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Forget 'nowhere' — Qantas launches 'scenic flight to somewhere' with overnight stay

Oct. 31, 2020
3 min read
Forget 'nowhere' — Qantas launches 'scenic flight to somewhere' with overnight stay
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After the success of Qantas' sell-out flight to nowhere, the Australian flag carrier announced that it's one-upping itself and now selling "flights to somewhere."

Qantas bosses have had to think outside the box to get passengers back in seats as the restrictions on travel for Australians remain some of the strictest in the world. So, as domestic travel restrictions start to lift, the airline is planning a series of overnight getaways to the best of Australia's vacation spots.

"Now that more [domestic] borders are starting to open, we're partnering with tourism operators on the ground to offer special flights to special destinations," said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

The first trip is to Uluru — or Ayers Rock.

The trip will depart Sydney (SYD) on December 5 and return the following day. The itinerary is set to wow the 110 passengers who bag themselves a ticket.

Starting with a Champagne breakfast, passengers will then board a Qantas 737 and head to Uluru Airport (AYQ) with up-close flybys of Sydney Harbour Bridge, Kata Tjuta and Uluru itself en route.

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(Photo by @emma.neems via Twenty20)

The ticket also includes evening entertainment, a three-course dinner and a sunrise visit to Uluru the following morning.

The first-of-a-kind adventure comes with a hefty price tag: a whopping 3,999 AUD ($2,800) in business class and AUD 2,499 ($1,750) in economy. Note that the flight is operated by a narrow-body 737, meaning business class is a standard recliner seat.

The success of the airline's first "flight to nowhere" is what prompted the airline to take the idea one step further.

"We were overwhelmed with the response to our scenic flight while most [domestic] border restrictions were still in place," Joyce said. "It sold out in 10 minutes and the feedback from people onboard was fantastic."

Australians have been under some of the harshest restrictions around the world, as they're currently not allowed to leave the country. That, compared to the U.S. and Europe, which are still relatively free to move around for business and pleasure.

These unique scenic flights are a COVID-19 trend we're seeing being adopted by several airlines, predominantly in Asia, including Tiger Airways and EVA.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees