Pix of the Day

United Airlines Fantasy Flights transport kids to the North Pole and back

United Airlines Fantasy Flights take kids to the 'North Pole' and back

United Airlines fantasy flights dec 2014 2
Santa's helper with a family before boarding Fantasy Flight at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on Dec. 13. United Airlines
United Airlines free trips to 'North Pole'
Two Fantasy Flights recipients enjoy some in-flight fun en route to the 'North Pole.' United Airlines
United Airlines fantasy flights dec 2014
One little flyer is all smiles for Santa at the 'North Pole' at Washington-Dulles International Airport on Dec. 6. United Airlines
United Airlines fantasy flights dec 2014 2
United Airlines free trips to 'North Pole'
United Airlines fantasy flights dec 2014

While most children hope to receive a visit from Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, 800 deserving children and their families were able to visit the man himself, along with his many helpers, thanks to United Airlines

The children, many of whom suffer from serious illnesses or are victims of abuse or homelessness, were flown to the 'North Pole' this holiday season on one of the airline's Fantasy Flights. The children on these special flights — which take place at 12 airports around the country, including George Bush Intercontinental Airport — are selected from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, children's hospitals and various youth social service establishments. 

 After a brief flight, the children arrive at the 'North Pole,' a magical winter wonderland created at the airport gates.  

United's volunteers bring the holiday spirit to every detail of the experience, including festively dressed flight attendants and pilots, tarmac employees decked out with elf hats, and tinsel and ornament covered airport gates. Flight attendants even added a holiday twist to the onboard safety demonstration, announcing it in the style of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

After a brief flight, the children arrived at the 'North Pole,' a magical winter wonderland created at the airport gates which employees transformed with lights, Christmas trees and volunteers dressed in seasonal garb, including countless elves, as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus who were handing out presents to the children. More than 2,500 gifts were given to the 800 Fantasy Flight program participants to spread holiday cheer.

Got a great photo of a Houston happening or everyday occurrence? Send it to barbara@culturemap.com, along with details (who, what, where and why it's special). It might make our Pix of the Day.