'Merry Christmas to all and to all a good flight'

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One of the most heart-warming aspects of the Christmas season is witnessing people take the time to make other people happy.

A great example of that spirit of giving was circulating around social networks Tuesday - "The Westjet Christmas Miracle."

This Westjet holiday video chronicled a unique company giveaway that has gone viral.

Nineteen hidden cameras captured guests of all ages at Toronto and Hamilton International Airports confiding their Christmas wishes to a virtual Santa Claus while waiting to board flights to Calgary. Imagine the surprise of those passengers when the buzzer went off at the baggage carousel at the end of their journey and instead of luggage, it spit out wrapped Christmas gifts - the gifts they had asked for merely hours before.

And there was the blue clad Santa and Westjet staff volunteers to take the hugs and the expressions of gratitude from their astonished guests.

The YouTube video shows the passengers' reactions with tears, disbelief, shock and laughter. One young fellow opens an Android tablet and shouts, "No way!"

It's the reactions from the passengers as well as the staff watching nearby, that stirs the emotions of the viewer.

It was an amazing and unique Christmas promotion, and one that likely scored a lot of points with those passengers and even those who watched the video.

Over 150 Westjet volunteers were involved to pull this off. It was a daunting task to shop for all those travellers, find the requested items, wrap them and get them to the airport before the incoming flights landed.

The filming of the project created the airline's second annual holiday video. Last year's holiday video reached nearly 500,000 viewers after the airline promised to donate flights to a family in need if it hit 25,000 views. 

This year, Westjet Cares for Kids announced it would donate flights through Ronald McDonald House Charities, once the video reached 200,000 views. By late Tuesday afternoon, it had reached almost 2 million.

The planning of this project took a lot of work and started back in August.

Well, by the looks on those passengers' faces, it was all worthwhile. And judging by the number of views the video is getting, it is a successful promotion.

With air travel during the holidays often more like a notorious nightmare, this flight must have seemed like a wonderful dream.



Organizations: Westjet Cares for Kids, Ronald McDonald House Charities

Geographic location: Toronto, Calgary

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