The upcoming Christmas travel season is among the busiest times of the year at airports worldwide. Here are a few quick reminders to make travel easier this festive season.

WestJet offers Christmas travel tips
WestJet offers Christmas travel tips

Check your I.D.

Ensure you have proper identification and documentation for all travellers, including children and infants. Transport Canada has changed identification requirements for domestic travel, meaning expired identification can no longer be used for any flight.

For international travel, travel documents must be presented at check-in. Each country on your itinerary may have different entry requirements, including the physical condition of a passport or extended validity of a passport beyond your intended departure date. Check national entry requirements with WestJet well before departure date.

Plan to arrive early.

Because it's such a busy time of year for travel, prepare for large crowds at the airport. WestJet suggests arriving at the airport no less than two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. Travellers should complete security, immigration and customs and be at their departure gate one hour before departure. Those who do not meet check-in, baggage drop or boarding cut-off times may be denied travel.

It's also never a bad idea to give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Bad weather and traffic snarls can make for a longer drive to the airport than normal this time of year.

Make sure you can carry on with your carry-on.

Carry-on baggage must meet WestJet's size requirements as listed on the website. Each guest is permitted one piece of carry-on baggage and one personal item. Excess and oversized carry-on baggage may be checked in and subject to applicable baggage fees.

In addition, be sure to pack special items like identification, wallets, purses, medication, mobile devices, keys and valuable items such as cash, jewelry and electronics into carry-on baggage.

Inflight entertainment? There's an app for that.

WestJet's inflight entertainment system, WestJet Connect, is available on your own laptop or through the WestJet app on your smartphone or tablet. Download the latest version of the airline's iPhone or Android app for free access to more than 500 hours of movies and TV programs, and five live TV channels. WestJet Connect also offers pay-per-use Internet access. Almost 75 per cent of WestJet's Boeing fleet is now equipped with WestJet Connect.

Don't have your own device? If your flight is over three hours, WestJet has tablet rentals with early-release content available for flights not yet equipped with Connect. 

It's best to keep gifts unwrapped.

WestJet suggests that you do not wrap gifts before heading to the airport. Airport security screeners may unwrap items in checked or carry-on baggage, causing delays at security. Pack wrapping paper in your checked luggage, and have a wrapping party on arrival at your destination.

Make sure your pet is ok to fly.

WestJet does not accept kennels as checked baggage between December 15 and January 6 inclusive, although certain small animals may be able to travel in the aircraft cabin; visit WestJet's website for details.

Check-in 24 hours before you go.

WestJet offers three convenient self-serve check-in options: web, mobile and kiosk. The airline suggests checking in 24 hours before scheduled departure.

  • Web check-in is available at westjet.com.
  • Check-in on your mobile device using WestJet's app or mobile-optimized website.
  • Self-serve check-in kiosks are available at most of WestJet's airports, and may also offer self-serve baggage-tagging.

Speed up your airport experience by paying baggage fees with a credit card when you use self-serve check-in.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

From all 12,000 of us at WestJet, thank you for your support. Have a safe and happy holiday season and we look forward to seeing you on board.

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