As we enter month seven of quarantine -- or approximately March 206th for those of you, who like me, have lost all sense of time -- our collective desperation for some semblance of normalcy in these bizarre times, has reached new heights ... literally.
Over the past few months, thousands of people in Brunei, Taiwan, Japan and Australia have found a new way to recreate one of the relics of our old world, boarding flights to nowhere. Yep, you read that right. Flights to nowhere.
Remember the days when air travel was considered a chore? Arguing with your dad about why you don't need to arrive at the airport at 6:30 AM for a domestic flight departing at noon? Listening to the TSA agents yell at everyone in line about how shoes do not need their own baskets? Buying extremely overpriced Kind bars in an attempt to avoid eating airplane food? Frantically sprinting towards your gate because even though you arrived at the airport at 6:30 AM for your noon departure you're still somehow running behind schedule?
People are now paying upwards of two grand to recreate all these fun moments of airport stress, see a few decent aerial views, minus an actual vacation destination, on what some airlines are calling "scenic flights."
"I didn't realize how much I'd missed traveling -- missed flying -- until the moment the captains voice came on the speaker with the welcome and safety announcement," Nadzri Harif, an apparently very wealthy radio DJ from Brunei told The New York Times last week. (I knew things were bad, but I didn't realize they were "actively missing airplane safety announcements" bad.)
While Royal Brunei Airlines has chartered five of these flights since August, Qantas airlines recently announced it would offer a seven-hour sightseeing tour over Australia. Now who would actually waste their money on a lavish, environmentally questionable flight from Sydney to Sydney? Apparently a lot of people -- the tickets, which ranged from about $413 and $1,999 USD, sold out in just 10 minutes, with many aspiring travelers taking to Instagram to request more of these trips.
"So many of our frequent fliers are used to being on a plane every other week and have been telling us they miss the experience of flying as much as the destinations themselves," chief executive of Qantas Airlines, Alan Joyce, said in a statement. The exec is far from alone -- according to The New York Times, travel agents in countries including India, Australia, and even here in the good 'ol U S of A have fielded requests for these pointless trips, as it becomes clear that air travel may not return in all its glory for a long, long time.
"One of my clients said just a few days ago, 'All I want is to be in a window seat and see clouds go by. I miss that sight. I just want white fluffy clouds!'" one travel agent said. "Some people just want to drag their bags through the airport and go check them in."
Can't relate. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be standing outside with a stool on my head to try and recreate the same effect -- at least for the gram.
For more of Carlyâs nonsense, follow her on Instagram @HuntressThompson_ and on Twitter @TennesAnyone