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WestJet gives free flights to passengers at Edmonton International Airport

Travellers at Edmonton International Airport Thursday morning received an early Christmas surprise. Santa gave presents to everyone on the Edmonton to Abbotsford, B.C. WestJet flight.

Early Christmas presents an annual holiday tradition for the airline

Abbotsford-bound passengers had a pre-boarding surprise when Westjet Santa presented each with a special gift 0:58

Travellers at Edmonton International Airport Thursday morning received an early Christmas surprise.

Santa gave presents to everyone on a WestJet flight from Edmonton to Abbotsford, B.C.

The presents included headphones and a neck pillow.

But those were just teasers leading up to the big surprise — a voucher for a free ticket to anywhere WestJet flies.

It's part of the company's annual 12 Flights of Christmas marketing event.

"We thought what better way to lead into the holiday season than to be surprising and delighting our Canadian guests," said Lauren Stewart, WestJet spokesperson.

Stewart said about 116 people received the free flights.

Karen Bellous was one of them, and said it was "super exciting" to get the ticket voucher.

A WestJet employee hugs a lucky traveller after getting a free ticket anywhere the airline flies. (CBC)

'It was fun watching everybody get into it and lots of excitement for first thing in the morning," Bellous said.

Rebekah Essler wondered why Santa was at the airport.

She was pleased to get a gift she can use.

"This was a really big surprise so early in the morning," she said.

Edmonton was the sixth city involved in the WestJet promotion this year.

Rebekah Essler shows off her free flight voucher. (CBC)