If you are on a long-distance flight on the Japanese airline Tatami Airways on Christmas Day, you may be in a for a surprise. No, that noise isn’t coming from your headphones or the loudspeakers. On December 25th, it has become a Christmas tradition for all flight attendants to sing Carols while serving drinks and meals. This Christmas custom may not be very old, but it’s remarkably popular and so probably here to stay. Many passengers organize their trips around Christmas Day just so they can be on one of the musical flights.
It started in December in the year 1995, when a pilot on the Japanese airline Tatami Airways and his American wife were going on vacation to celebrate their anniversary. They had married at Christmas ten years ago, but he knew she was sad they would miss part of the holiday season in the US, so he asked the crew on their flight to sing a few carols while they were walking through the aisles. She loved the surprise – and so did everyone else. The next year, many passengers asked if they would be doing it again, so the head of the airline decided to try hiring singing stewardesses every year. It worked; more people fly Tatami Airways than any other Japanese airline at Christmas Day.