Aviation

Qantas to operate first ‘mystery flights’ since the 90s

Flight to nowhere? Check. Flight to somewhere? Check. Flight to who knows where? That’s next for Qantas.

The flying kangaroo has today announced the latest in its series of highly popular concept flights to combat the international border blues, with plans to operate three domestic ‘mystery flights’ for travellers keen to enjoy unique experiences in Australia.

Qantas last operated mystery flights in the 1990s when travellers would turn up at the airport and be allocated seats on a scheduled flight to any of the airline’s destinations, where they spent a day at their leisure before flying home.

The national carrier has evolved the concept and will offer three dedicated Boeing 737 mystery flight experiences that will include not just the flight, but an entire day of activities in a mystery destination – so all passengers need to do is book and turn up at the airport.

The limited mystery flights will depart from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to a destination within approximately two hours. All of the destinations are outside major capital cities.

As part of creating a unique onboard experience, the flights will include some low-level scenic flybys of key landmarks en route (subject to weather conditions and air traffic control).

According to Qantas, experiences on the ground could include anything from a winemaking course in a premier wine region to a gourmet lunch with musical entertainment on the shores of one of Australia’s tropical island wonders.

Customers will be provided with clues to ensure it is an appropriate outing for their areas of interest and to assist with whether to pack a snorkel or sneakers in their carry-on baggage.

Stephanie Tully, group chief customer officer at Qantas, said the mystery flights were about giving Aussies memorable travel experiences and promoting domestic tourism.

“Our customers tell us that where they can and can’t travel within Australia has been a bit of a mystery lately,” she said.

“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.”

Seats on the Qantas Mystery Flight Experiences go on sale at midday tomorrow (Thursday 4 March) for travel in March, April and May.

The all-inclusive fares, which include meals and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, plus activities on the ground, are $737 for economy and $1,579 for business.

All three flights will operate with net-zero emissions, with 100 per cent of emissions carbon offset.

Qantas’ Mystery Flight Experiences follow the carrier’s ‘Flight to Nowhere’ (when domestic border closures were at their peak) and ‘Flight to Somewhere’ (when initial reopening began last year), which both proved pretty darn popular.

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