NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It was a trip of a lifetime for parents and their children who got their boarding passes and headed to the North Pole.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, United Airlines employee volunteers at Newark Liberty International Airport hosted a fantasy flight to the North Pole for children from University Hospital and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

“My son Santino has leukemia, and this is a wonderful, wonderful situation they’ve presented for children,” said Arthur Anastasia.

Last year, Santino spent Christmas in the hospital. His dad said he is doing much better now and you can see it in his smile.

Many of the children who were invited on the special flight are living with a serious illness or are in recovery.

“She has sickle cell disease so the organization planned this for them,” said Azimah Smith of her 2-year-old daughter Cashmere.

“My Christmas wish is I want to be good and I want to be happy forever,” said one little boy.

With windows open the group took off, and after about an hour in the air, they arrived at the North Pole to meet Santa.

“It looks like we were really at the North Pole,” said Ernest.

“I see Santa Clause, Batman, Minions, and Mickey Mouse,” said another little boy.

Of course, all the kids who took the special flight were on Santa’s nice list.

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