It’s been a full year since travel as we knew it was put on indefinite hold. The pandemic has caused airlines to suffer unprecedented losses, but in an effort to jumpstart domestic travel, the Australian carrier Qantas is launching “mystery flights.”
Here’s how it works: Passengers book their flights but they won’t know the destination until they’re about to land. Tickets are priced at $577 for the one-day trip. The flights are limited to 120 people on board and will run from three major hubs — Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. The only thing passengers will know for sure is that all flights will be on Australian territory as the nation’s borders remain closed to international travel.
“Our new mystery flight adventures will offer a private charter Qantas B737 flight to and from the surprise location and a tailored itinerary on the ground to ensure you get the most out of your day trip. We’re working behind the scenes to create some truly wonderful experiences both on the ground and in the air,” Qantas shared on its website.
Another idea that carriers have come up with is a flight that doesn’t actually go anywhere. In October of last year, Qantas launched its flight to nowhere, which sold out in minutes. The route featured a seven-hour round-trip journey from Sydney to the Australian Outback where passengers got to see the Sydney Harbor, the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Kata Tjuta, and Bondi Beach from above. Other airlines followed suit, including Eva Air with its speed-dating flight that ran from Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport and circled around Taiwan.
Travelers have shown interest in the new trends that offer even the slightest resemblance to a traditional travel experience, providing a glimmer of hope for the airline industry as the pandemic continues to unfold.