We’ve certainly seen some creativity as businesses work within the current context to make their offerings more pandemic-friendly. And some have really been working -- like the use of curbside pickup and contactless deliveries for anything from food to library books.
For other industries, there’s a clear limit ... let’s just say that our steam room days are over.
One sector that’s taken a tremendous hit is, of course, the travel industry, and everyone from airlines to major plane manufacturers have bemoaned plummeting revenue as customers try to stay planted in their home zip codes.
Now, some airlines are attempting to inject some cash into their businesses while appealing to travelers’ wanderlust in a more limited way: they’re offering flights to nowhere.
Qantas Airways in Australia recently offered bookings for a seven-hour “sightseeing” flight the CEO claims was the fastest-selling flight in the company’s history. Ticket prices were reportedly between $566 and $2,734, and the itinerary includes taking off from Sydney, going in a giant loop and landing in … Sydney. The airline says it’s clear based on the flight’s popularity that people miss the experience of flying.
According to USA Today, Qantas joins a few other airlines in this travel-"lite" experience, including one in Taiwan who offered Hello Kitty-themed flights from Taipei and back.
The Qantas flight takes place on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and is said to offer some low flyovers near notable attractions. It also includes special onboard entertainment including, reportedly, “a surprise celebrity host.”