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Qantas' latest flight to nowhere will give passengers a scenic view of the supermoon

May 12, 2021
3 min read
Qantas' latest flight to nowhere will give passengers a scenic view of the supermoon
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Qantas is launching another one of its special flights to nowhere on May 26, and passengers lucky enough to score a ticket will get an intimate look at the upcoming supermoon.

The airline is selling only 100 seats on one of its 787 Dreamliners for the special flight, promising spectacular views of the lunar event on the day when the moon will be at its closest point to the earth. The second and final supermoon of 2021 will happen at the same time as a full lunar eclipse, meaning passengers can expect a double phenomenon with the moon turning red against the evening sky.

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For those who are already in Australia, fares for the special flight start at $499 AUD (about £387) for economy (with a Qantas Points earn of 1,500 points plus 20 Status Credits), $899 AUD (about $698) for premium economy (Qantas Points earn of 2,500 and 40 Status Credits) and $1,499 AUD (about $1,164) for business class (4,000 Qantas Points earn plus 80 Status Credits).

“We have been absolutely overwhelmed with the popularity of our special flights," Qantas Chief Customer Officer Stephani Tully said in a statement. "The recent mystery flights sold out within 15 minutes with hundreds of people on waiting lists and they keep telling us they want more.”

The 787 Dreamliner is ideal for this type of sky-high sightseeing trip, since it has the largest windows of any passenger plane.

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The three-hour supermoon flight will take off from and return to Sydney. It will include a flyover of Sydney Harbour before climbing above the clouds to a cruising altitude of 43,000 feet, the max for a Dreamliner, to enjoy optimal views of the supermoon and lunar eclipse.

The route was designed to appeal to travelers with an affinity for astronomy and science as well as aviation. There will even be an astronomer on board. Dr Vanessa Moss from The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is partnering with the pilots to design the optimal flight path over the Pacific Ocean to provide the best views. She will also provide insights into supermoons and lunar eclipses during the flight.

As with its previous flights to nowhere, Qantas says it will operate the supermoon route with net-zero emissions, with 100% of emissions carbon offset.

These flights without destinations were an inventive workaround the airline devised to help keep some of its long-haul jets in the air during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as satisfy the travel itch of some of its customers. Australia's strict COVID-19 rules have prevented Australians from leaving the country without written government approval, so these scenic flights have provided a chance for frequent travelers to get their air miles in.

Past flights to nowhere included a seven-hour "Great Southern Land" flight over iconic Aussie sights such as the Great Barrier Reef. Other airlines have gotten creative about delivering some parts of the flight experience to their travel-starved customers. Singapore Airlines, for example, planned but canceled plans for its own flights to nowhere after complaints about its environmental impact. Instead, it has offered passengers a chance to enjoy first-class dining experiences aboard a parked Airbus A380 jumbo jet.

Featured photo courtesy of Qantas.

Featured image by Tim Stake
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023