Inaugural Flights –
Recently there has been a lot of blog posts about inaugural flights. Last week ThePointsGuy paid $32k to fly in the Residence on the inaugural flight on Etihad from JFK to Abu Dhabi. While that was the most extreme example of flying on an inaugural flight, it begs the question on whether or not it is worth it to fly on an airlines inaugural flight on a new aircraft or route.
ThePointsGuy has been very fortunate as he works full time as a blogger and makes enough to live comfortably and to afford such an extravagant purchase. He even had a special Thanksgiving meal prepared for him on the flight.
Other bloggers were also on the flight or the inbound flight from Abu Dhabi; however, they redeemed 90k American Airlines miles to fly in the first apartment on the aircraft. A little more realistic if you ask me…
Airlines typically have a celebration in the departure lounge for the flight where they have guest speakers, free food and oftentimes a ribbon cutting ceremony. On the flight, they sometimes offer free sparkling wine to everyone and provide a small keepsake amenity to commemorate the flight.
I personally traveled on one inaugural flight several years ago when I was regularly flying Delta. Delta introduced flights from Boston to London on the 764 aircraft that featured lie-flat seats. There was a big buzz about this flight and a lot of bloggers were writing about it. I did not decide to do it until the day before. When I went to purchase the RT the economy was available for $1000 and business in the lie flat seat was available for $1500. I purchased the business ticket to get to experience the flight in business.
It was a fun experience because I got to meet other travel enthusiasts similar to me. We had a mini party in the air in the business cabin as there were at least five other bloggers and Flyertalk members.
The party in the departure lounge featured snacks, cake, and sodas and a few brief announcements before the flight. Cake and tea and biscuits were also served in the skyclub prior to the flight.
The flight itself was routine and one would not have known it was an inaugural flight if it had not been for the party in the departure lounge. I do not recall Delta providing any amenities on the flight.
I felt that it was a cool experience because I met other bloggers and made a few friends.
I was curious if any other readers have been on an inaugural flight? If so, what was your experience?
Photos: ThePointsGuy, AirlineTrends