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Qantas auctions off lie-flat seats

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(CNN) — If you were a pre-pandemic frequent traveler who’s spent the last 18 months daydreaming about settling into a comfy seat on a long-haul flight, Aussie airline Qantas has you covered.

A pair of lie-flat, Business Class seats that once graced the inside of a Qantas A380 aircraft will soon be available to purchase via an online auction.

Travel to and from Australia might be curtailed right now — and Qantas’ fleet of A380s might be grounded in the California desert — but one winning bidder will be able to install these aircraft seats in their living room and recreate the inflight experience at home.

Other items in the auction include a private charter flight, a 787 simulator experience and a kids soccer coaching clinic with Graham Arnold, the head coach of the Australian national soccer team.

A different item will launch daily from August 2 to 6, with the A380 seats set to go live at 8 a.m. AEST on August 5.

There are a couple of caveats: To enter the auction, you have to be based in Australia, as well as be a member of Qantas Frequent Flyer program with points to spare. The A380 seats must also be purchased as a pair.

Qantas also clarifies that the seats’ built-in TV screens won’t work outside of the aircraft. The seats can be plugged into a home electronic output via a converter, and will recline, allowing the winner to embrace the inflight vibes.

Qantas will accept starting bids of 350,000 Qantas points for the seats.

Straight from the superjumbo

A Business Class seat pictured onboard the  Qantas A380 flagship, back when Qantas launched its superjumbos in 2008.

A Business Class seat pictured onboard the Qantas A380 flagship, back when Qantas launched its superjumbos in 2008.

Photo by Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images

The A380 can carry up to 853 travelers and its incredible size — plus its spacious interior and quieter inflight experience — has rendered the aircraft popular with pilots and travelers alike.

Qantas has 12 superjumbos in its fleet, currently out of action due to the pandemic and parked up in the Mojave Desert, where they’re apparently dodging rattlesnakes.

Qantas has said the A380s may remain out of action for another two years.

Pre-pandemic, Qantas had also started refurbishing its A380s, meaning original Skybed seats — like the ones on auction — are gradually being replaced with newer iterations.

The Qantas auction offers grounded Aussies the chance to use up their dormant points and the airline has reason to assume there’ll be considerable interest in the auction — back in September, the airline put old 747 bar carts on sale, and they were reportedly snapped up quickly.

“Whilst travel remains the number one thing frequent fliers want to use their Qantas Points on once borders open up, we know that many are keen to use some points on unique, big-ticket items,” says Qantas loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth in a statement.

“Points Auction gives members the chance to bid on special experiences and we expect these items to create a points bidding frenzy.”



rss.cnn.com 2021-08-02 12:15:44

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