When Qantas planned its own flight to nowhere, sightseeing around Australia’s greatest landmarks, it was uncertain just how well the tickets would sell. Seven hours on a Dreamliner is a long time to end up right back where you started. Nevertheless, the sale went live at midday today. Ten minutes later, all the tickets had sold, making this the ‘fastest-selling flight in Qantas history,’ according to the airline.
Flights to nowhere
Flights to nowhere have become all the rage as border restrictions hamper our ability to travel far from home. Many Asian airlines have offered these types of flights, and all have reported being oversubscribed for the trip, often running raffles to allocate seats. But that’s Asia, and those flights were just a couple of hours long.
When Qantas stepped up with a seven-hour Dreamliner experience around Australia, there was some speculation about how popular it would be. After all, if you spend seven hours on a plane, you kind of want to be somewhere else when you disembark. Still, Qantas thought a sky-high tour of some of Australia’s best-loved beauty spots would be worth a shot.
The flights, due to take place on October 10th, will take joyriders from Sydney on a sightseeing trip around the nation. On the list are Uluru, Kata Tjuta, the Whitsundays, Gold Coast and Byron Bay. Tickets were priced with a nod to the Dreamliner, at AU$787 in economy, AU$1787 for premium economy or AU$3787 for a business class seats. They went on sale at 12:00 Sydney time today, but did anyone want them?
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The fastest-selling flight in history
Turns out, everyone wanted them. Ticket sales began at midday, and by ten past, all had been sold. The speed at which the flight sold out surpassed even Qantas’ expectations.
A Qantas spokesperson commented to Simple Flying this morning,
“We knew it would be popular, but we didn’t expect it to sell out in ten minutes. It’s probably the fastest selling flight in Qantas history.”
Just 149 happy joyriders managed to nab tickets for the trip, which will include breakfast in the Qantas lounge with live entertainment, as well as a goody bag in flight. Everyone on the plane will also get some iconic ‘flying kangaroo’ pajamas, although they likely won’t need them for the seven-hour trip. They’ll also get exclusive access to a pre-flight auction of memorabilia from the recently-retired Qantas 747 fleet.
With Australia’s international borders closed, this is as close as Aussies are likely to come to an exotic trip this year. Qantas is pushing for a relaxation of border restrictions and is keen to get at least the domestic borders opened in time for Christmas. Nevertheless, given the popularity of this flight to nowhere, the airline isn’t ruling out doing more flights without borders. Their spokesperson said,
“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.”
Did you get a ticket for the sightseeing flight? Do you wish you did? Let us know in the comments.