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Coronavirus: Getting a flying fix without going abroad

A departure board at Taiwan's Songshan Airport  Coronavirus: Getting a flying fix without going abroad  114154876 fcc44e6d bb8a 42dd 8bd1 25da9aa4c91cImage copyright
Reuters

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With many flights cancelled, companies are trying to give travel fans a sense of nostalgia

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to ground many flights, people are looking for ways to get their flying fix without travelling abroad.

With that in mind, numerous companies are coming up with ways of catering to those who want to remember what it’s like to be back in the skies.

From airplane food at home to flights to nowhere, here’s how you can get your travel fix.

Pyjamas and amenity kits

Qantas is not planning to offer international flights until next year, but you can purchase pyjamas from the airline along with amenity packs.

Many of the items for sale would be found in the airline’s premium cabins.

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Qantas

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Qantas’s items have proved popular online, selling out in a number of hours

Qantas’s executive manager of product and service, Phil Capps, said: “Qantas PJs are always popular, and with people spending a lot more time at home and wishing they were travelling somewhere, we think receiving a surprise pair in the mail will be very well received.”

The move was so popular that all 10,000 of the available pyjamas sold out within hours.

Would you like some nuts?

When the pandemic hit, suppliers for airlines were among the first to feel the pinch.

One supplier, GNS Foods, has been selling its nuts to United Airlines for the past two years. But in March, the airline removed the products from all of its flights, saying that it was reducing contact between passengers and flight staff.

GNS Foods was left with more than 30,000lbs (13 tonnes) of excess nuts.

It made the decision to sell the nuts online in a bid to help make some cash for the business.

The company is selling its First Class Mixed Nuts and the Aloha Mix, featuring diced pineapple, which is usually served on flights to Hawaii.

Flights to nowhere

In July, Taiwan’s Songshan airport offered people the opportunity to go on a “flight to nowhere”.

Customers would be able to check in, go through airport security and then board a plane. The only catch? The flight wasn’t going anywhere.

More than 7,000 people applied for the 60 available seats.

The event proved so popular that a number of airlines have since offered similar experiences.

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Reuters

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Customers board a “flight to nowhere” at Taiwan’s Songshan airport

Some, including Eva Air and StarLux Airlines, are now offering trips where the plane takes off, flies around the region for several hours and then lands at exactly the same airport it took off from.

Passengers are treated the same as if they were travelling to another destination.

“Cries for going abroad are getting stronger. To satisfy travellers wishes, Eva Air has decided to introduce an alternative travel experience,” the airline said in a statement.

Before boarding a Qixi Festival (Chinese Valentine’s Day) flight from Taoyuan airport operated by StarLux, one man proposed to his girlfriend.

Qantas is also offering “sightseeing” flights over Antarctica.

An airplane meal from your armchair

A number of airlines are selling their airplane food online.

Tamam Kitchen in Israel provides in-flight food to El Al and Turkish Airlines. Customers are now able to purchase its food online, according to Lonely Planet.

Similar initiatives are available from airline food suppliers in Canada, Australia and Thailand.

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Getty Images

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For those missing airplane food, many airlines or catering companies are selling meals online

If you’re really missing the feeling of eating on a plane, then Garuda Indonesia is selling its airline food served on a tray.

Rubi Haliman, a frequent flier, has placed orders of food from the airline.

“I missed flying and seeing food carts moving in the aisle of the plane,” he told the South China Morning Post.

He said the food was enough “to overcome the feeling of missing in-flight meals” and that he had already planned his next order.

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