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Thanks to United, Arionza kids take special flight to meet Santa at the North Pole

United Airlines took dozens of kids on a flight to the North Pole on Friday morning.

For 22 years, over 2,500 kids have had to opportunity to experience the fantasy flight program, and it’s more successful than ever.

“This is a culmination of a year long effort and the idea is to bring a once in a lifetime experience to some really deserving kids in the valley,” said Captain Bob Miller, the pilot of the fantasy flight.

Miller and Rich Vehring, City Manager, started the first fantasy flight in 1995.

On Friday morning there were 120 lucky students from two schools, one homeless shelter in Mesa, and a group of kids from Luke Air Force, each of whom has a family member currently deployed, who enjoyed a flight of a lifetime.

“The kids love it. The majority of our students have never been on an airplane, so this is the first flight for them, in addition to Santa Claus, that’s the best part is getting the flight,” said Diane Fernichio with Step It Up Schools, the non-profit that sponsors the flight.

The kids received shoes, sweatshirts, blankets, toys, books and a tablet.

And of course, perhaps the best gift of them all: a visit with Santa Claus.

The same non-profit that sponsors the fantasy flight also pays for all of the gifts and provides educational tools for the kids year round.

As featured on FOX 10 News: Read more

Our next Fantasy Flight is departing on December 7, 2018.

This web site is for the Fantasy Flight held in Phoenix Arizona. If you have questions about events in other cities please contact that city directly, thank you.
Welcome to the home of the Phoenix United Fantasy Flight! The impact that our Fantasy Flight has on the participating children, volunteers and sponsors is overwhelming and can only be appreciated by those who participate in our event every year. Our Fantasy Flight is totally self supporting and is flown by professional United Airlines flight crews and flight attendants using an overnight aircraft.  We are well organized, an official public charity and have operated successfully for seventeen years. We provide United Airlines with a positive image of community concern and involvement and we believe the Fantasy Flight concept should be endorsed and expanded to other cities.We welcome your support and invite you to join us for our next flight at 7:00 AM, Friday, December 7, 2018.

A Fantasy Flight is a charitable event that usually takes place around Christmas in several United Airlines cities. Each station chooses a deserving group of children to host at the event. The children board a designated flight and depart to the “North Pole”. They return to a different gate decorated for Christmas where they meet Santa, receive gifts and refreshments.  The gift bags include toys as well as blankets, gloves, hats, toothbrushes etc.
The first Fantasy Flight occurred in London, England in December 1991, when United Airlines donated a 727 to fly one hundred children from an orphanage to Lapland, Rovaneimi Finland for reindeer sleigh rides and a visit to “Father Christmas Village”. The success of the “Fantasy Flight” concept gradually expanded to over forty six cities, providing needy children with an experience of a lifetime.Phoenix operated its first flight in 1996.
2012 Fantasy Flight 005


United Fantasy Flight has partnered with Amazon.com. Simply go to smile.amazon.com and select "United Fantasy Flight" in their drop down menu and we will receive a portion of any purchase!