WestJet ‘Christmas Miracle’ Draws Applause


As air travelers brace for the annual holiday ordeal that awaits many of them, Canadian budget carrier WestJet had a holiday miracle in store for passengers on two of its flights earlier this week. The airline began by creating present-shaped check-in kiosks at Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario airports for two flights bound for its hub of Calgary, Alberta. The kiosks featured a live online Santa in a blue suit (WestJet colors) who greeted them by name as they scanned their boarding passes. The Santa then asked them what they wanted for Christmas and that’s when the real magic began.

By the time the doors closed on both flights, 175 WestJet employees in Calgary headed to a local mall and a Best Buy to gather up many of the gifts requested by the passengers (see the blooper reel), including a big-screen TV, Thomas the Tank Engine and socks and underwear. The gifts were wrapped, tagged with the passengers’ names and put on the baggage carousel about four hours later when the flights arrived. Santa in the funny-colored suit was there, too. The idea was hatched in August at a meeting with the airline’s digital media contractor but the giving didn’t end in baggage claim. WestJet said that if the YouTube video below reached 200,000 views it would give a free trip anywhere it flies to a family in need. The video hit the magic number late Monday but who knows what the airline will do as the numbers rack up. (At press time, the video had already hit millions of views.)

Ed. Note: You really should watch the video.