COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The annual Fantasy Flight allows underprivileged Colorado Springs children to experience the holidays.
"I'm going on a plane ride," said Aria Barr.
Their destination, the North Pole.
"We're going to go see Santa Claus," said Colton Lindberg.
Nearly 50 kids and their families took a flight to a “North Pole Wonderland” created by the JLCS, SkyWest and community volunteers.
SkyWest Airlines donated the plane ride, the jet fuel, and the crew to make it possible.
"We're so excited to be able to do this and a lot of these kids it's probably their only flight in their life, so it's very exciting," said Linda Abotnes, a flight attendant for SkyWest Airlines.
Excited kids rushed on board, wearing big smiles.
"I'd like to welcome you all aboard on a very special flight," Abotnes said.
"Once the kids got on the flight, they flew around Colorado Springs for about a half hour, eventually landing in a make believe North Pole at the other end of the Colorado Springs airport.
Once they landed kids were greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
Four Hundred families applied for this opportunity through CPCD Head Start Colorado.
"Families have to be below income, poverty level, in order to qualify for our program. The majority of our families live below poverty level with a few that are special needs or other qualifying factors," said Delberta Uvalle with CPCD.
The organization randomly picked 50 kids in need with the help of Junior League of Colorado Springs.
"This is a really incredible experience for these kids who haven't been on a plane before or haven't had the brightest Christmas," said Carly Kobasiar, with Junior League of Colorado Springs.
For parents, it was a chance to help give their kids some holiday cheer.
"We're so excited, I think this is an awesome opportunity. I've never heard of it before and we've lived here forever and I'm happy she gets to be a part of it," said Michelle Barr, a parent.
It was also a chance for the community to give back to those in need.
This is the 10th year the fantasy flight has taken off in Colorado Springs and it only happens in a few cities across the U.S.
For the 10th year running, SkyWest Airlines is partnering with the Junior League of Colorado Springs and CPCD to offer Fantasy Flight.
SkyWest operates 1,700 flights each day to 206 destinations throughout North America. Junior League of Colorado Springs is a nonprofit organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.