Many people, including myself, dread any kind of travel during the holiday season. With the long lines, the traffic, the heavy coats and the weather delays, this busy time of year for travel sees its fair share of Scrooges.

But that wasn’t the case for those traveling with WestJet earlier this week.

The Canadian airline pulled off an incredible piece of public relations, surprising each of the weary travelers on two of its flights with exactly what they wanted for Christmas. The YouTube video which depicts the entire story garnered over 8 MILLION views on YouTube in 48 hours.

“This is all about having some fun with Santa Claus himself, having some fun with WestJetters, and spreading that Christmas cheer to all those that are traveling with us,” said WestJet's Vice-President of Communications and Community Relations Richard Bartrem.

And spread the Christmas cheer they did, giving out a big-screen television to one family and a smart tablet to a young boy. One passenger even received the socks and underwear he asked for.

Here’s why this was a grade-A piece of Public Relations.

  • TIMING: The video came out in the midst of the holiday season, and WestJet brilliantly capitalized on the Christmas Spirit.
  • IT HAD HEART: As WestJet tweeted yesterday, 

  • The FEEL-GOOD FACTOR: There’s something inexplicable about the joy that comes with watching people’s wishes come true.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA: The combination of some Christmas giving magic and a very well-edited video has proven to be the ultimate social media share.