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WestJet Event Goes Viral: Holiday Wishlists Filled for Passengers

Posted By Joshua Sophy On December 18, 2013 @ 11:00 am In Marketing Tips | 3 Comments

WestJet Christmas Gifts Large Edit

A Canadian airline may just have reached new heights in customer service this Holiday season. Passengers boarding two WestJet [1] flights from Ontario to Calgary thought they were sharing their Christmas wishes with a virtual Santa. But airline employees were listening in.

WestJet VP of Communications and Community Relations Richard Bartrem told [2] Fox News:

“This year, we wanted to turn our holiday campaign into a tradition by doing something that’s never been done before. Inspired by the notion of real-time giving, we wanted to surprise our guests with meaningful, personalized gifts when they least expected them. Being able to show our guests how much we care with gift-giving, a tried and true holiday tradition, resonates with WestJetters as much as our guests.”

WestJet employees made a list, checked it twice and, once the planes were airborne, flew into action. Descending on local retailers, they checked off every item on passengers’ wish lists including everything from warm scarfs to a big screen TV.

Gifts were then returned to WestJet headquarters, which had been transformed into a Santa’s workshop of sorts for the occasion. Presents were wrapped, tagged for their perspective recipients and rushed to the flight terminal just in time for arrival.

Check out the surprised look on passengers’ faces as the neatly wrapped gifts came down the conveyor in the luggage pickup area. Among them is one little boy (pictured above) who can check a new Android tablet off his Christmas list this year.

See the entire event unfold in the video below which has already received nearly 30 million views on YouTube!

Oh, and by the way, there’s another little wrinkle to the story.

WestJet had announced plans to arrange flights for children and parents in need through Ronald McDonald House once the video reached a modest 200,000 views on YouTube.  That can now be checked off of Santa’s list, too, as that number has already been surpassed many times over – making the video a viral hit (and a superb marketing accomplishment.)

And it’s likely the airline has earned some frequent (buyer?) miles with customers for this Christmas surprise.

Image: WestJet

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URL to article: http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/12/westjet-airlines-plays-santa-passengers.html

URLs in this post:

[1] WestJet: http://www.westjet.com/guest/en/about/index.shtml

[2] told: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2013/12/10/westjet-airline-surprises-passengers-by-fulfilling-their-holiday-wishes-during/