Airline Gives Away Flights To Mystery Holiday Spots Through Vending Machines

An airline company in Japan has come up with an ingenious way to revive tourism.

Businesses around the world have suffered immensely due to the Covid situation and naturally, people are trying to come up with ways to keep their boats floating… or in this case, their planes in the air. And that’s why Japan’s Peach Aviation came up with a cool idea, to encourage the public to jump on a random flight after letting a vending machine capsule choose the destination for them.

And while these vending machines normally cough up little toys for kids, the company has used them to sell two-way tickets from Tokyo or Osaka to a number of local mystery destinations, including Nagoya, Sendai, Sapporo, Naha and Fukuoka.

At first, the plan wasn’t accepted by everyone at the airline, as they thought that “promoting trips where travelers can’t choose the destination probably wouldn’t fly.”

“We were thinking that it would be alright if we could sell one capsule per day,” Shuntaro Kosasa, brand manager at the company’s branding and communication department, said in an interview for The Japan Times.

“Yet the gachapon suddenly became hot [through social media] and we are really surprised.”

Worked like a charm

Thus far, Peach Aviation has sold over 3000 capsules in a period of just a couple of months, with 150 once sold in a single day. The tickets go for ¥5,000 ($43) apiece and contain a points code for the purchase of a ticket, with most people receiving 6,000 points or more.

Atsushi Osawa, a local from Kanagawa Prefecture who recently bought a gachapon capsule and travelled to Memanbetsu Airport in Ozora, Hokkaido, said:

“Depending on the distance, it could be hit or miss, but it’s kind of exciting to let (the machine) decide the location and travel there. I think this is a really interesting idea.”

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