Friday 25 May 2018

The brilliant moment backpackers realise they have an entire flight to themselves

Private jet, anyone?

Photo: Kyle McNicol (Instagram @88_kmc_88)
Photo: Kyle McNicol (Instagram @88_kmc_88)

Gavin Haines

"It was one of the best flights I've ever been on," say the backpackers who had an international flight to themselves.

It’s an experience usually reserved for the rich and famous.

But two backpackers from Britain have experienced the joys of a private international flight – because nobody else was booked onto it. 

Kyle McNicol and Carrie Fisher were checking in for their FireFly flight from Krabi, in Thailand, to Penang, in Malaysia, when they realised they would be the only passengers on the plane.

“On arrival at Krabi airport we made our way to the check-in desk and handed over our passports,” said Carrie, in her blog.

“We were shocked to hear, ‘Oh very special flight for you today’, but didn’t think anything of it. Turns out that we were about to board the flight and fly solo.”

The pair, from York, were then escorted onto an empty bus, which delivered them to their private jet. 

“It was one of the best flights I’ve ever been on,” said Ms Fisher.

“The staff, though awkward at first – it was the first time that this had happened to them too - were brilliant.

“Stepping off the plane in Penang the ground staff all started laughing at us. Another lady escorted us to immigration, where again they laughed and asked us about our solo flight.”

Though disastrous for an airline’s profits, and the environment, solo flights are not as uncommon as you might expect.

Earlier this year a Chinese traveller realised she was the sole passenger aboard a domestic flight between the Chinese cities of Wuhan and Guangzhou.

Posting on the micro-blogging platform, Weibo, Ms Zhang said she was given the “rockstar” treatment aboard Flight CZ2833: while thousands of fellow travellers battled through blizzards to get home for Chinese New Year, she could put her feet up and enjoy the crew’s undivided attention.

Weibo users reacted with a mixture of envy and anger: some crowed that she was the luckiest passenger in the skies, while others described her experience as extravagant and wasteful.

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