NARITA, Chiba – The popularity of plane tickets to mysterious destinations sold for 5,000 yen (about $ 44) at low-cost Japanese airline Peach Aviation Ltd. capsule vending machines. is booming.
After the installation of the first such machine in the city of Osaka, western Japan, vending machines expanded to Tokyo, Nagoya, central Japan, and Fukuoka, southern Japan. western Japan, with some 11,000 capsules already sold.
Sales of the capsules began on December 17 for flights on Peach Aviation’s 23 routes arriving at Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport. Amid the prolonged effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the airline explained, “As people tend to lack interest in traveling now, we wanted them to regain the excitement of travel. We would like them to let go. their chance to choose the destination and go on a journey in search of an unexpected encounter. ”
A user can purchase a mysterious “travel bundle” for 5,000 yen and press the button of a vending machine to get a capsule that will include the name of a city where Peach Aviation operates flights. For example, there are 11 destinations from Narita including Sapporo in northern Japan, Kansai in western Japan, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, and Amami-Oshima Island in southwestern Japan, as well as Naha and Ishigaki Island in Japan’s southernmost Okinawa Prefecture. The bundle will give the passenger 6,000 yen (approximately $ 53) in points to purchase a ticket for the specified route. You can even get 10,000 yen (about $ 88) in points if they’re lucky.
For in-flight sales that began on December 17, flight attendants will walk around the cabin with a clear tote bag containing 15 capsules during flights, instead of asking customers to purchase capsules from a dispenser. Automatique. A flight attendant will make an in-flight announcement saying, “Why not feel the excitement of traveling through a lottery to try your luck on your next trip?” And the passengers who buy the plane tickets will wear gloves as an infection prevention measure and choose a capsule.
Peach Aviation launched the program to allow passengers to enjoy the excitement of not being able to choose their own destination as well as the possibility of unexpected encounters and discoveries. Through the use of “travel packages”, the company aims to change the concept of travel with a destination already in mind and to offer people the opportunity to embark on a journey.
Aya Yamasaki, from Peach Aviation’s business strategy office, said: “We were initially hoping to sell 30 capsules per month, so we’re surprised that they have become so popular. They are aimed at those who want to go somewhere, not those who want a good deal, so passengers with a fixed destination in mind should buy plane tickets on sale and elsewhere. The company received various user comments such as “Glad I got to travel to a place I’ve never experienced.”
Vending machines are installed in the Parco shopping complex in Shibuya in Tokyo, as well as in Sakae in Nagoya, Shinsaibashi in Osaka and Tenjin in Fukuoka. Peach Aviation plans to install them in other areas in the future.
(Japanese original by Tadakazu Nakamura, Narita Bureau)