More than 60 people camped outside STA Travel in Victoria, London for up to two days in a bid to snap up Air New Zealand’s £75 return tickets, which went on sale this morning.
To celebrate 75 years in the sky, the airline gave away 100 Flying Kiwi tickets, 50 of which went on sale at the London Victoria branch of STA Travel at 9am this morning for a fraction of the normal price.
All 50 were sold out within an hour of going on sale, although those still in the queue were offered discounted fare tickets of £499 return – around half the price of a return air ticket.
Tim Fryer, STA Travel marketing and product director, said: “We’ve been utterly overwhelmed by the interest in the £75 Air New Zealand fares.
“We knew there would be a scramble to book them but we certainly didn’t expect more than 60 people sleeping outside our Victoria store for two nights before they were released.
“The response has been immense, and it’s been a brilliant opportunity to engage with our customers in a whole new way, both face-to-face, on social media and on the phone.
“The atmosphere in the queue has been brilliant, helped by glorious sunshine. The guys queuing have been sharing travelling stories and planning their adventure. There’s been a great buzz of excitement.
“The overall demand and interest for this sale has definitely opened our eyes to the dedication of those willing to travel at an amazing price, and it’s something we would love to recreate again.”
A further 40 tickets were made available over the phone from 10am, while a few were up for grabs during the day for those who did not make the first 50 in the queue and the rest awarded through social media websites. All the £75 tickets on offer were sold by 10.30am.
Holidaymakers also had the chance to jump the queue by entering a competition on Air New Zealand’s Facebook website.
All the £75 tickets on offer were sold by 10.30am. In comparison, a normal return fare to New Zealand is around £1,000 or more. A return flight from London Heathrow to Auckland New Zealand, departing Friday, April 24, and returning on Friday, May 15, is priced at £1,001 on Air New Zealand’s website today.
Air New Zealand’s inaugural flight was from Auckland to Sydney in 1940.
General manager Kathryn Robertson said: “We’re excited to be celebrating 75 years of connecting New Zealand to the rest of the world with these once in a lifetime fares.”
The airline now operates to 27 international airports and 25 domestic destinations. It operates a daily service from London Heathrow to Auckland, New Zealand, via Los Angeles.
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