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Passengers urged not to cut it fine this Christmas
Bristol International is preparing for a busy week in the run up to Christmas, with up to 100,000 passengers expected to pass through the airport’s terminal over the next seven days (18-24 December). A comprehensive flight schedule and strong load factors mean that passenger volumes are forecast to be higher than those recorded last Christmas. And disruption at other airports as a result of strike action by British Airways staff could result in a surge of last-minute bookings with Bristol-based carriers such as Continental Airlines, Air France, KLM and Brussels Airlines (British Airways does not operate services from Bristol International so the flight schedule from the airport will be unaffected). Popular destinations include New York, with only a few seats remaining on Continental Airlines’ flights over the festive season. Winter sun is also in demand, with a range of operators offering getaways to the Canary Islands, Egypt and The Gambia. For winter sports lovers, a wide range of packages are available from ski specialists such as Inghams, as well as flight-only options with easyJet and Ryanair. But it is not all one-way traffic. Bristol International is also expecting an influx of visitors from overseas during the festive season, with many travellers returning home or visiting friends and family in the region. As a result of the busy schedule, passengers are advised to ensure they allow enough time to check in and clear security. Passengers flying with Air France, KLM, Air Southwest, OLT and Aurigny are encouraged to use self-service kiosks in the check-in hall to bypass queues, while Ryanair and easyJet passengers travelling with hand luggage only can check-in online and go straight to security. However, those using self-service or online check-in are reminded to allow reasonable time to clear security before their flight is called, with all passengers advised to be in the departure lounge at least 45 minutes before the scheduled time of departure. Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol International Airport, said:
“We advise passengers travelling with scheduled airlines to arrive at least 90 minutes ahead of their departure time – and three hours ahead if travelling on a charter flight. “The terminal team will be working hard to ensure queues are kept to a minimum, but anyone leaving it late to check-in or clear security could run the risk of missing their flight.” To provide a festive soundtrack for passengers checking in before flying away on Christmas breaks, Congresbury Brass Band will be performing carols in the check-in hall on Saturday, 19 December. Christmas menus are currently available at the airport’s restaurants and cafés, and passengers can take advantage of a range of promotional offers in the tax and duty free store to do some last minute shopping for presents. Work will continue on the construction of a new walkway to link aircraft stands to the terminal building, as well as the creation of a state-of-the-art ‘walk-through’ tax and duty free store. However, all shops, bars and restaurants in the terminal remain open for business as usual. A limited flight schedule will operate on Christmas Day itself, with arrivals from and departures to Paris, Amsterdam and Tenerife.
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