NROP: Then – Fly me to the Moon. Now – Fly me to Nowhere.

Is the title slightly confusing? I promise you that by the end of the post you will know exactly what it means. Blogging 101 teaches you to make your titles descriptive and clear. I went to class, listened, and then decided to do the opposite. That might be why I still have not gone viral.

When I think of travelling, one of the first songs that comes to mind is “Fly me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra. Go ahead – hit play and sway to the music as you continue reading this post.

“Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra

Last year, those who felt that international travel had turned too mundane, were focusing on flying to the Moon. This year, it is a completely different tale. You can say that people feel more grounded (more than one meaning here) and are itching to have the mechanical bird spread its wings and carry them far, far away.

The reports from the front-lines (of travel) vary. Some people have had pleasant stories regarding their air travel within the past few months, while others not as much. You can read my side of the story in a post I wrote back in May. NROP: Traveling in times of a pandemic + BONUS! A personal tale. Since then, I have not traveled farther than two hours away from my city (by car). Why? The location I was booked for back in May was off limits and so my holiday got canceled. Ever since then, I just did not want to put myself through researching all the restrictions, getting my hopes up, and risking having it all come crashing down. I do not need to fight the airlines for another refund (I still have not received the one from April…). Of course, I also worry about safety. Many of you have told me how the people near you are adhering to social distancing, and other preemptive measures. While I see considerate people here and there, I am also fully aware of those who could not care less about the potential risk. Pandemic or not, there will always be such two groups.

Among my family and friends, I have a mix of people who had traveled for leisure across the country, and/or internationally without more than a second thought, as well as those who have not been outside their own city limits. I understand both sides – those who want to maximize their safety/minimize potential for trouble, and those who refuse to be negatively impacted by the virus.

Do I miss traveling? Of course! Which part exactly? I definitely do not miss the security lines at the airport, but I do miss seeing new places, eating new food, and meeting new people. When I step somewhere I have not been to before, it feels like my lungs expand more than they normally would. My breath is so much deeper. With that inhale, excitement fills my bloodstream. Yes, it is some sort of a high for me.

Apparently, some people miss the actual airports and/or planes, which I consider means to an end. While I remember flights “back in the day” quite fondly, they have become a lot less comfortable and fun the past several years.

Have you heard about flights to nowhere? There are countries like Brunei, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia that offer flights that land in the same city they depart from. Yes, you read that right – people go through all the hassle just to get on the plane, stay on it for an hour or so, and then return home without having gone anywhere. Yes, the plane does take off. At first, I thought that you just sit in a grounded plane. Thankfully, that is not the case (but it would not surprise me if people did that, too).

It seems like a win-win situation for you AND the airline. You get to satisfy your itch (as long as it is not like mine where you actually have to go somewhere to scratch it) and the airlines get to make a few bucks during these trying for them times. Royal Brunei served local cuisine on board while flying above the country. To me, it sounds like airplanes have become air restaurants.

Are safety protocols followed? On the Brunei flights, passengers are not forced to wear masks due to a low number of COVID-19 cases in their country. However, the staff does wear personal protective equipment (PPE). I am not sure how many people were present for any one of those five Brunei flights but the Taiwanese and Japanese planes had 300 or more people on board. (I shudder thinking about getting on a plane only to fight for an armrest and then land in a place where I have to go to work the next day.)

About a week ago, Quantas – Australia’s airline announced “A Flight to Nowhere” and it sold out in 10 minutes. Now, this one is a little bit more interesting than the Brunei one. There were only 134 tickets available for sale. 104 economy tickets available at $787 each, 24 premium economy tickets available at $1,787 each, and 6 business class tickets available at $3,787 each (in Australian dollars). The flight is due to take off October 10th and will last seven hours. Passengers are promised to be able to see a few of Australia’s touristy locations (Sydney’s Opera House, Uluru, The Great Barrier Reef) without having to step off the plane. On top of that, there is supposed to be a celebrity host, which makes this trip sound like a fun time! The airline also brought back their Antarctica sightseeing flight. Again, you only get to see it from up in the air. But, still – How cool is that? I believe that those 134 seats are window seats, which would make for nice viewing AND help people adhere to social distancing rules.

Countries like India and USA are considering such flights in the future.

“(A)ll I want is to be in a window seat and see clouds go by. I miss that sight. I just want white fluffy clouds!” – a travel agent from India was told by one of their clients. “Some people just want to drag their bags through the airport and go check them in.” That just sounds weird to me.

The Flight Goes Nowhere. And It’s Sold Out.

Naturally, environmentalists are objecting, due to the fuel emissions.

What is your take on flights to nowhere?
Would you take a flight to nowhere?
What would such a flight have to feature for you to agree to pay to fly to nowhere?
Are you itching to travel?
Have you been traveling since the pandemic?

If you are considering international travel (and live in the US), Kayak has a nice, comprehensive map of countries you can/ cannot travel to. Check it out –> HERE <–. CNN also put together a list of countries (incomplete) with details regarding restrictions.

Stay golden,

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52 thoughts on “NROP: Then – Fly me to the Moon. Now – Fly me to Nowhere.

Add yours

  1. What an interesting concept a flight to nowhere. Somewhat expensive tickets then to have great cuisine, exclusive seats with entertainment could be considered as fun. Then those people who just want to go through the airport oh what boring lives they must live. All these things are means to an end. I would like to be able to fly and move on with life and of course taking my cats with me they are a priority.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the issues I have with flying is the crowding and the consequent need for everyone to stay seated all the time. A smaller contingent of people would fix that and I enjoy looking at the clouds and the world below. And a flight to Antarctica would be wicked cool.

    Still, in the end, for me, flying is a tool. Like you, I want to get somewhere. So a biggish pile of money to do nothing seems like too much for me.

    I enjoyed the post and the picture. I’ve run into quite a few hot air balloons lately. Although, a giraffe of that size would be a terrifying thing 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On the flights to Antartica, you are allowed to walk around, which I think is neat.
      I think it’s pretty funny that airlines have been working on adding as many seats as they can to maximize efficiency and now they have to consider the opposite due to social distancing precautions. I know this will not be the new normal (half-empty planes), but I can still wish…

      Hahahah! I thought the same about the size of the giraffe! Hot air balloons… Have you ever been on one?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This reminds me of a story I heard long time ago. A famous rockstar sold his AIR guitar for 20000 usd on an auction site.
    I mean, if people don’t know what to do with their money, here’s my bank account….

    On the other hand, lots of people go for a drive without purpose, so why not a plane (if you have the money).

    From environmental point of view, I am against it. But then again, what’s bad for the economy, is good for the economy.

    You know what the best part about traveling is?
    Planning the trip and that moment when your sitting on your own toilet again 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good one! I think I heard about it, too. Things like that make me wonder why there is still poverty in the world or why no one wants to throw money at me.

      To me, the car ride is somewhat different. You get into your own car and don’t have to deal with strangers at the airport and on board. However, traffic can definitely be annoying when traveling by car. There’s always the good and the bad.

      I didn’t think I would enjoy planning a vacation but I have to admit that it does bring me pleasure. And then, counting the days… Coming back home is nice, but then you think of work the next day… LOL

      Like

      1. Is someone allowed to sit next to you on those plane rides? There should be 1.5m distance, right?
        But anyway, I am not a fan of planes, airport, delayed trains or traffic jams.
        And I also no longer desire to sit at the window. Too much sunlight and little chance of getting out fast.

        Ha, that is very true.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m not sure. The Australian flights seem like they would have plenty of space for social distancing but the Asian ones not so much.

          Back in March, when I flew, the plane was FULL. My elbow was touching another the whole time. Coming back, it was better. A family member travelled I think last month, and again – people sitting right next to one another.

          I’ve always preferred an aisle seat.

          Like

  4. Ha ha! I thought this was a joke at first… who in their right mind would get on a plane and fly around for a bit and go nowhere? But… holy jumping Covid, it’s true! For me the airport and the flight is the worst part of travelling… the waiting around, the queues, the sitting in a cramped seat for hours with the back of someone’s chair pushed into your face… it’s a nightmare. You endure it because the thought of the fantastic (or not so fantastic) times you’re going to have when you get off the plane is the only thing preventing you from leaping out of the window (that and the fact that the windows are very strong and way too small). Only a person with very strong masochistic tendencies would voluntarily do this, surely? So the answer to your question is… no. There is no way on earth (or the moon) I would get on a flight to nowhere. Great post by the way! I like these quirky posts where you write about something completely crazy, but unbelievably true.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have to say that I’ve missed seeing your comments. Glad that I managed to write something to drag you in 😉

      Your humor was so on point regarding the plane experience.

      You wouldn’t go nowhere even if they served some fancy food?

      Like

  5. When I was about 13 I went to a fly-in breakfast at a small town airport and took a ride on an old single engine plane that was probably 50 years old. It ended right where it started. don’t recall exactly, but I don’t think I spent $1787 on the ticket.

    My parents must have paid for it.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I was never enamoured by flying in a plane itself, anymore than I get a kick out of sitting on a train or a bus.
    I love visiting lands I have never been to, discovering new cuisines, culture, clothing, music etc.
    I love my friends and relatives who are working in other lands (mostly as volunteers).
    I had a flight booked from London to Australia to go and see Goldfinch in June, but the airline cancelled and I was given a full refund. I don’t know when I am going to see him again. But I imagine that air travel is going to be a headache for a long time, even when tourist visas granted and borders open, I will be nervous about booking a flight after the chaos I saw for travel this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was. People dressed up for a flight and treated it like something special. Now, people dress like for anything else – comfy (which doesn’t always equal with nicely). The tiny seats are annoying, the food is much worse. Back in the day, I felt like you were treated well on a plane. Now – it’s like with anything else – you don’t like it, you get off.

      I’m sorry to hear that you and Goldfinch were negatively affected by the travel restrictions. It will indeed take a while to settle down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the comfort dressing stems from disruptions in travel. Over the years we have had countless flights delayed. So we have got used to making sure we are wearing comfortable clothing and footwear because we might be hanging around airports for much longer than we hoped.

        I have also been stuck on planes with drunk passengers misbehaving. Most flights have been ok…but a few have been awful because there were people who had been drinking who were extremely disruptive.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s a valid argument. I think the tightened security is also an issue – undressing can be a nightmare so people try to simplify that process.

          Ah, yes, I haven’t had the drunken passenger issue in a while but it does happen.

          Like

  7. This is actually interesting. I wouldn’t do such a flight but I can see the draw and how people may feel like they’ve travelled. I rather skip the journey and just get to the destination. Here the destination is the journey.

    How have you been?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I laughed when I read the article about flights to nowhere yesterday and was waiting for the punchline and someone to say Just Kidding there’s hidden cameras there and there and there….

    Why would you want to go nowhere? but having been in a plane about only 3 times in my life maybe I might just do it just to write it off my list and of course that I had disposable income to burn going flying back to where I landed

    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make a very good point regarding the time. When we go on vacation, we want to get there asap. If we are not going there, then getting there (nowhere) IS a waste of time. I guess you could read/write while flying, etc. But you can also do that at home…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t get it. I am not one who flies often though, I pretty much drive everywhere I go. It seems like a lot of money to go nowhere. There is so much I could do with that money, the first of which is to donate it to one of the many charities dealing with loss of funding due to covid. Okay, I will get down off my high horse now.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What is your take on flights to nowhere?
    They sound similar to helicopter tours, which I’ve done, though larger in scale, and a bigger hassle, IMO.

    Would you take a flight to nowhere?
    Not in a jet—but, I would (and have) in a helicopter.

    What would such a flight have to feature for you to agree to pay to fly to nowhere?
    I don’t think anything would entice me to take one, unless someone else paid for it. In that case, I’d want first-class food service (with excellent cuisine) and accommodations, social distancing, a terrific tour guide (doesn’t have to be a celeb, but that’s an interesting hook), and some really cool sights.

    Are you itching to travel?
    Yes.

    Have you been traveling since the pandemic?
    Only by car and within 30 miles of home…to visit family. My husband travels for work and he says it’s awful, though he really likes that Delta isn’t allowing folks to sit in the middle economy seats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Precisely – helicopter tours seem to be different (the hassle and amount of people). I am yet to try it, though.

      I don’t think any dinner + party would entice me to spend that much money on a trip to nowhere. But if someone else paid or the price was reduced BIG time, then maybe.

      Do we know how long Delta plans to stick to that strategy? I have to admit that I am impressed with their perseverance.

      Liked by 1 person

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