Gatwick Airport Expects 30 December ‘Busiest Day for Departures’

A British Airways flight taxis at London Gatwick Airport
Photo Credit: Gatwick Airport

LONDON – Gatwick’s busiest day for departures over the festive period is expected to be Friday 30 December, closely followed by Friday 23 December.

Passengers flying out of Gatwick Airport this Christmas favour a mixture of city breaks and winter sun, with Geneva and Dubai among the most popular destinations.

Famed for the beauty of Lake Geneva and its proximity to some of Europe’s top ski resorts, the Swiss city of Geneva is proving the most popular spot for a Christmas getaway from Gatwick, followed by Dublin, Barcelona and Dubai. Other popular long-haul destinations include New York and Cancun.

Tips for travellers

Gatwick has also issued top tips for passengers travelling over the festive period, to help people travel to and from the airport, and through security, as smoothly as possible. Key advice includes:

  • Don’t pack wrapped presents in hand luggage
  • Passengers can take up to two boxes of unopened crackers in hand luggage
  • Festive food – including mince pies, Christmas puddings and even frozen turkeys – can all be taken in hand luggage – just no creams, liquids, gels or pastes above 100ml

Jonathan Pollard, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport said: “It’s encouraging to see so many people jetting off for that long-awaited holiday, or to see family and friends for the festive period.”

“We are also delighted to be able to offer passengers even more options for travel this Christmas, having recently launched new routes to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with Bamboo Airways, and Cape Town with British Airways.”

Border Force strike action

Earlier this month, UK Border Force announced staff had agreed strike action over the Christmas period, with full-day walk-outs on 23, 24, 25, and 28, 29, 30 December – and early mornings on 26 and 31.

Despite the industrial action, flights from Gatwick are expected to arrive and depart as normal, with other Government staff assigned to operate passport checks at the border.

However, passport checks for arriving passengers will take longer than usual, so passengers are advised to use e-gates where possible. 

Gatwick will also have extra staff available to help arriving passengers, who are advised to bring extra food and water in case of significant queues.

Further advice for passengers arriving during the Border Force strikes and travelling to/from Gatwick during rail strikes can be found on the Gatwick Airport website.

Top 10 Holiday destinations (17 December 2022 – 2 January 2023)

  • Geneva
  • Dublin
  • Barcelona
  • Dubai
  • Milan
  • Tenerife
  • Malaga
  • Rome
  • Amsterdam
  • Madrid

About Gatwick Airport

Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport and flies a range of both short and long-haul point-to-point services.

The airport is a vital piece of the UK’s national infrastructure and is also a major driver for both the regional and national economies.

In 2019, a new long-term partnership was formed with VINCI Airports which purchased a 50.01% stake in the airport.

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