Imagine this: as far as you are concerned, December 25th never happened.
Oh, the sadistic hand of time zones! If you happened to be on a flight departing sometime late on December the 24th and arriving sometime the next day, but you flew west across the international dateline, December 25– Christmas– didn’t happen. Stupid time zones.
One airline whose passengers would experience this sort of time zone twilight zone™ was Virgin Australia. However, they decided to give those passengers who missed Christmas altogether a little dose of holiday cheer.
Onboard Virgin Australia flights between Los Angeles and Sydney and Brisbane which departed on the evening of the 24th and arrived on the morning of the 26th, passengers were served a Christmas dinner by flight attendants wearing Santa hats. After many passengers went to sleep, ‘Santa Claus’ went around the cabin, distributing gift bags of candy and gift cards. Additionally, every member of the Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer program was given a status upgrade, with regular members getting silver status, silvers getting gold, gold getting platinum, etc. Holders of the airline’s highest status level, Platinum, received 100,000 free miles. Virgin even produced a video about the flight:
It’s great to see the people who missed a very special holiday getting to experience some Christmas awesomeness at 38,000 feet above the Pacific. Heck, even those on the flight who don’t celebrate Christmas had their flight made a little more special.
While I have never been in the air on Christmas, I have been away from home on the High Holiday once. I’ll never forget walking around the Hong Kong harbor front on Christmas morning, and seeing absolutely everything hung with wreaths and candy canes and Santa Claus heads and everything else imagineable. Even if I wasn’t home, seeing a Christmas tree in the lobby of the Intercontinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong and knowing that there was one a lot like it in my home 25 miles north of San Diego, California, more than 7000 miles away was somehow exciting. So, no, I wasn’t home, but it was Christmas all the same.