Virgin Atlantic and Microsoft bring the magic of Christmas to the skies

By: Virgin Atlantic

December 22, 2014

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This weekend we delighted our passengers with a very special Christmas flight experience.

Travellers on board our 787 Dreamliner on 21 December from London Heathrow to Boston were surprised by some very important visitors as Santa dropped by the aircraft during a trans-Atlantic reindeer training flight.

Santa takes time out to visit our 787 Dreamliner en route to Boston Virgin Atlantic Microsoft.jpg

Santa makes an unexpected appearance on board our 787 Dreamliner flight to Boston

Spreading Christmas cheer

“We wanted to offer something extra special for the families flying with us this Christmas,” said Debbie Hulme, our Head of Customer Experience. “And who better to spread the Christmas cheer than Santa himself?

“Combining a large sprinkle of Christmas magic and in-flight connectivity, we arranged for Santa and his reindeer to pay a flying visit to customers on board our 787 aircraft as it flew across the Atlantic to Boston. Passengers tracked his movements from their Windows tablets and were able to live chat with him before sharing their Santa selfies using the on board wifi.”

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Tracking Santa’s movements from a personal Windows tablet

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Our special visitor caused much excitement among our younger passengers

Christmas comes early

The experience began at boarding, when all 264 customers onboard VS11 were given an early Christmas present from Microsoft of a Windows tablet. Once on board they could log on to Norad Track Santa and also enjoy a live chat as he took his sleigh for a spin over the Atlantic.

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Every passenger received an early Christmas gift of a Microsoft Windows tablet

When the aircraft was over Greenland, Santa radioed our pilots asking permission to land on the plane for some refreshments and to also give his reindeers a rest.

Passengers were then amazed to watch the sleigh land on the aircraft through special glass panels in the roof before he accessed the plane through a special Santa hatch.

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Wide-eyed wonder as Santa’s sleigh lands on the roof of the aircraft

Entering the aircraft through his special Santa hatch :Virgin Atlantic Microsoft.jpgThe bearded one makes an appearance through a special Santa-sized hatch

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First stop: saying hello to one of our VIPs

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You’re never too old for a selfie with Santa

Santa then walked down the aisles, delighting children and taking selfies with surprised passengers before jetting back off into the night sky.

Christmas continued for those on the plane with Microsoft prizes of Xboxes and Windows devices from Dell, Lenovo & Nokia being won in competitions during the flight.

“The chance to create the first 4D experience in flight for passengers where technology was the enabler of bringing Christmas to life was a fantastic opportunity for Microsoft,” said Fred Warren, Creative Director, Microsoft Connected Digital Services. “Co-creating this concept with Virgin Atlantic has been unique as we adapted the technology to deliver a true Virgin Atlantic brand experience.”

Visit to see where Santa is now, or create your own adventure with Virgin Atlantic and book your flight today.


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Virgin Atlantic

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Categories: Our Experience