A holiday video campaign from a no-frills Canadian carrier has gone viral for making the Christmas wishes of a plane full of unsuspecting flyers come true.
Just a day after being uploaded on December 9, the heartwarming video from WestJet has received more than 1.2 million hits on YouTube for pulling off an impressive feat while passengers were in-flight between Toronto and Calgary.
For the stunt, 19 hidden cameras and a giant projection screen disguised as a gift-wrapped present were installed at the departure lounges of Toronto and Hamilton international airports in Ontario.
After scanning their boarding passes, passengers were put in touch with a live Santa who called out children by name and asked flyers what they wanted for Christmas.
Enter the magic airline elves.
As the passengers confided their heart’s desires (a choo choo train for Cohen, a big-screen TV for dad), the WestJet team frantically jotted down the growing wish list and dashed to nearby retailers to make their wishes come true.
While passengers were in the air, the guerrilla elf team of 150 people were dispatched across retailers in Calgary buying toys, a snowboard, tablets, cameras, socks and underwear (a cheeky wish made by a flyer who may have suffered wisher’s remorse) and yes, a big-screen TV.
Gifts were frantically wrapped, complete with bows, tagged with the family’s names and rolled out on the baggage carousel to the happy shock and awe of unsuspecting flyers.
Needless to say, there were tears, incredulous laughter, hugs, a few fist pumps, and a few rhymes, a la “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.
“The guests never expected, what they asked of Saint Nick, would actually appear, it was all quite a trick.” - AFP/Relaxnews, December 11, 2013.