Dying of the experience of traveling during the coronavirus locdown? An airport in Taiwan has the solution – a fake itinerary on which you check in, go through security passport control and even board the aircraft. You just never leave.
Songshan Airport, in central Taipei, began offering travelers on Thursday the chance to do just that, with about 60 crazy people leaving, but nowhere.
About 7,000 people signed up to participate, with the winners chosen at random. More fake flight experiences will occur in the coming weeks.
Passengers were given boarding passes and passed security and immigration before boarding an Airbus A330 of Taiwan’s largest airline, China Airlines, where flight attendants talked to them and explained the methods of preventing coronavirus.
The airport is using the event as an advertising opportunity to showcase renovations that were completed while passengers were away.
Songshan generally has flights to Tokyo, Seoul and several Chinese cities, and is also an important domestic hub.
Taiwan has emerged relatively unscathed from the pandemic thanks to early and effective preventive measures, but has largely closed its borders since mid-March and has advised its citizens against all travel abroad, unless absolutely necessary.
While some international flights continue, the number of passengers fell by almost 64% in the first five months of 2020, compared to the same period last year, according to the government.
Still, on a positive note, domestic travel is growing.
Taiwan’s two major domestic airlines – China Airlines’ Mandarin Airlines and Eva Air’s Uni Air – expanded their capacity over the summer to the coastal islands and the east coast of Taiwan.