Qantas will sell tickets on flights without telling passengers where they’re going in a reboot of its popular mystery flights from the 1990s.
Starting at $737 for economy, the three mystery flights will depart Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for an undisclosed location about two hours away, where passengers can enjoy a full-day itinerary before being whisked home again.
Fares go on sale on Thursday and include the day’s on-the-ground activities plus meals and drinks.
The experience is part of a series of themed flights by Qantas designed to support the tourism industry and keep travel interesting while international borders remain closed.
The airline has already offered scenic flights to nowhere – which were so popular among holiday-starved Australians, tickets sold out in 10 minutes – and “flights to somewhere”, where passengers were able to stay overnight at their destination.
Under its new mystery flight concept, private chartered Boeing 737s will fly passengers to their mystery destination – with some low-level scenic fly-bys along the way.
When they arrive, they can enjoy an entire day of activities co-ordinated by the airline and local tour operators.
The concept brings back Qantas’ mystery flights that were all the rage in the 1990s, when it last offered them.
Qantas Group chief customer officer Stephanie Tully said the experience aimed to promote domestic tourism at a time when border changes had created uncertainty around travel planning.
“Our customers tell us that where they can and can’t travel within Australia has been a bit of a mystery lately,” Ms Tully said.
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“The vaccine rollout is bringing a lot more certainty and domestic border restrictions should soon be a thing of the past. In the meantime, these flights turn that mystery into a positive by creating a unique experience for the many people keen to start travelling again.
“As well as helping bring more of our people back to work, these mystery flights are another way to support tourism operators in regional areas especially, who have been hit particularly hard by several waves of travel restrictions.”
Qantas has already given some hints about the mystery destinations. It said the flight from Brisbane would be ideal for people who love “country hospitality, gourmet food and wine, and the great outdoors”. Sydney passengers will be given a taste of “the tropics, salt water on your skin, and long lunching on the beach”, while those flying from Melbourne will enjoy “the great outdoors, gourmet food and wine, and regional farmers’ markets”.
Passengers will be given some clues about what to pack but other than that, all they need to do is book their ticket and turn up at the airport.
All-inclusive fares, which include meals and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and activities on the ground, are $737 for economy and $1579 for business class.
Tickets go on sale on the Qantas website at midday on Thursday, March 4 for travel in March, April and May.