As COVID continues around the world, Santa’s helpers have figured out several ways for children to “visit” him safely, without worrying about anyone catching coronavirus. Santa’s been placed on the other side of plexiglass or in an inflatable snowglobe, he’s been socially distanced, he’s spoken to kids via Zoom, and the list of adaptations goes on and on.
It’s all silly, of course – both the WHO and Dr. Fauci have specifically said that Santa Claus has a natural immunity to COVID. But still, better safe than sorry, right?
Anyway, Finnair, in tossing its Christmas hat into the ring, will be offering a virtual flight to visit Santa on December 25th. And the cost is only €10 per person! (about $12 and change)
After Santa’s busy night of delivering presents, children will be able to “check in” with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, in their hometown of Rovaniemi, in Lapland Finland, thanks to Finnair (which just happens to be Santa’s official airline – who knew?).
Finnair will be using virtual reality to offer customers an immersive 360-degree experience. Guests will be able to enjoy virtual refreshments served by cabin crew, admire all the stars in the sky and watch the beautifully dramatic northern lights from their ‘seat’ in Nordic Business Class.
Once in Rovaniemi, visitors will be able to cross into the Arctic Circle and enter Santa’s cabin so they can meet the jolly old elf.
“As Santa’s official airline, we’re excited to harness modern technology to create a truly memorable holiday experience,” said Mikko Turtiainen, Finnair vice president of global sales. “Our customers around the world will be able to enjoy the timeless wonder and holiday cheer of Finnish Lapland from the comfort of their own homes, while enjoying the thrill of sitting in Finnair Business Class. We hope it will inspire them to travel again once the time is right.”
Sanna Karkkainen, CEO of Visit Rovaniemi, said: “The time could not be better for a holiday VR experience on the wings of Santa’s official airline. We’ve been developing our VR experience in Rovaniemi for over a year now and joining forces with Finnair is a fantastic way to reach a global audience with a seasonal message–and a heart full of hope.”
The experience was created via a partnership with Zoan, a Finland-based VR studio with one of the most advanced real-time 3D graphics tools out there.
The holiday flight will be broadcasted as a live stream. You will get link and an access code to the flight in the order confirmation of the purchase. Choose the most suitable flight time for your schedule and make sure you are on time for the flight departure. Also remember that you’ll gain 250 Finnair Plus award points for each purchase! (Note from Sharon: boldface is mine) You can buy the virtual flight for yourself or as a gift to someone else. The flight is available in English only. The flight will be broadcasted in EET time zone” (Note from Sharon: that’s EST +7 hours.
Travelers’ flights will be viewable on mobile phones, laptops or VR headsets that can access a web browser and open a video.
Flights will last approximately 30 minutes and seats can be reserved from the Finnair Shop. The dates/times available are December 25, 28, 29 and 30, at your choice of 12pm EET/5am EST (5am? shudder!) or 7pm EET/1pm EST (1pm. That’s more like it!).
All proceeds will support UNICEF’s work to slow the spread of coronavirus and minimize the pandemic’s impact on children worldwide.
Want to learn more about the virtual reality part of the flight? Go to this page on Finnair’s website.
Feature Photo: Pixabay
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and get emailed notifications of when we post. Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group – we have 16,000+ members and we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary