Put Me On a Flight to Nowhere

Illustration for article titled Put Me On a Flight to Nowhere
Image: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

Just one year ago, the airport seemed like a tedious necessity of modern life, and flights were something I actively dreaded—the full-body scan, powerlessly waiting and watching a tiny line on a TV screen for delays, turbulence, motion sickness, that guy who won’t put his elbow on his side of the fucking armrest. What a fool I was.

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Six months into the summer of our discontent I would give my own left arm to silently wish that elbow-y gentleman would move his, if just for a change in scenery and the idea of going someplace that is not one of the five rooms available to me in my apartment. An in-flight virtual reality experience in Tokyo offered by a company called First Airlines sounds like it could possibly be the next best thing to visiting an actual location, offering the completely-unfamiliar-to-me, full first-class experience along with virtual tours of places like Hawaii, and (I think) a real-reality four-course in-flight meal, per the Washington Post:

“The First Airlines experience channels all the minute details of flying, from departures screens in the lounge to flight attendants carrying out safety protocols. And the two-hour virtual reality experience, complete with a four-course meal and window TV screens replicating exterior views.”

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The whole experience costs just $62 and menus are tailored to one’s destination. For example, those headed to Hawaii get poke, while those en route to New York are served Manhattan clam chowder. I’m ashamed to admit that it’s possible I spent more than the cost of this virtual reality experience Postmatesing myself all possible sides and dipping sauce combinations at Popeye’s in a fit of pandemic boredom and would be very much contented to spend an equal amount pretending to go literally anywhere or even nowhere for a few hours.

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DISCUSSION

I started a job in May 2019 that allowed me to eventually fly multiple times a year to upwards of 10 places across Europe to perform inspections and work with vendors. My first trip came up. 2 weeks across Europe. Business Class there, First Class back. Paris, London, two sites in Ireland, Portugal, and the bulk of the trip in the Swiss Alps. This trip of course was supposed to happen in late March. I am bitter to this day I had to cancel that trip!