An eccentric Scotsman is hoping to enjoy the longest Christmas Day ever this year – by flying around the world for 47 hours.
Fraser Watt, 58, plans to stretch the day out by flying East to West across the world following the sun on commercial flights without crossing the international dateline.
If successful Fraser will travel nearly 20,000 miles and set a record for the furthest distance travelled on commercial airliners in a single day.
He would also break the record for the furthest distance travelled in any 24 hour period.
Fraser will take off from Auckland, New Zealand, at midnight on Christmas Eve, before passing through Hong Kong, London and Los Angeles.
And if all goes according to plan, he will land in Honolulu, Hawaii, at 11.37pm on December 25th.
The incredible journey would see him travel almost 20,000 miles — and stretch his Christmas Day to a whopping 47 hours.
Fraser, originally from Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, said: “I don’t know if I’ll be busier than Santa, but I’ll be close behind.
“I hope to experience a 47-hour Christmas Day while establishing a new World Record for the longest day, without crossing the international dateline, hence achieved within the same calendar and solar day.
“All being well, I will take-off from Auckland, New Zealand, almost on the stroke of midnight Christmas Eve — just as Santa is unhitching his reindeer at the North Pole.”
He added: “As you chomp down on your Christmas dinner, spare a thought for me. Then think of the kids around the world who don’t even have that.”
Fraser first thought of the wacky challenge while he was sitting in a bar with his friend in New Zealand in 2015.
He added: “We were both approaching big birthdays, and talking about how to make the most of the time we had left.
“We began wondering if you could make a big birthday a ‘big birthday’ by chasing the sun around the world.
“A quick Google identified that the current world record for the longest day was by a German guy who made 46 hours in 2015, but by cheating and going backwards across the International Date Line.
“The challenge was on.
“The big issue to overcome is can I stand eating four tepid tasteless tin-foil-wrapped turkey dinners at twenty-thousand feet?”
Fraser is no stranger to flying, and is himself a private pilot, but the scope of his challenge dwarfs the Piper prop planes he is used to.
Connections will make the timing of his challenge razor-thin – he will only have around 30 minutes from the time he lands in Heathrow from Hong Kong to connect to his LA-bound flight.
Thankfully Christmas Day is one of the days in the year with the lowest amount of air passenger traffic, which should help Fraser brave the transits and the queues.
Fraser, who works as an Environmental Scientist in Australia, has also a special red suit that he has rolled out for the occasion.
He said: “That suit has been acquired especially for this trip. I had a collection of Christmas vests but if I’m going to do this I want to grab as much attention as I can.”
And he wants to attract as much attention as possible – he’s using the trip as a way to raise money for UNICEF Australia, which supports disadvantaged children around the world.
“The world really needs at least one good news story for 2016.”
Fraser is no stranger to the jet-set lifestyle. As well as living in Australia, he’s worked in the Philippines, Vietnam and India.
The dad-of-three admits his globe-trotting adventures make quite a change from growing up in a little house in Clydebank.
He said: “Back then to go to Spain on a package holiday was considered exotic.”
The Watts always try to share a family Christmas, but this year Fraser will have to catch up with them on the 28th instead.
He admits that his wife Rose, 52, thinks his plan is a bit mad, but has nonetheless been very supportive.
The couple married in Erskine in 1985 before emigrating to Australia in 1996 and haven’t looked back since.
Fraser said he registered them with Guinness and confirmed they agreed it to it.
Last year, a German man received a Guinness World Record for the longest birthday by flying between time zones to extend celebrations for nearly two days.
Sven Hagemeier kept his 26th birthday going for 46 hours by flying from Auckland in New Zealand, to Brisbane, Australia, before travelling backwards in time across the International Date Line to Hawaii.