Granting a 3-year-old’s aviation wish

Photo of child in Virgin America flight deck with Captain

Over the past three years, we’ve been proud to serve as the Official Airline of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area and fly hundreds of children and their families across the country to help fulfill their wishes. And just last week we were honored with the opportunity to welcome three-year-old Darrien (DJ) and his parents to San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 for an extra-special, behind-the-scenes VIP tour.

DJ, who was diagnosed with a type of cancer known as neuroblastoma, first expressed a fascination with planes during his first flight at age one. From watching planes take-off and land, to learning all of the technical terms – his love of aviation has only grown since then. Now three, DJ shared that for his wish, he wanted to be a Captain-for-a-day – and you can only imagine how excited we were to share our passion with a junior aviator.

First up on Captain DJ’s special day at SFO, was meeting with the rest of the in-flight crew for a quick briefing before going through security. Once acquainted with his team, Captain DJ led the crew down the jetbridge and onboard one of our new Airbus A320 aircraft.

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 our Flight Simulator for some hands-on training.

While in the sim, 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!Needless to say, Captain DJ and his enthusiasm made a big impression on all of us – one that we won’t be forgetting any time in the near future.