An overexcited passenger unwraps a present from WestJet airlines.WestJet
Wrapped gifts tumble down the baggage carousel ramp.WestJet
An emotional family at WestJet baggage claim.WestJet
WestJet employees, outfitted as Santa's little helpers, rush through a Calgary mall to fulfill passenger gift wishes.WestJet
Holiday miracles really do come true, even on airplanes.
Lucky passengers aboard two WestJet flights from southern Ontario to Calgary in November got their holiday gift wishes granted as they flew across Canada.
Before boarding, passengers were invited scan their boarding passes that allowed them to talk with a virtual Santa who asked them what they wanted for Christmas. Hidden cameras recorded their gift requests.
Items on lists included trains and dolls from the kids, but some passengers asked for things such as a snowboard, a big-screen TV –even a Samsung Galaxy phone.
While the plane was in the air, over 150 “merry WestJetters” acted as Santa’s elves, rushing out to stores and nabbing the items on the passengers’ lists, according to a release from the Canadian-based WestJet.
By the time the flights landed four hours later, the 250 unsuspecting passengers were greeted by a festive display at baggage claim and were handed gifts they had asked for.
One woman broke out into tears when she got the digital camera she asked for. A man, who asked for practical socks and underwear, seemed to be overjoyed.
"This year, we wanted to turn our holiday campaign into a tradition by doing something that's never been done before," said Richard Bartrem, WestJet vice president of communications and community relations. "Inspired by the notion of real-time giving, we wanted to surprise our guests with meaningful, personalized gifts when they least expected them. Being able to show our guests how much we care with gift-giving, a tried and true holiday tradition, resonates with WestJetters as much as our guests."
But the holiday spirit doesn’t end there. A video of the event, just released, was created for another purpose: Once it reaches 200,000 views, the airline said it would donate flights through Ronald McDonald House Charities to families and children in need. It looks like they'll be booking flights soon. The video has already gotten over 1 million views.
Have a look.