After months of being cooped up in our homes, it’s understandable that many people are getting the itch to start traveling again. But with travel bans and sheltering orders still in place around the world, even just the sensation of traveling is something that many thought they would never miss. But thanks to the Australian airline Qantas, flyers can now go on seven-hour flights nowhere.
In what Qantas calls their “‘Great Southern Land’ scenic flight,” flyers will leave Sydney Domestic Airport and then will view many Australian destinations with a low-level flyby. According to Qantas website, the flights to nowhere go across Queensland, the Northern Territory, and New South Wales. The views you can take in include the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Byron Bay, and iconic Sydney Harbor. After the seven-hour flight, the plane will return again to Sydney Domestic Airport.
If these flights to nowhere sound like a great idea, you’re out of luck. Unfortunately, the Great Southern Land scenic flight sold out in 10 minutes. The flight, which will take place on Qantas’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner is known for its larger-than-usual windows, which are perfect for this type of flight. This initial flight only offered 134 tickets, with pricing from $566 to $2,734 in U.S. dollars.
The flight package isn’t just a nice view of gorgeous Australia landscapes, it’s a day full of entertainment. The flight comes with a pre-flight breakfast and lunch, a live auction for Qantas 747 memorabilia, a commemorative flight certificate, and a gift bag that includes Qantas Business pajamas and an amenity kit. Finally, the flight will feature a surprise host MC and various other entertainment. According to Reuters, a spokeswoman from Qantas said, “It’s probably the fastest selling flight in Qantas history. People clearly miss travel and the experience of flying. If the demand is there, we’ll definitely look at doing more of these scenic flights while we all wait for borders to open.”
This is just one of many recent ways that airports around the world are trying out inventive new ways of giving people the travel experience. In July, Taipei’s Songshan Airport offered “pretend to go abroad” airport tours. Passengers would go through the regular boarding procedures before getting on a plane solely for the entertainment of…getting on a plane.
EVA Air also introduced their own flight to nowhere onboard of a Hello Kitty-themed plane. The three hour flight took off from Taipei’s Taoyuan Airport, and flew around the skies for three hours, before returning to the airport. All Nipon Airways in Japan also offered a short 1.5 hour flight to replicate the “Hawaiian resort experience.”
While airports around the world have done their best in order to make flying as safe as possible, the entire airline industry has been hit hard over the last few months. An article in the New York Times in March stated that the coronavirus outbreak could make the airline industry lose $113 billion worldwide. However with demand clearly there for these types of scenic flights and Asia and Australia’s offerings seemingly a massive success, who knows how many more fake flights will fly the skies for the foreseeable future.