HOUSTON -

Dozens of very special kids boarded a very special flight Saturday.

“Welcome to United 1761, nonstop service to the North Pole. Welcome aboard,” a flight attendant said as the children boarded the plane.

United Airlines invited 68 children, along with their families, to experience a holiday trip any kid would envy. Those children are currently being treated at area hospitals for illnesses.

“They just enjoyed the day and it gives them a few hours to forget about their problems,” said Stephanie Buchanan, a United Airlines spokesperson.

Flight 1761 took off from Bush Intercontinental Airport on a magical twenty minute flight to the 'North Pole.' When the plane landed, the children could not believe their eyes, as Snow White and Cinderella greeted them at the gate. 

While some kids met with Santa and his elves, others admired drawings of themselves. Among the many gifts the kids received were footballs signed by Texans players.

“Everybody is really welcoming and it really just brought joy to me for the Christmas season,” said Irene McDonald, who was one of the special kids who got to take the trip to the North Pole.