Tourism PEI had a special surprise for 130 passengers taking an Air Canada flight Thursday from Toronto to Montreal.

Every passenger was handed an iPod that was filled with P.E.I. images and information.

Brenda Gallant, the marketing director, said the Island doesn’t have a big budget for tourism, so they had to get creative.

"They were coming on the plane, many with a confused look," she laughed. "It was fun to listen to some of the comments saying things like ‘is this a real iPod?’"

She said their goal was to come up with a way to excite people about the province, and cause buzz on social media sites. The plan worked, she said, as many  tweeted about their free gift.

That wasn’t the only surprise for the travellers.

Entertainers performed in the gate area as the passengers waited to board.

On the plane, they were hosted by Anne of Green Gables, a Father of Confederation, a golfer and a chef carrying a fake lobster.

The pilot played along, joking the flight was actually going to go to P.E.I. instead of Montreal.

While the flight did land at its planned destination, one passenger was handed a free trip to the Island.

The campaign cost the government about $30,000 – two-thirds of that was spent on the iPods.

The Tourism Minister wouldn’t say if the province will try this sky-high marketing plan again. Rob Henderson said the element of surprise is a key part of their strategy.