Air Transat & Children’s Wish Host Flights In Search Of Santa

with Brett Christie

Little girls twirling with Princess Elsa pre-flight

Children enjoy pre-flight Christmas story-time with Air Transat elves

Family shares Christmas wishes with Santa during the flight

Air Transat and Children's Wish hosted their 11th annual Flights in Search of Santa this week from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. I was lucky enough to be onboard the Toronto flight. The task: Fly to the North Pole, find Santa, bring him back. The event’s true goal: Spreading Christmas cheer to children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses along with their families.

The gate at Toronto Pearson International Airport was alive with excitement pre-departure. Some much-loved characters including Frozen's Elsa and Anna and Pirate’s of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow, engaged the children as they were entertained by a variety of activities including a band playing Christmas carols, a photo booth, a cookie bar, a falcon (yes a real live falcon), a story time nook and various Christmas elves tasked with keeping spirits bright (not too difficult a task in such a setting).

Before we took off I had the chance to speak to 7 yr. old Ryan from Oakville. Ryan is a member of the Children's Wish family and he woke up, like on any other weekday morning, thinking he was going to school, only to find out over breakfast that he, his sister, his mom and dad were all getting on a flight to the North Pole in search of Santa Claus instead. Talk about the best day ever! 

The magical flight is in addition to the generous monetary donations Air Transat gifts Children’s Wish. In fact, every aspect of the flight was a donation including the volunteered time of every single crew member from airport check-in attendants to in-flight attendants to the captains themselves. One former Air Transat employee even came out of retirement to help out. It was really a beautiful sight to see all of these people so generously giving their time and to see their faces light up when they succeed at doing the same for the children.

Much to the children's joy our mission was a success! We found Santa and were even able to bring him on board so he could share gifts and speak to each and every child on the flight. It was a day filled with a very special kind of Christmas joy for a very special group of children and their families and I’m very grateful to have been there to witness it too.

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