I’ve been lucky to fly a variety of airplanes, in a variety of environments, but I’d like to share my favorite.
On the board yesterday in EWR, a once a year destination: North Pole!
Fantasy Flight, a United holiday tradition, takes children from local hospitals and charities on a special flight to the North Pole to visit Santa.
All of our employees supporting the flight, from operations, to inflight (flight attendants), ramp, customer service, dispatch, and many, many more, were volunteers.
My “sleigh” was a trusty 757, crewed by United’s finest, who kept the kids entertained with songs, carols, and games.
We had some really serious ground delays taking place in EWR as a result of morning snow in New York, and I took the opportunity to read “T’was the Night Before Christmas” over the PA while we were waiting to taxi out.
But the thoughtful application of magic reindeer dust/de-icing fluid by our ground crew (radio call sign: “Iceman”) really helped speed us on our way to the North Pole. “Super-fast” is how I described it to our passengers.
A great bit of help from both Newark Tower and New York TRACON and we arrived at the North Pole (Gate C104) right on time to see Santa!
The children all got to meet the “Big Guy” and had a great party with music, food, and cookies. Presents were handed out and lots of Santa’s friends were there, too, along with lots of helpful elves.
I got to meet Iron Man, Thor, Elsa and Olaf, and Captain Marvel, just to name a few.
Meeting the kids was better. I had lots of visitors to the cockpit, and was too busy to take any pictures, but their parents/guardians/caretakers took plenty.
Best flight ever!
Humbled to be a small part, along with hundreds of other volunteers, of this great holiday tradition that showed an outpouring of real Christmas spirit.