WestJet Event Goes Viral: Holiday Wishlists Filled for Passengers

WestJet Event Goes Viral: Holiday Wishlists Filled for Passengers

A Canadian airline may just have reached new heights in customer service this Holiday season. Passengers boarding two WestJet 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 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


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

4 Reactions
  1. This was an awesome idea and WestJet deserves all the press they get from it. I love companies that go above and beyond for their customers.

  2. Wow! That has to be one of the best marketing ideas to come along in a while. I would like to see what that has done for their business in the next quarter or two.

  3. Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! Made me well up a bit, especially when some of them seemed really touched by the gesture, particularly the couple expecting a baby.

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