This isn’t really an education piece per se, but it is Christmas, and it’s a feelgood story worth sharing!
On Sunday night passengers flying from Heathrow to Boston with Virgin Atlantic were treated to a very festive experience to get their Christmas holidays off to a dream start. As they boarded the flight, adults and children alike were handed a brand new 8-inch quad-core Windows 8.1 tablet, fully loaded with a number of apps and games, however the most important piece of the pre-installed software was the portal to a “Festive Flight” section…
When connected to the Virgin Atlantic 787’s on-board WiFi, the Festive Flight experience allowed passengers to track the progress of their own flight, as well as seeing where they were in relation to Santa, who was in the midst of his own preliminary airborne excursion ahead of the real deal on December 24th. Being the sociable chap that he is, whenever VS11 (the Virgin flight) and Santa’s reindeer powered sleigh were within communicable proximity of each other, the man in red would respond to messages that had been sent to him by passengers using a special version of the Norad Santa Tracker installed on the tablets given to them when they boarded.
But then the captain made an announcement over the cabin PA system saying that he could see something out of his window…
Having boarded the 787 mid-flight, Santa walked around the cabin, posing for photos with elated children (and a few excitable adults!) and wishing all on board a very Merry Christmas. Just as the bearded benevolent man was about to hop back on his sleigh, he announced that all the passengers were on his ‘nice list’, and as such the 8” Windows tablets they’d been given prior to departure were gifts for them to keep!
The whole project was a joint endeavour between Microsoft and Virgin Atlantic, and is a prelude to further collaboration on future tech initiatives between ourselves and the airline. Pocket-Lint were invited to experience the Festive Flight, and the article How Virgin Atlantic gave the passengers of flight VS11 a tech Christmas to remember will reveal more about the other seasonal treats that were laid on for the passengers of this particular flight to Boston.