When I used to work for H. Samuels in London my December routine was easy. I worked along the Piccadilly line so on the 24th I would trundle my suitcase or carry my rucksack into work with me, then after the post drink work it would be on the tube to Heathrow to catch the flight I had booked. Normally this was the last flight just to be sure I would get to it on time; 8pm was pushing the drinking time a little too much. I would be returning on the first flight of the 27th and often straight back into work.
The range of flights from Heathrow was limited either British Midland or British Airways. I did fly both on occasion depending on price, but if I was doing that again this year and had a BA flight booked I would be well and truly depressed. I would be working all sorts of overtime hours, not getting out much outside of store opening hours, so to actually get around to finding an alternative I'd be stuck. The threat of a BA strike starting on 22nd December will be affecting a lot of people and potentially ruining a lot of Christmases. Of course they are timing this action to have the maximum impact, they want people to sit up and take notice and this is one of their busiest times of the year: therefore big impact.
I remember one particular Christmas Eve the weather was exceptionally bad. I arrived at Heathrow and the previous two Belfast flights were still on the ground and all three of us were delayed. Eventually we got off at about 11:30pm. But as we touched down in Belfast there was an announcement for customers waiting for the flight from East Midlands to go the info desk. As I trudged past they were being told that the flight they were expected loved ones off had been cancelled. It was bad enough for one flight load let alone an entire Airline's flight worth.