JetBlue is getting into the holiday spirit, offering a list of tips to travelers which, by the way, tout the low cost carrier's perks. I particularly like this one:
"On the 12th Day…Your true love gave you more than you can place in the overhead bin. No worries! The first bag flies free on JetBlue, so pack two turtle doves, three French hens, four calling birds, five golden rings, six geese a-laying, seven swans a-swimming, eight maids a-milking, nine ladies dancing, ten lords a-leaping, eleven pipers piping, and twelve drummers drumming in a suitcase and check it* on us for free. (a). *Please note that JetBlue does not allow live animals (or eleven pipers piping) to be checked. The airline offers one of the pet-friendliest programs, JetPaws, with humane options for traveling with a small pooch or kitty this holiday season. You'll have to buy seats for the eight maids a-milking, nine ladies dancing, ten lords a-leaping, eleven pipers piping, and twelve drummers drumming (and you might want to consider our Even More Space seats for maximum dancing and leaping room)."
However, JetBlue may be overly optimistic about how many lords and ladies will be taking to the air as part of their downsized festive plans. According to industry trade organization Airlines for America, A4A expects about 43.3 million air travelers to fly on U.S. carriers' domestic and international routes during a 21-day period – a 1% drop from the same period last year – or about 20,000 fewer travelers per day, on average.
Daily passenger volumes are expected to range from 1.6 million to 2.3 million during the holiday. The busiest days are expected to be between Dec. 21-23, Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 2 and 3, based on A4A's sample data from the 2009 and 2010 winter holiday periods. But those drummers and pipers who do fly may still have to fight for bin space; in line with the US carriers' general capacity discipline, holiday schedules are being trimmed to fit, so A4A warns that flights will be full and on the busiest days, average load factors may top 85 percent.