United Airlines flew more than 800 deserving children on Fantasy Flights to the “North Pole” this month. The kids boarded aircraft bound for Santa’s hometown for a special holiday experience. After a quick flight, they arrived at magical winter wonderlands – airport gates employees had completely transformed with lights, Christmas trees and other spectacular holiday decorations.
The kids, many of whom suffer from serious illnesses or are in recovery, and their families received an extra special holiday. To help lift their spirits, United employees volunteered their time and raised money to create these one-of-a-kind experiences and memories for families in their communities.
Volunteers infused holiday cheer into every detail of the experience, including flight attendants and pilots dressed in festive attire; employees on the tarmac donned elf hats; and tinsel, ornaments and lights covered the airports. Flight attendants even added a unique twist to the onboard safety demonstration, announcing it in the style of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
At the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus handed out presents and the kids joined in festive activities and games to finish off their unique and well-deserved journeys.
For more than 25 years employees have volunteered to staff, fund and build these Fantasy Flight events across United’s global network.
2014 Fantasy Flights by the numbers:
12 airports (Boise, Chicago-O’Hare, Cleveland, Denver, Houston Bush, Guam,
Los Angeles, Newark, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Francisco, Washington-Dulles)
- More than 800 children and their families
- 1,400 employee volunteers
- More than 2,500 presents
- Thousands of feet of Christmas lights
- 300 employees in costume
- More than 100 Christmas trees