WestJet surprises weary travellers in 'Christmas miracle' video
Published Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:26AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:54PM EST
Canada's own WestJet airlines is spreading a bit of holiday cheer online this week, thanks to a "Christmas miracle" video that's gone viral.
Unwitting, weary passengers on recent Calgary-bound WestJet flights were part of the heartwarming stunt, which was put on by more than 150 airline staff.
Prior to their departure from Toronto and Hamilton, WestJet passengers were asked by a virtual Santa Claus what they wanted for Christmas, after scanning their boarding passes at kiosks set up by the airline.
While the unsuspecting passengers made their way to Calgary, WestJet staff -- who recorded all the requests -- scrambled to buy, wrap, and deliver the presents to Calgary International Airport.
When the planes touched down, passengers waiting for their luggage were in disbelief when instead of bags, they saw the wrapped presents they had asked for coming down the carousel – from socks and underwear, to an android tablet.
Matt Peltier’s two-year-old son, Cohen, had asked for a Thomas the Train set. Cohen got his gift. Peltier had asked for a big screen TV.
And after many of the passengers collected their gifts from the carousel, WestJet staff unveiled a massive box for their grand finale.
“I said ‘if that's a TV, I'm going to cry,’” Peltier told CTV Calgary's Melissa Carpenter on Tuesday.
Lo and behold, it was a large, flat screen TV.
In a video explaining the “Christmas miracle” stunt, WestJet vice-president of communications Richard Bartrem said the company will donate flights to the Ronald McDonald Charities once it cracks its goal of 200,000 views.
That feat was easily reached, as the video has so far amassed nearly 1 million views.
In a similar stunt last year, WestJet organized its first “Christmas miracle” by surprising passengers going from Calgary to Toronto with a flash mob of dancing and singing elves.
Patti Derbyshire, a professor at Mount Royal University’s Bissett School of Business, said the marketing campaign could prove to have a positive effect on the airline for years to come.
“It reinforces their authenticity as that brand and that airline that we want to turn to first,” she said.
With a report from CTV Calgary’s Melissa Carpenter