Microsoft and Virgin Atlantic treat long-haul passengers to free tablets and Santa

Sean Cameron


Long-haul flights are typically the same for most fliers; that is to say, terrible food, someone snoring next to you, and never enough leg room. Virgin Atlantic, in a partnership with Microsoft, recently staged a stunt that not only broke this mold, but threw it into a thermonuclear abyss.

The 17:35 flight from London to Boston on 21/12/2014 was due to be simply another long-haul trip, with all the implications that entails. Upon entering the queue for departure however, passengers could sense something different in the air. It could have been a feeling, it could have been a fleeting glimpse of a reindeer in the heavens, or it could have been the £100 quad-core Windows 8 tablet, fully charged and complete with a goody bag, that each of them was handed.

Things then proceeded to return to something approaching normality, that is until night approached and passengers were warned that they were flying perilously close to a notorious bearded vigilante who had chosen to make the Arctic his home. Passengers were then stunned to hear a small thud on the roof, a quiet terror took over. Through the use of projectors and surround sound speakers that Microsoft employees had set up, a window was projected onto the ceiling of the aircraft, through which the dangerous outlaw, Santa, could be seen. 

Santa on Virgin Atlantic

Without a prompt, he then entered, accompanied by his helpers, and proved his credentials as a man of the people by dispensing good cheer and more than a little wonderment to the children and young at heart on board, before leaving and returning to his nocturnal predilections. 

Some long-haul flights are tales of drudgery and tedium, however when flying Virgin Atlantic, this may not always be the case, and there’s always the chance of a free tablet too. As Microsoft track Santa with the help of NORAD through Bing, it seems as though Redmond may have a direct line to the man in red himself.

Will you be flying Virgin Atlantic from now on? Let us know in the comments below.