Imagine boarding a plane, taking off, and landing on the same tarmac you departed from a few hours earlier. It might not sound like an appealing option to many travelers, but as it turns out, these “flights to nowhere” are becoming immensely popular.
Qantas, an airline out of Australia, implemented a particularly unique strategy to that end: selling a “sightseeing” flight that, after “low level flybys of unique destinations across Australia including the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Sydney Harbour,” would land at the exact same airport it departed from. No passport required.
While the idea initially struck many in the travel space as a probable dud, it was actually an immense success, selling out completely in less than 10 minutes.
According to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, it was most likely “fastest selling flight in Qantas history,” (via VICE).
Amazingly, that record has already been beaten.
Qantas recently announced another “flight to nowhere,” this time promising passengers the opportunity to view an upcoming supermoon — a phenomenon that occurs when the moon’s orbit brings it closest to earth — from a cruising altitude of 40,000 feet.
That flight, which went on sale this week, sold out in record shattering time: less than two and a half minutes, according to Joyce.
Billed as a “Supermoon Scenic Flight,” this unconventional flight will take off on May 26, at which point passengers will enjoy “a two-and-a-half-hour sojourn through the southern sky.”
Tickets started at AUS $499 for an economy ticket (US $386) or $1,499 for a business class ticket (US $1,160).
“After taking in the Sydney Harbour nightlights on departure, the aircraft will climb above any cloud cover and head east out over the Pacific Ocean,” the Qantas website previews. “Onboard our B787 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring the biggest windows on any passenger aircraft, enjoy mother nature’s night lights at 40,000 feet, followed by a viewing of the rising of the supermoon which also happens to be a total lunar eclipse, a highly unusual double act.”