Are you thinking of entering InsideFlyer’s contest to win a free flight to the Caribbean? It’s a fantastic opportunity.
If you are not familiar with inaugural flights, they are when an airline is introducing a new aircraft for the airline, a new route, or a new aircraft type altogether.
Fanfare for these special events can vary between full-blown huge celebrations with lots of hoopla executives, while others tend to pass a bit more quietly. Gary Leff with View from the Wing even flew an Inaugural route where the pre-flight celebration cake had been polished off the night before by airline staff! Oops.
I was lucky enough to be on the Emirates inaugural flight from Dubai to Oslo last year to introduce the new route, and it was pretty special and kind of fantastic.
There was fanfare even before boarding the plane (at 5am!), with photo ops and meet n’ greet with executives. Once onboard, we were also all given pins and certificates commemorating the event.
The 6+ hour flight itself was lovely, but slightly different than a usual flight. The brand new route was like a shiny new penny. Even the Voss water bottles had a special sticker indicating that it was an Inaugural flight.
It seemed like every individual berry had been carefully selected for my meal, and talk about service with a smile!
The excitement amongst the crew was contagious, and the air was filled with animated discussions between passengers punctuated by the clicking sounds of cameras in action. An inaugural flight gives the crew a chance to get the rhythm down for a perfectly balanced symphony of service in the allotted time frame, and work out any kinks.
Most people stayed dressed in their Sunday best (suits and ties) rather than changing into pajamas. Although it was rumored that there were some actual passengers just getting from Point A to Point B somewhere on the aircraft, the majority of folks were aviation geeks or media of some type.
This made the flight especially fun. Talking about the 777 300 ER and discussing airlines, travel and routes with like-minded individuals made the time pass quickly!
The pilot came around and signed the flight certificates, and once we got to our destination (Oslo) there were plane spotters lined up to take pictures of the plane landing. It felt like what it must be like for celebrities since for that flight, the airline/plane was a bit of a celebrity!
Fire trucks welcomed us with water cannons, and we were all given VIP badges to wear when exiting the plane since there was more fun once on the ground.
Sound enticing? Check out this thread on how you can have a really neat experience on an inaugural flight – to the Caribbean! Plus, return flights are complimentary as well.