Many Australians will fondly remember the old Qantas 'mystery flights' where you'd book a flat-rate ticket to some unknown destination, either as a day trip or in some cases an overnight stay.
The airline axed those flights in the 1990s, but now they're coming back as a trio of special one-day domestic adventures which could be the perfect salve for cabin fever while international borders remain closed.
Each Qantas Mystery Flight will depart from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to an interstate destination approximately two hours' away – a measure which the airline tells us is also intended "to combat the border blues".
(In the event of border closures, arrangements will be made for an alternative destination within each state.)
"The vaccine rollout is bringing a lot more certainty and domestic border restrictions should soon be a thing of the past," says Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer, Stephanie Tully.
"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."
But it's not just about the flight itself: the new Qantas Mystery Flight package includes on-the-ground experiences which the airline hints could include anything from a winemaking course in a premier Australian wine region, to a gourmet lunch with musical entertainment on the shores of one of Australia’s tropical island wonders.
So you'll be prepared for what's in store, passengers will be given clues to ensure the outing aligns with their areas of interest and also as an aid to packing (should you bring sneakers or a snorkel, for instance).
En route, the flight will include some low-level scenic flybys of key landmarks (subject to weather conditions and air traffic control).
So what are the details?
- The Qantas Mystery Flight from Brisbane runs on Saturday March 27 and the airline promises it'll be the perfect getaway if you love country hospitality, gourmet food and wine, and the great outdoors.
- The Qantas Mystery Flight from Sydney is on Sunday April 18 and passengers can expect to wind down in a tropical setting with long lunching on the beach.
- The Qantas Mystery Flight from Melbourne takes place on Saturday May 1 and involves the great outdoors (including a little walking), gourmet food and wine and regional farmers markets.
Tickets on each Qantas Mystery Flight will cost $737 in economy (you'll also earn 2,400 Qantas Points and 40 status credits) and $1,579 in business class (pocketing 5,000 Qantas Points and 80 status credits), with lounge access for those in business class or holding suitable frequent flyer status.
Tickets for all three Qantas Mystery Flights go on sale on Qantas.com at 12 noon (EST) Thursday 4 March.