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For Those Who Just Want to Go Somewhere, There's Virgin Australia's 'Mystery Breaks'

February 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM | by | ()

Airlines understand that once that cabin door closes, the revenue for unsold seats is lost forever. Some carriers even like to oversell the cabin, which is what causes passengers to be bumped. Even the mere thought of getting bumped from a flight enrages us, so that's all we need to mention about the matter. Regardless, airlines sometimes get creative with promotions to fill those seats.

Enter Virgin Australia, who've introduced Mystery Breaks. Basically, passengers purchase a seat on a plane without knowing the arrival airport. For the spontaneous traveler, it's a godsend. If you are more of a pedantic traveler, your palms may already be sweaty.

This sounds all too familiar, as JetBlue tried doing a similar promotion a few years ago and failed at keeping the mystery. Virgin is hoping that passengers have no issues with only knowing the vacation spot just days before flying. Here is the dish on the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants travel program:

· Flights only depart from 5 cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide
· Destinations are primarily leisure locations and include Cairns, the Gold Coast and Hamilton Island. In all, there are 22 mystery destinations. Flyers can exclude one airport from the random selection.
· Bookings can be booked up to 2 week before departure with the destination revealed 1-4 days before take off.
· Packages include return airfare, accommodation, return airport transfers, baggage allowance, taxes and sometimes a few extra surprises.

How bad is the damage to wallets of adventurous flyers? We think it is pretty affordable at just $399 AUD for one person staying only one night. For a 3 night package, the cost is $599 per passenger. Since you can only book for a maximum of 2 travelers, the fun of mystery travel can be reserved for honeymoons and anniversaries. Not that we distrust a computer system, but we might just stick to choosing our own destination. K'thanks.

[Photo: Virgin Australia]

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