CLEVELAND – With Christmas cheer filling the air, they waited to check-in for a whimsical flight at Cleveland Hopkins Airport; the entire day under Santa’s care.
"Please take out your safety cards in your seat pocket."
With boarding passes in hand, children from the organization called A Kid Again, the Cleveland Clinic and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital boarded the plane for a short, festive flight.
And exactly one hour later, they landed at the North Pole.
Lind Jacobs with United Airlines said, "And to see these kids and the excitement that they have when they come off that plane, there is a feeling, to me, it's a Christmas miracle."
The Smith family moved to Cleveland from California one year ago, seeking better medical care for their young son battling an undisclosed illness.
Dad Eric Smith said, "He can't do everything that a normal 8-year-old boy can do, so to get these opportunities to come and enjoy with other families in similar situations, just, I was excited."
Kelly Smith said, "I think in a day and age where we hear a lot of bad things about what's happening in the world, to actually to be able to experience the good."
Once they landed in the magically transformed North Pole, kids got to take pictures with Santa and participate in activities including face-painting, making animal balloons, enjoying plenty of food and singing Christmas carols.
The children also received gifts from their wish lists, all while enjoying this winter wonderland.
This is the 26th year United has held the Christmas fantasy flights at Cleveland Hopkins.