The festive season is upon us and it’s a time when many airlines will take the opportunity to pull a clever seasonal stunt or two.
Here’s Aileron’s roundup of the top most noteworthy holiday efforts from Airlines over the past few years. In no particular order, we give you:
Virgin Atlantic 'lands' Santa on a plane
In 2014, Virgin Atlantic and Microsoft teamed up to create a festive flight, which involved high end giveaways and 'landing' Father Christmas on top of the plane.
Travellers on board the 787 Dreamliner on 21 December from London Heathrow to Boston were surprised by Santa dropping by the aircraft during a ‘reindeer training flight’.
All 264 customers on board were gifted a tablet and once in flight, passengers tracked Santa’s movements from their tablets and were able to live chat with him.
When the aircraft was over Greenland, Santa radioed the pilots asking permission to land on the plane for some refreshments and to also give his reindeers a rest. Passengers were then witness to CGI imagining of Santa entering the aircraft through the roof (we are sure it was all cleared by ATC and CAA approved)
Top marks to Virgin for this enchanting and creative passenger experience.
Santa’s Elves get clever with cargo on airBaltic
The Latvian flag carrier airBaltic got ambitious with projection and surprised customers for Christmas in 2011 by creating a spectacular lights show projected on one of its Boeing 737s, featuring Santa’s Elves loading an aircraft with gifts.
It’s pretty heart-warming stuff; the homemade-style filming captures authentic passenger’s reaction from the terminal in this feel good, festive footage
Air New Zealand Summer Wonderland
Air New Zealand is famed for its viral videos, and Christmas proves to be the perfect opportunity for them to rise to the occasion yet again. Ronan Keating stars alongside local star Julian Dennison in this spoof Southern Hemisphere Christmas song for the airline’s 2016 campaign.
‘Summer Wonderland’ has embellished the classic ‘Winter Wonderland’ lyrics to make sense down under, where "bros" are glistening rather than snow because, as Dennison says, "a lot of people get sweaty down here, it's really sunny"…
Heathrow Airport Homecoming
Ok, it’s not technically an airline, but we’re giving London's Heathrow Airport an honorary position thanks to their first-ever Christmas campaign, from 2016. ‘Coming Home for Christmas’ was a tear-jerker to rival John Lewis and has racked up over five million views on Youtube.
The ad, set to a classic Chas and Dave soundtrack, follows two in-love OAP teddy bears as they land and travel through the airport, then in true Love Actually style captures the moments loved ones are reunited at the arrivals gate.
And this year, they’re at it again… (tissues at the ready) #HeathrowBears
Throwback to 2016 when Ryanair wasn’t being accused by the twittersphere of “cancelling Christmas” and Ryanair delivered a typically tongue-in-cheek campaign that nailed the alternative sentiment of holiday homecoming, by dashing it with a sharp dose of Irish humour.
Sometimes Christmas with the family isn't all it's cracked up to be. The laughter, the emotional reunion, the awkwardness, the annoyance and… the escape!
The video begins with a saccharine sentimental family reunion, before the young Irish home-comer comes to blows with his argumentative sister, his disappointed mum and over-indulgent uncle (lest we forget the board game that descends into chaos).
But Ryanair is there to help you arrive… and escape.
West Keeps On giving
The Canadian long haul airline struck gold with its award winning, “Real-Time Giving” campaign in 2013 which has since racked up an unbelievable 47 million Youtube views.
In a brilliantly-planned and expertly executed event at Calgary Airport in Canada, WestJet shocked unsuspecting travellers by delivering personalised gifts to passengers arriving at the airport.
Within days it was the most shared Canadian viral ad in 2013, and among the top five globally.
Watch the miracle unfold…
So successful, WestJet's Christmas Miracle campaign is the gift that keeps on giving and continues to run year after year with an ever changing charitable theme. The most recent chapter profiled the Canadian town of Fort McMurray which suffered from a devastating wildfire earlier in 2016.
2014 – Spirit of Giving
2015 – 12,000 mini miracles
2016 – Fort McMurray Strong
Watch our very own 2017 Christmas mini-ad – All they want for Christmas, is Aileron.
The perfect personalised pilot gift
ORDER BY 18TH DECEMBER FOR DELIVERY IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS