As Australians face the "border blues" of being unable to travel outside their country due to pandemic restrictions, Qantas Airways is offering a unique promotion to help travelers explore their own backyard — although they won't know where they're going.
The carrier is introducing "mystery flights" where flights will depart from Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne to somewhere within two hours' journey time — but travelers will have no idea where they're headed.
Before the journey, travelers will receive hints about their destination and packing information, like if snorkels or sneakers are more appropriate for the day. Then they just show up at the airport and prepare for a full day of activities.
The flight will include low-level flybys of scenic landmarks en route, subject to weather conditions and air traffic control.
Once travelers have reached their destination, they could do anything from take a winemaking course in one of Australia's top wine regions or enjoy a lunch on the beach with live music.
"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 Group Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully said in a statement.
The mystery flights go on sale Thursday for travel in March, April and May and will cost about $550 (737 AUD) for economy travel and $1,230 (1,579 AUD) for business class. The all-inclusive fares include meals, drinks and all activities on the ground.
Last year, at the height of the pandemic, the airline introduced "Flights to Nowhere." The seven-hour journey took Aussies on an overhead tour of their own country — and completely sold out in less than 10 minutes. As domestic travel restrictions eased, Qantas began "Flights to Somewhere," which flew passengers from Sydney to Uluru.
Last month, the airline announced that it intends to resume international flights by the end of October, four months later than initially expected.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.
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