Frequent fliers who really, really, really miss traveling are rushing to buy tickets for flights that land in the same place they departed from.
While this reads like a satirical headline from The Onion, according to a report by the New York Times, there is a significant number of people who miss the “anticipation of flying” so much that they’re willing to pay for tickets that won’t take them anywhere. Some aspects of the check-in are different to accommodate social distancing rules, but for the most part, everyone seems pleased to be able to wait in security lines again.
Thousands of people in Brunei, Taiwan, Japan and Australia have been buying into these “scenic flights” to nowhere.
Some of the flights have themes — like Taiwan’s iconic Hello Kitty airplane and Japan’s Hawaiian-resort-themed 90-minute flight — and most of them seat passengers in first or business class. Travel agents told the New York Times that these flights to nowhere are “appealing” because airlines aren’t cramming the planes with people.
A spokeswoman for the Taiwanese airline STARLUX told the publication that Starlux scheduled six flights to nowhere since August and announced an additional 12 flights throughout October, and most of the flights have sold out within 10 minutes.
STARLUX launched in January 2020 as Taiwan’s first “luxury boutique airline.”
With new amenities, five-star airplane food and adorable Hello Kitty tickets, it does make some sense why people would be taking advantage of the offers. Considering my budget is more Spirit Airlines than “luxury boutique,” I am fine staying on the ground for the time being.
Environmentalists, on the other hand, are reportedly frustrated with the flights to nowhere. In 2018 alone, global civil aviation accounted for 918 million tons of carbon dioxide.
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