WestJet’s Christmas off to a flier

Rudolf and his fellow reindeer might not be a-moosed to hear that they are in danger of being replaced by a pair of jet engines.

A Canadian airline has proven that Christmas wishes can come true for hundreds of people in space of just a flight from one side of the country to the other.

A YouTube video, The WestJet Christmas Miracle, shows how Westjet managed the feat. It has now been viewed almost 19m times.

The airline set up a special, life-sized screen at the airports in Ontario and Toronto. Passengers for two flights were invited to “scan boarding pass here”.

When they did, a Santa dressed in blue appeared on the screen greeting them by name and asking them what they would like for Christmas. The wishes ranged from a pair of socks up to a massive flat-screen television.

The travellers would have been mistaken for thinking it was merely a novel gizmo to entertain the younger passengers.

However, as soon as check-in closed, 150 of the airline’s staff, dubbed WestJetters, were tasked with getting every item which had been requested by the time the flights touched down at their destination.

So when the 250 passengers queued up to collect their baggage, they were shocked to see a procession of beautifully wrapped parcels appearing on the carousel, and even more shocked when they spotted their own names written neatly on the cards.

As well as excited whoops of joy from both adults and children alike, there were also quite a few tears at the generosity from the airline.

The success of the video appears to have even caught WestJet by surprise. It had pledged to donate free flights to families in need if the video received 200,000 views — a blooper reel alone from the event has already been played almost 1m times.

The blooper video itself is worth a view, if only to see one female passenger asking for “a big diamond ring”. Santa replies: “Tell me, is there someone special you are hoping would give you this diamond ring?” to which she replies “not necessarily”. True to his word, Santa appears later at the baggage carousel, gets down on one knee, and presents the woman with a ring.

This is not WestJet’s first Christmas video. Last year, its employees turning a boarding gate into the North Pole. That has been viewed almost 1m times.

Now the pressure is really on for next year...


Easy and cost-effective ways you can spruce up your home. By Carol O’CallaghanStaying in is the new going out: Easy and cost-effective ways to spruce up your home

Need a funny, hopeful read? Hannah Stephenson rounds up the best.10 uplifting books to cheer you up on dark days

Esther N McCarthy put the call out to Irish crafters and grafters this week. Let's support our local makers, all of these are available onlineWish List: Supporting Irish crafters selling online

Shane Johnson takes a look (and listen) at two recent electronic full-lengths.Album reviews: Wajatta and Takeleave provide beats and pieces

More From The Irish Examiner