‘Nowhere’ and other routes fix travel junk during corona virus locking

'Nowhere' and other routes fix travel junk during corona virus locking

Whether it’s booking for “nowhere flights” or buying food on a plane to eat at home or starring on a plane for social media, travel junk goes to extreme lengths to get their solution.

One big thing that people miss when they can’t travel during epidemics is actually flying in planes.

Tickets priced from 787 to 78 3,787 went on sale this week on a Qantas Visiting Delight, when the 787 Dreamliner took off and landed at Sydney Airport. They sold out in minutes.

Passengers on the “Great Southern Land” will board a Boeing 787, commonly used for international long-haul routes, and fly at low altitudes in Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney Harbor.

Flies without ‘all the bad bits’

The only way tourists can go to see Uluru at this time is by flying.(ABC News: Neta Vanovak)

Curtin University aviation expert Michael Byrd, himself an aviation enthusiast, said he was a big fan of the idea.

“I like to do one of these flights because the 787 is a great aircraft because I enjoy the experience I had on one plane,” he said.

Dr. Byrd said Qantas had “taken out all the bad bits of flying”.

For those who like the flying experience it means “getting up in the air and having fun”.

“It’s been six months since most people were able to board a passenger jet,” he said.

‘Nowhere flights’

Qantas’ sightseeing is part of a growing trend among airlines of “nowhere” in the Asia-Pacific region to take off and land at the same airport.

The Asia-Pacific Airlines Association has seen a 97.5 percent decline in international travel in the region, which has led many airlines to find ways to wake people up without taking them anywhere.

Taiwan’s EVA Airways last month used one of its iconic “Hello Kitty” planes for a two-hour and 45-minute Father’s Day flight (code BR5288, known as “I love you daddy” in Mandarin) at Taipei’s airport.

Two women take a selfie with their passports in front of a check-in counter at an airport.
Of the 7,000 people who applied to check in at the non-departing Changchun Airport, only 60 were selected.(Reuters: Ann Wang)

Meanwhile, Japan’s ANA used an Airbus SEA380, which usually flies to Honolulu with a 90-minute flight with a Hawaiian experience.

Flights in Asia are just as popular as those offered by Qantas.

A Tiger Taiwanese flight from Taipei circling over the South Korean island of Jeju costs 8,228. It is said to have sold out in four minutes.

The price includes a one-year voucher for round-trip tickets from Taiwan to Korea, which can be used after the COVID-19 travel ban is lifted.

Chen Shu Tche, an engineer from Taipei who bought the tickets for the flight, said the voucher made a good deal and he was unable to travel – especially to South Korea.

“The epidemic is having a devastating impact on the tourism and aviation industry, so I want to help lift the economy, I miss flying,” he told Reuters.

Carbon emissions reviews

Not everyone is a fan of these “nowhere planes”.

Reports in the Singapore Straits Times on Sunday that Singapore Airlines was considering operating beautiful flights from next month provoked strong criticism.

Singapore Airlines said it was considering a number of initiatives, but had not yet made a final decision on whether to offer visiting flights.

Qantas said it would pay to offset carbon emissions on its beautiful flight from Sydney, although some noted that it would not actually reduce emissions.

Taste of flying while on the ground

People eat airplane food in a restaurant with airplane seats instead of chairs.
Customers dine at a Thai Airways pop-up restaurant headquartered in Bangkok.(Reuters: Salini Thirasuba)

Meanwhile, some other services for frequent pilots yearn for a plane.

In July, Taiwan’s Sangshan Airport completed a major upgrade due to the epidemic and wanted to show its results.

Sixty “passengers” received boarding passes and were taken by security and immigration before boarding China Airlines’ Airbus A330, Taiwan’s largest airline, where flight attendants spoke to them.

They then got off the plane and were served food at the airport food court.

Entitled Flight Food, Thai Airways opened a pop-up restaurant at their headquarters in Bangkok this month, offering food on board to passengers on air seats.

In Australia, earlier this year, airline service providers Kate Kourmet began selling frozen food and snack packs directly to the public from Brisbane Airport in Sydney and Muscat.

The menu includes dishes such as “Roasted Chicken Chipoltas with Creamy Mash Peas and Onion Gravy” and “Hockey Vegetable Noodles with Soy Chili and Garlic, which must be heated in the microwave before serving.”

Staff dressed as flight attendants serve food to customers on a fake flight.
At Tokyo ‘s First Airlines, staff dressed as waitresses provide customers with virtual travel experiences.(Reuters: Kim Kyung-hoon)

In Japan, First Airlines – offers travel experiences using virtual reality technology – This is not a new service, but it is in growing demand.

Landing passengers sit in first or business class seats in a dummy airplane and are served food and drinks on the plane, while flat panel screens display exterior views of the aircraft, including passing clouds. They receive a pre-flight safety demonstration with a life jacket and oxygen mask.

As they “arrive”, virtual reality glasses offer in-depth tours of places including Paris, New York, Rome and Hawaii.

‘Fake it to the gram

People are expressing their frustration at not being able to take vacations in other ways.

Earlier this year, Dictoc users began posting themselves on videos or performing familiar airport rituals, often using the #TravelTome hashtag.

Play or pause, M to disable, search left and right arrows, arrows up and down the block.

Dictoc users create travel-inspired videos

Meanwhile, many who yearn for simpler times when borders are less of a barrier have tried to recreate some of their favorite travel photos for Instagram and Facebook for the #quarantinetravelerchallenge.

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But while all of this is a fun distraction, it’s not one.

We hope it will not be long before the corona virus starts to cross borders again without restrictions.

ABC / wires

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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