APEX Insight: Airports around the world are spreading holiday spirit, from drone shows at Changi to ice skating at Denver International Airport.
Whether it’s to escape chilly winter weather or to visit friends and family, many will be taking flight this holiday season. Airlines for America anticipates a 3.5 percent increase in travelers flying globally on US airlines over the holidays this year, compared to last year. Many airports are taking extra passenger volume into account, with plans to delight passengers of all ages from the time they check in. From music and carolers to visits with Santa, time spent in the airport over the next few weeks will be filled with holiday spirit.
Changi Airport kicked off the festive season last month with a drone show. Forty drones lit up the dimmed terminal, like fireflies, forming festive shapes including snowflakes and Christmas trees. Audiences will be wowed by daily drone, light and snow displays until January 5.
Last month, Denver International Airport saw the return of an ice skating rink for the second year. The rink has increased in size and includes a custom skate shop, offering passengers free rentals. Last year, over 8,000 skaters glided across the ice, which is located before security so non-travelers can also enjoy a skate as a sendoff to their loved ones.
Indianapolis International Airport unveiled a specially decorated snowplow last month to welcome passengers. The holiday snowplow, which was painted by art students from McClelland Elementary School, will remain on display until it is called into service to keep runways clear of snow. The airport has also partnered with the Arts Council of Indianapolis as well as several musical artists to showcase local talent and entertain travelers as they make their way through the terminals.
At Sydney Airport in Australia, there are no snowplows in sight but passengers can get their photo taken with Santa and listen to angels singing carols. The airport is also encouraging travelers to share a holiday selfie and raise money for Cure Cancer Australia through its Digital Trees of Hope campaign.
Little ones waiting around Heathrow Airport over the holidays won’t be short of activities, as the airport is offering kids’ craft workshops. Teddy bear and Christmas jumpers are some of the activities will be offered. Adults should keep their eyes peeled for gift wrapping stations and elves with chocolate to share.
The upcoming weeks can be a hectic time to travel, but festive airport atmospheres ease tensions and make lines more bearable. “The holidays are one of the year’s busiest travel times for many people,” says Mario Rodriguez, executive director, Indianapolis Airport Authority. “We want to bring our passengers together and provide a travel experience that brightens their holidays and reminds them of what’s most important.”