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December 22, 2014

Microsoft & Virgin land Father Christmas on flight

Father Christmas landed on the plane to give his reindeers a rest over Greenland.

By Ellie Burns

Passengers onboard a Virgin Atlantic flight travelling from London Heathrow to Boston were treated to some festive fun, as Father Christmas dropped by during the flight.

Travellers on board the airline’s 787 Dreamliner on 21st December saw Father Christmas fly by the aircraft during a trans-Atlantic reindeer training flight.

The experience began at boarding where all 264 customers 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.

When the aircraft was over Greenland, Father Christmas radioed the Virgin Atlantic pilots flying the aircraft 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 hatch.

Father Christmas 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 Xbox and Windows devices from Dell, Lenovo & Microsoft being won in competitions during the flight.

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Debbie Hulme, Head of Customer Experience at Virgin Atlantic commented, "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".

Fred Warren, Creative Director, Microsoft Connected Digital Services commented: "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."

"Co-creating this concept with Virgin Atlantic has been unique as we adapted the technology to deliver a true Virgin Atlantic brand experience".

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