Great Christmas Getaway Begins
December 23, 2011 by staff
Airports and ports were also full of people travelling to spend the festive period overseas.
A spokesman for the AA said up to 18 million cars would be on the roads over the 24-hour period from Thursday night to Friday evening.
Getaway traffic is likely to be heavy on major routes, including the M1 in Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, and the M25 around London.
A Heathrow Airport spokeswoman confirmed that the total number of passengers passing through was around 205,700, with the amount flying into the airport around 91,100.
Another 158,400 are expected to depart from and arrive at the airport on Christmas Eve.
Helping travellers get into the Christmas spirit were helpers dressed as elves who were offering a present-wrapping service for Virgin Atlantic passengers.
Passengers using Heathrow over the festive period are expected to take 6,000 tonnes of luggage each day – equivalent to the weight of 20 jumbo jets.
Its most popular destinations this Christmas are New York, Dubai, Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris.
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