Qantas latest in growing list of airlines to launch scenic flight to nowhere
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Are flights to nowhere one of the hottest new travel trend of 2020?
Qantas is now offering travel-starved Australians the option of boarding its flagship Boeing 787 aircraft next month for a joy flight departing from Sydney (SYD) airport. Executive Traveller reports the special “Great Southern Land” flight will fly over multiple states with views of iconic sights, including the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru. The special flight finishes with a low pass over Sydney Harbour before landing right where it started from, seven hours later.
Sign up for the daily TPG email for more airline news!
“So many of our frequent flyers are used to being on a plane every other week and have been telling us they miss the experience of flying as much as the destinations themselves,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
The flight will operate with middle seats blocked. This is not primarily for social distancing reasons, but more so to allow passengers more space to gaze out of the windows at the views below. As for the environmental concerns of flying to nowhere, Qantas promises the special flight will be “carbon offset and operate on a cost-neutral basis.”
The flight went on sale early on Thursday and all 134 seats sold out within 10 minutes. Passengers will earn both Qantas Frequent Flyer Points and Status Credits for the flight, a nice perk for status members.
Australia has taken one of the strictest approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic. All arriving passengers must undertake mandatory, tightly controlled hotel quarantine at their own expense. Anyone wishing to leave the country for any reason requires written government approval — Australians are unable to leave the country without it.
This has meant Qantas has not operated any long-haul flights for many months, and it does not expect to do so again until well into next year.
Similarly to how the U.K. has introduced “travel corridors” with select European destinations, Australia has done the same between some states, allowing residents to travel domestically to some other states by land or air. Unfortunately, the border between New South Wales and Queensland remains firmly shut, meaning a joy flight passing over the famous Great Barrier Reef is the closest Sydney-siders can get to Queensland right now.
Earlier this week, Singapore Airlines announced plans for similar “flights to nowhere,” though these flights were intended to only last three hours and are focused more on the flight experience, rather than sightseeing out the windows.
EVA operated a similar flight to nowhere recently for Father’s Day.
Featured image by I Shafiq via Shutterstock
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees