WestJet launches Christmas campaign with help from four-legged friends
The Calgary-based airline gave out free flights at Calgary International Airport
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Calgary-based WestJet has set the bar high with its annual Christmas Miracle campaign, but this year the airline may have gone to the dogs.
A group of passengers flying from Calgary to Kelowna on Sunday were greeted at their gate by 40 dogs (and one cat) brought in by Calgary's Pet Access League Society (PALS).
WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said it was to help kick off this year's Twelve Flights of Christmas.
"You see them in the airport sometimes anyway – we know that pets reduce stress and we know this time of year can be stressful (…) so we thought it would be nice for people to have the opportunity to interact with some pets and get some really cool gifts," Stewart told Metro.
Each dog had three gift tags with a passenger's name on each one. Guests then went around to the different animals, meeting them and looking for their gift tags.
Stewart said each passenger traded in their gift tag for a gift – either a free flight voucher or a gift card.
"It was a big surprise to all the guests," said Stewart. "It was kind of fun chaos, but to see the smiles on people's faces and for the kids to see Santa, it was a really fun experience."
Jillian Harris, blogger and co-host of Love it or List It Vancouver, was on hand to help lead the event and connect passengers with the right pets.
"It was fun to see grown men running around – checking dog collars for their names," she said. "These days people are so serious. They're going from one place to another, their faces are in their phone. It was just fun to see the excitement."
WestJet will be rolling out other surprises around the country in the run-up to Christmas. They already had Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard helping deliver gifts at a Montreal airport.
As with all Christmas presents, they're not revealing too much about how the next 10 events will take place, but frequent flyers should be on the lookout.