United Airlines employees are hosting Fantasy Flights to the “North Pole” for children facing illness or living in underserved communities.
During these events – which kicked off at many airports this past weekend – children and their families board United flights to the North Pole for a special holiday experience.
Upon arrival, the children enter an airport gate or hangar where United employees have strung lights, set up Christmas trees and festively decorated to create a magical holiday destination.
Children meet Santa Claus and local celebrities, receive gifts and play games for a day of fun.
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Fantasy Flights are entirely volunteer-driven. United provides the aircraft and event location, while employees and retirees volunteer their time to raise money for gifts and fuel, bake cookies, prepare food, decorate gates and hangars, and even don holiday costumes.
More than 1,500 employees volunteer each year, says the company.
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United will host Fantasy Flights in all of its hub cities – Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, Newark, N.J., San Francisco and Washington, D.C. – as well as Boise, ID., Phoenix, San Antonio, Texas, and Sydney.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of more than 5,300 flights a day to more than 360 airports across six continents.