When we considered how to make this wish experience truly intimate and unique for DJ, we turned to our valuable partner, Virgin America. Virgin America has been the official airline for the chapter for years, and has warmly embraced each child whose wish starts on board one of their fleet. What started as a wish to have an airplane experience became a full Captain-in-training exercise for DJ, as Virgin America helped envision an experience unlike any other.
To start, Virgin America presented DJ with his own custom-made uniform, complete with aviator sunglasses and a pilot wings pin. Then came a special behind-the-scenes VIP tour. Virgin America welcomed DJ and his parents to San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2, where Captain DJ met his in-flight crew for a quick briefing.
Once acquainted with his team, Captain DJ led the crew down the jetbridge and onboard one of Virgin America's new Airbus A320 aircrafts.
There his First Officer, Captain Corcoran, provided DJ with a tour of the flight deck so he could become familiar with all of the controls.
After that, Captain DJ stopped by the brand-new Air Traffic Control tower at SFO for a quick tour before heading over to Virgin America's flight simulator for some hands-on training.
While in the simulator, Captain DJ co-piloted an Airbus A320 flight from San Francisco to Honolulu, Hawaii – even making sure to call out all of the correct landing commands!
Captain DJ and his enthusiasm made a big impression on the Virgin America crew – one they said they won’t forget any time soon.
A version of this post was originally published on the Virgin America blog.