A limited number of Fantasy Flights operate each year, but not nearly as many as before 9/11. Usually a local corporation donates money for the fuel, and the airport usually waives their fee for landing and ATC expenses. The employees donate their time to decorate the gate and to work the flight. Usually it's needy or disadvantaged children who get the hour-long flight. It's really a cool thing for them!
There were only a handful of flights last year, mostly due to our bankruptcy. Even though it doesn't cost the company anything, I guess we're just keeping a low profile! I think I remember a flight last year in SJO
, Costa Rica. None of them are "official flights" and can be hard to track.
About five years ago I helped to crew a 727 for the Boise Fantasy Flight. Since I work in Chicago, though, I wasn't able to be onboard for the flight. Some UA
pilots and flight attendants who live in Boise came to the airport in uniform, on their own time to meet the kids and take pictures, etc. Very cool.