Christmas Travel Tips 2023

Christmas Travel Tips 2023

Christmas Travel Tips 2023

10 December 2023

Christmas holidays are fast approaching, so we have compiled a few tips to make your journey as seamless as possible! 

Tip 1: Be aware of the busiest travel days, allow extra time

This festive season will be the peak travel time of 2023 at Canberra Airport, we expect traveller numbers to increase from Monday, 18 December, with the morning period being the busiest.

The best thing you can do to reduce stress is allow extra time for check-in and security. This way, you’ll be fine in the case of any delays. It also means you’ll have some time after security to get yourself sorted with a bite to eat or a refreshing beverage!

If you are travelling with Virgin Australia, Rex Airlines, Link Airways or Fly Pelican, please note they do not have self-check-in or self-bag-drop facilities, extra time should be allowed for traditional check-in and baggage drop processes at the counters. Plan accordingly and arrive early to ensure a smooth check-in experience for your flight.

Tip 2: How to fly through security

Travelling with presents? Pack 'dangerous looking' gifts and Christmas items such as nerf guns and bon-bons in your checked-in baggage.

Save yourself some time and wrap your presents at your destination! Airport security may have to unwrap your beautifully wrapped gifts to check the contents, and we don't want that!

Here are some tips for a quicker and easier security check:

  • Place your belongings in the tray
  • Keep shoes, watches, glasses and jewellery on
  • Remove coats, hats and aerosols and place in the tray
  • Leave laptops in bags

See more tips to clear security here. 

Be mindful, that if you are travelling to international destinations, there will be another screening point after the passport checkpoint. Pack all your liquids, aerosols and gels greater than 100ml into check-in luggage. If you want to take items with your carry-on luggage, make sure each item is 100ml or less, and all items fit in a re-sealable, airtight bag no more than 80 centimetres (e.g. 20×20 cm or 15x25cm). Only one bag per person is allowed.


Tip 3: How to sleigh pick-up and drop-off duty

If you are on pick-up duty, check the flight times before you leave home to ensure you aren't waiting around for too long.

  • Passenger drop-off

Passengers can be dropped off along the upper roadway, a short walk to the upper-level Departures Hall and airline check-in points.

  • Free 10-Minute Passenger Pick-Up

The free 10-minute Pick-Up area is in our Red Outdoor Car Park, a two-minute walk from the Arrivals Hall.

Vehicles can park in the dedicated bays for up to 10 minutes for free. Vehicles that stay longer than 10 minutes, will pay normal parking rates.

Obtain a ticket as normal from the entry boom gate to the car park and park in the designated Free 10-Minute Pick-Up bays. Insert the same ticket at the exit point, within 10 minutes from entry to the car park, to exit without charge. If you stay beyond the free 10 minutes, proceed to the pay machines located in the car park and pay the normal parking rate.

View the map to see the location for the Free 10 Minute Pick-Up parking bays.

More on pick up & drop off here


Tip 4: oh deer 🦌, I forgot to buy someone a present

Whether you want to stock up on Christmas gifts before you fly or treat yourself; Merchant is your one-stop shop for Christmas gifting! Offering a wide range of local products that represent everything iconic to Canberra and its surrounds. From local produce and alcohol to the exclusive Christmas collection, Merchant has you covered for those last-minute gifts before you fly ✈

Dine in before you fly out! From a coffee at Cityhill, a refreshing brew from Airport Taproom, baked goods from Bakers Cut or Noodles XO's flavourful Asian-inspired dishes, there’s something to please everyone’s tastebuds!

Take it easy - after all, your holiday is setting off!