Event TV: Santa drops in on Virgin Atlantic flight with Microsoft

Virgin Atlantic partnered with Microsoft last Sunday (21 December) to surprise customers with an on-board appearance from Santa Claus.

Santa chatted to crew and travellers
Santa chatted to crew and travellers

All 264 travellers journeying from London Heathrow to Boston were given a Windows tablet as an early Christmas present from Microsoft. Once they had boarded the 787 Dreamliner plane, they could use the aircraft’s wifi to log-on to interactive platform Norad Track Santa and experience a live chat with the man himself.

As the plane flew over Greenland, Santa radioed the pilots and asked for permission to land. Special glass panels in the roof created the illusion of St Nick alighting on the plane with his sleigh.

Santa then walked down the aisles, chatting to passengers and taking selfies before jetting off into the sky again. Microsoft kept the Christmas spirit alive after the departure by giving away prizes from Dell, Lenovo and its own brand through onboard competitions.

The brands' in-house teams also utilised the 787 cabin’s layout and lighting system to deliver a multi-sensory event, featuring the sounds and scents of Christmas.

Fred Warren, creative director at Microsoft Connected Digital Services, said: "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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