When I first ran across this video and the story behind it yesterday, I blew it off as a hoax. Surely this was too good to be true, what with all the fakery on the internet of late. Besides, I fly a good bit and had never heard of WestJet. But then I came back around to it last night and did some Googling and — what do you know — WestJet actually is a real airline (it’s based in Canada, which is likely why I’d never heard of it) and it really did play Santa for over 200 of its customers this year.
Reports the LA Times:
In a recent promotion (“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight”), the Canadian air carrier set up a screen at airports in Toronto and Hamilton, Canada. Fliers could scan their boarding passes and talk to a virtual Santa. He asked with a ho, ho, ho what they wanted for Christmas. “A choo-choo train,” said one boy. “A big TV,” his parents said.
Volunteers then went on a shopping rampage, stuffing goods into carts. And when fliers landed in Calgary, their wrapped gifts were delivered via decorated baggage carousel.
Nineteen hidden cameras caught the action for an engaging video that made people across the social media landscape soppy with emotion. The airline further sweetened the holiday promotion, saying in a news release that when views of the video hit 200,000, it would donate a flight to a family in need through Ronald McDonald House Charities.
In case you’re keeping score at home, Canada has free healthcare and their airlines, rather than being utterly terrible to passengers during the holidays, double as Santa Claus. Just saying.