Christmas Travel Disruptions

Coming straight at us like a rogue snowball, is every travellers reoccurring nightmare season – Christmas. For ’tis the season of sweeping travel disruptions because of all of those festive favourites (not) – from strikes to scheduled maintenance.

So in order to make your Christmas a little less bah humbug and a bit more jingle all the way, we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the top scheduled disruptions across the globe! Because let’s face it do you want to be stuck somewhere other than home this festive season?

* Psst! This blog article will be updated should anything change and should more disruptions be scheduled!

If you haven’t already, check out our top tips to help you get home this Christmas!

What’s Scheduled?


So far, we’re expecting the biggest Christmas travel disruption to be to rail travel! Now it’s worth noting that most UK trains do not run on Christmas Day or Boxing Day anyway, but further cancellations and engineering works could disrupt your Christmas travel.


South Western Railway (SWR)

South Western Railway has announced a whopping 27-day strike!

•  Monday 2nd – Wednesday 11th December
•  Friday 13th – Tuesday 24th December
•  Friday 27th December – Wednesday 1st January 2020

Who’s affected?
Half of the trains in and out of London Waterloo will be cancelled. This will affect services to and from southwest London, Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Devon.


Great Western Railway (GWR)

GWR have announced disruptions between London Paddington and Reading/Slough.

•  Tuesday 24th – Friday 27th December
All GWR lines between Paddington and Reading will be closed.
•  Saturday 28th – Tuesday 31st December
A reduced service will be in operation, but expect it to be crowded!

Who’s affected?
Everyone travelling between London Paddington and Reading/Slough. Heathrow Express and TFL rail links will also be affected.


South Wales

Network Rail is planning electrification works over the Christmas period between Severn Tunnel Junction and Bridgend, closing various lines.

•  Wednesday 25th December – Wednesday 1st January 2020.

Who’s affected?
•  Cross Country services will be replaced by buses between Chepstow and Cardiff Central.
•  GWR services will be replaced by buses between Bristol Parkway and Newport/Cardiff Central/Bridgend.
•  Transport for Wales services will be replaced by buses between Cwmbran/Ebbw Vale Town/Cheltenham Spa/Gloucester/Hereford and Cardiff Central.




Work is taking place at Edinburgh’s second station, Haymarket, closing most lines through the station.

•  Friday 27th December – Wednesday 1st January 2020

Who’s affected?
•  CrossCountry between Penzance / Plymouth and Aberdeen / Glasgow Central
•  LNER between London Kings Cross and Glasgow Central
•  ScotRail through Haymarket
•  TransPennine Express between Manchester Airport and Edinburgh
•  Virgin Trains between London Euston / Birmingham New Street and Edinburgh


Greater Anglia

Engineering work on overhead power cables is taking place at Wickford, closing all lines.

•  Friday 27th December – Wednesday 1st January 2020

Who’s affected?
•  All lines through Wickford will be closed during this time. Buses will replace some of these services, but make sure to check before you travel.



Luckily for you, there aren’t any flight disruptions currently scheduled! Should this change we’ll update this page with the latest.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has grounded over 100 flights over the Christmas and New Year period, due to ongoing problems with some of the Rolls-Royce engines fitted to its Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

•  Tuesday 10th December – Sunday 5th January 2020

Who’s affected?
•  This is expected to affect 14,000 passengers, travelling on Air New Zealand routes between New Zealand and Australia.

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