Tourism

The top 6 travel pranks for April Fools

Daisy Melwani

Which travel company came up with the best April Fools this year? You be the judge.

If imagining your grandma on a Contiki tour isn’t enough of a stretch, what about the AAT Kings Coachcopter, or “leaked” plans the NSW Government will remove playgrounds, as let’s face it; kids prefer to play Minecraft from the comfort of their homes.

There’s been a slew of April Fools phony news making the rounds, so here’s Travel Weekly’s round up (that may have had some fooled but not us smarty pants).

STAnder takes on Tinder

This year STA Travel jumped the gun early with a release to its international media yesterday claiming to launch “STAnder” a mobile dating app for travellers.

While some may have fallen for the hoax at first, you’d hope many would start to start to wonder if the youth travel company would take on Tinder after customer relations director “Una Niteonly” is quoted.

However in the Australian release, the company quotes Sally Lord, the local marketing executive as saying STAnder is a ‘Before you hit 35’ dating app, free to download, with all members fully vetted and will have the full support of STA Travels clinics.

Sally Lord, Retail Marketing Executive for STA Travel Australia says: “We’ve been flirting with the idea of an online dating platform for our travellers for some time and we’re overjoyed to launch STAnder onto the global backpacking dating scene! With over 400 STA Travel stores in 85 countries, our customers come from all over the world, with many of them using online dating apps in their home country already.”

tinder-android

 

Virgin Australia’s Pet Lounge

It’s probably not a bad idea, especially for pet-friendly airlines but this year Virgin Australia claims to have launched a dedicated lounge just for our furry best friends.

Virgin Australia announced it would also be “featuring a world-first Premium Paw Door Entry”. However, loyalty still matters, even for flyers without opposable thumbs, as entry is only allowed for their four legged members of the airline’s Velocity Frequent Flyer programme.

You can watch the adorable, fluffy animal-filled vid on Virgin’s Facebook Page.

Virgin Pets

Branson to Branson

He’s always made a mark on April 1, but this year Richard Branson’s prank is perhaps his most over-the-top. The Virgin Group ceo said yesterday he would be moving his U.S operations to Branson, Missouri. He also said Virgin America would start flying to the town with a population of just 10,000, and unveiled plans to build a new luxury resort in the city.

But the faux-claims doesn’t stop there, with the entrepreneur saying his chain of health clubs, Virgin Active, would be offering a workout programme using hay bales and wagon wheels for the town’s members.

Branson even went as far as to announce how his water filtration business, Virgin Pure, would triple-filter the town’s water so he could “enjoy the perfect tasting cup of tea” when in town.

The town’s biggest celebrity, Dolly Parton, was also used in the prank, with Branson claiming Virgin would name one of his plane’s “Jolene”, after Parton’s classic hit.

Apparently the stunt involved weeks of planning with reporters receiving multiple press releases and a video featuring Richard Branson and the mayor of Branson.

Last year, Branson said Virgin would introduce a glass-bottom plane and would launch a new company – Virgin Volcanic – that would transport people to the centre of an active volcano.

AAT’s CoachCopter

Taking coach tours to the extreme, this year AAT Kings are set to revolutionise the travel and tourism industry with the launch of a new coach product, CoachCopter™.

Managing director Anthony Hayes is in on the hoax, saying “without a doubt one of the most exciting developments” in the company’s 100 year history to offer guests the ability to travel to the Blue Mountains by coach, and return to Sydney city by air on the high-performance helicopter.

“Following extensive testing of our prototype, we’re nearing completion of our first commercial CoachCopter™ and expect our highly trained Driver/Flyer Guides taking guests to the roads and skies from late this year,” Hayes said.

While it sounds like a great idea, it should have some fooled (or wishing it were true), with prices quoted at only $260 per adult.

COACHCOPTER Three Sisters classic

 

65’s on Contiki?

In a bid to welcome every type of traveller, popular youth-brand Contiki said it would open up their trips to adults up to 65 years old. Interestingly, if the hoax was real, we’d be keen to see if this would be the demise of the popular Travel Corporation company highly regarded as a ‘rite of passage’ for youth holidays.

“This is a big shift for the historically youth-orientated company who previously only provided travel options for people 18-35,” the operator said.

Quoting Contiki’s managing director, Katrina Barry, she said would-be guests over 35 have been inundating the operator to lift the age barrier, and “ultimately is a case of us really listening to our consumers and acting”.

“They say 40 is the new 30 and we think it’s a real game-changer for the travel industry,” Barry said.

VxkFy

NSW Premier to sell-off playgrounds

This is probably the best marketing stunt using timely real-life milestones to incorporate into an April Fools hoax. Following last weekend’s NSW elections, a release was sent this morning to media claiming Premiere Mike Baird would be selling off all playgrounds in the state as “kids don’t play in playgrounds anymore anyway’.

“The government has indicated it will move quickly on the plan, saying the children of NSW are demanding better playgrounds inside the Minecraft world, not in their local neighbourhood, and the government is listening,” the release stated and cleverly sent from “NSW Government Leak”.

In actual fact, the release was cleverly disguised as an April Fools stunt but was in fact a marketing ploy from KoalaSafe – a company specialising in providing parents tools toward internet safety for children.

It even went as far as quoting KoalaSafe co-founder Adam Mills, saying “I would rather see parents have the tools to balance screen and internet time, rather than just selling the parks”.

075203-bathurst-playground


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