.

‘Tis the season of cross-country family visits, holiday trips down south – and longer than usual airport wait times. Carriers are tempering travel woes caused by the upsurge in passenger volume this time of year by surprising passengers with festive cheer.

WestJet gave back to a Canadian community devastated by a wildfire earlier this year by throwing a party in its honor. The carrier’s viral video documents its attempt at spreading joy to Fort McMurray residents, many of whom lost their homes during the disaster.

United Airlines made holiday wishes come true for 5,000 sick children and their families across 11 US cities, by taking them on a Fantasy Flight to the North Pole. The flight, which lasted 40 minutes, gave the children the chance to peek at Santa’s home before meeting him and his elves upon return at the airport.

Taste buds on Emirates flights are being treated to roast turkey and Yule log cakes, as part of a special Christmas menu across all cabin classes. Premium travelers can also enjoy festive bites in first-class lounges before takeoff.

JetBlue offered travelers 12 days of surprise deals to a dozen destinations, in an advent calendar-style daily reveal leading up to December 16. Offers included $20 flights to US destinations and 30 percent off vacation packages. Qantas is making gift giving easy by allowing buyers to earn five Qantas Points per dollar spent on vouchers for friends and family this holiday season.

Airports are also putting out the tinsel to welcome passengers in festive style. Some of the best-decorated airports around the world feature holiday trees, live seasonal music and skating rinks.

Jenn Wint is a Vancouver-based communications enthusiast and writer, passionate about good stories, laughter, world travel and excessive jellybean consumption. She is currently training to hike to Macchu Pichu and tick Peru off her bucket list.