Fantasy Flights: Now With Service to 'Christmas Island' - United Hub

Fantasy Flights: Now with service to 'Christmas Island'

By Matt Adams, December 11, 2017

On Tuesday, Honolulu's Fantasy Flight took to the skies once again after a 17-year hiatus, much to the delight of some very deserving keiki.

A few kids with Santa at 'Christmas Island'

The flight was scheduled as a nonstop leg to the North Pole, but after a scenic pass over Maui's Haleakalā volcano, the captain announced that they were diverting to "Christmas Island" so that Santa Claus could enjoy a last-minute vacation before his busy season begins.

A hangar at Honolulu airport served as the setting for the festive isle, decked out in full Polynesian/holiday décor (complete with a grass hut for Mr. and Mrs. Claus). Once they arrived, the children and their families were treated to a warm reception, with fun and games that included a 'ukulele workshop courtesy of Honolulu native and San Francisco-based Flight Attendant Leo Daquioag and several of his local musician friends.

"When they invited me to participate, I said yes without hesitating," Leo said. "The Fantasy Flights touch these families in such a special way, and our group embraced the opportunity to add some enjoyment through our 'ukulele playing."

Little boy at the Honolulu Fantasy Flight with his gift

To cap off the day, each child received gifts of toys, school supplies and much needed household necessities from Santa, with some of the items donated by Disney's Pixar Animation Studios.

Kids from the Ronald McDonald House, HUGS, INPEACE and Kapunahala Elementary School participated in this year's Fantasy Flight, which was coordinated by Honolulu-based Airport Operations Supervisor Liana Neff-Mausolf, a veteran of the original Honolulu Fantasy Flights years ago.

"They were so excited," she said of the children. "It started at 2 p.m., but people were already there at 10 a.m. to check in. And when they got to Christmas Island, they were ecstatic. One child, who has leukemia, was so tired but he didn't want to leave, so we brought in a couch for him so he could rest and still take part in the festivities."

Kids with their Honolulu Fantasy Flight shirts

Along with nearly 100 employee volunteers, Liana credits Honolulu-based Lead Customer Service Representative P.J. Valdez with helping to get the event off the ground again this year and Honolulu-based Flight Attendant Colleen Kahaku for recruiting the "Inflight elves" for the trip. And, according to Liana, you can expect to see more Honolulu Fantasy Flights.

"As we were cleaning up after the flight, we were talking about what we want to do next year," she said. "I'm already getting emails from employees who want to help."

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Scroll to top