I have yet to meet a person who wouldn’t want
to travel on an airliner in maximum comfort. Usually, the solution is simple: pay tons
of money and travel First Class, enjoying all the stuff they pamper you with. But how
do you feel about a low-cost airline company that offers waterbeds and organic food?
Wait, wait wait — where are you going? No, you can’t buy a ticket for the next flight! You gotta watch this. First, we need to get
back to 1973. That was the year when self-made millionaire investor Kenneth Moss came up
with the idea of a very unusual airline. He, along with his partner Darcy Flynn, spent
$1.5 million and one year getting a plane and a license to operate it commercially from
the Federal Aviation Administration. Besides, the businessman had to receive landing permission
from major airports. Unaware of all the intricacies of buying a commercial aircraft, Moss was
cheated out of $45,000, wasted $125,000 on a plane that wouldn’t fly, and eventually
ended up with a 6-year-old DC 8 on his hands. This plane cost him $750,000.
That’s when all the fun started. First things first; Moss removed the previous airline’s
name, “Air Liberation,” from the plane’s fuselage and replaced it with the new name, “Freelandia.”
Moss’s idea was to launch not another commercial airline, but to start an inexpensive air travel
club. After paying a modest membership fee of $25, club members could get access to laughably
cheap flights. For example, a trip from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., cost $87, almost
two times less expensive than any other commercial flight. And if you wanted to fly from Newark
to Miami, you would save about $70 by flying with “Freelandia.” You go from Newark to Hawaii
– and the sum you save is even bigger, about $212. Several times a month, club members
could fly to San Fransisco, Brussels, Chicago, and Acapulco, as well as many other cities.
How was such a low price even possible? The trick was that “Freelandia” was registered
as an air club, not a commercial airline! Thus, it wasn’t subjected to all kinds of
standard commercial rates set by the Civil Aeronautics Board.
But the best part about “Freelandia” wasn’t even the ticket price! No. As soon as you
set your foot inside the plane, you immediately felt as if you were in the middle of some
extravagant party. According to some passengers, the atmosphere on board was similar to that
of some tribal celebration. During the flight, passengers were allowed to wander along the
aisles, drink, and listen to rock music. There were backgammon and chess boards scattered
all over the plane, and in no-class sections, passengers could lie down on huge denim pillows.
Flight attendants wore ultra-bright violet uniforms and berets decorated with an open
hand – Freelandia’s black and white insignia. Those who felt sleepy could make use of comfortable
waterbeds. During the flight, passengers could enjoy vegetarian meals, homemade soups, organic
breads and cheeses, as well as different drinks, including wine and beer.
But one of the most unusual things about the new airline was that the club members could
vote on the flight schedules every three months! So if one of the passengers needed to go,
let’s say, to Paris, they only had to persuade their fellow members to add this route to
the flight schedule. After all, the airline had landing rights in lots of places, including
Colombia and Hong Kong, and was negotiating landing permissions with India, Bali, Australia,
Greece, and Turkey. The ultimate goal of “Freelandia” was to offer its club members $300 round-the-world
flights which usually cost more than $1,500 on commercial jets.
However, all the frills didn’t help the newborn airline to keep afloat. First of all, after
Kenneth Moss appeared on TV, the membership cost grew. Then, people started to get frustrated
by the airline’s performance. And no wonder! More than 85% of the flights got cancelled
because not enough people signed up for them. But most importantly, the fuel price skyrocketed
after the 1973 oil crisis, which rendered such cheap flights impossible. “Freelandia”
had to go out of business in 1974, just one year after its launch. But if you think that “Freelandia” was the
only unusual airline company that’s ever existed, you might be in for a surprise! For example, Hawaiian Airlines allows each
passenger to take a pre-packed box of pineapples or papayas on board the plane. The only condition
is that the box can’t weigh more than 10 pounds (4.5 kg) and that it’s agriculture-inspected
first. But that’s not even the best part! If you’re
heading from Hawaii to North America, you can bring this fruit box with you on the plane
completely for free! If you love comfort, write down the name “La
Compagnie.” That’s a French airline company that probably has every right to call its
fleet “innovative planes.” The company offers only business class service, but it’s still
cheaper than that of its competitors. The airline’s hub is in Paris’ Orly Airport;
and if one day you decide to hop on a plane to Newark, New Jersey, you’ll be pleasantly
surprised. You’ll find out that your seat reclines to a 175-degree angle and has built-in
massage features. Ooh. You’ll get an anti-allergenic pillow and a travel care kit for free.
On top of that, each passenger gets their own tablet for in-flight entertainment. You’ll
can use it to watch news, TV, movies, read a book or a magazine, or listen to music.
And when you get hungry, you’ll be offered a four-course menu. Your meal will begin with
a starter, followed by a hot dish of your choice and accompanied by a cheese platter
and dessert. And shortly before landing, you’ll also get a snack pack with three sweet and
three salty snacks. Oh sign me up! Baltia Air Lines, which is known today as
“USGlobal Airways,” is an airline company which hasn’t flown a single flight during
its long 29-year old history! It was founded in 1989 for the sole purpose of flying from
New York to Riga and Leningrad, two cities of the then-Soviet Union.
However, it’s 2019 now, there is no Soviet Union anymore, and the planes of “USGlobal
Airways” are still not in the air. The airline has failed certification tests seven times
in a row, and it seems that the chances are slim that its planes will ever fly. All Nippon Airways Co., or simply ANA, is
the largest Japanese airline if we speak about the fleet size. But that’s not why it’s on
this list. If you’re a fan of Pokemon, you can catch a themed jet which flies from Tokyo
to Paris and from Tokyo to Frankfurt. On board this remarkable aircraft, you’ll
see flight attendants in bright pokemon-aprons, drink juice from a poké-cup, and enjoy the
company of painted pokemons, from Pikachu and Togepi to Mew and Snorlax! (Um, sorry,
got a bit carried away.) One more airline company keen on cartoon characters
is Taiwanese international airline EVA AIR. But unlike ANA, its favorite cartoon seems
to be Hello Kitty. Jets designed in this style will definitely make your trip unforgettable!
First of all, the planes look bright and cute from the outside. Secondly, you’ll get a Hello
Kitty boarding pass. What’s more, the cabin crew wears Hello Kitty uniforms, toilets are
supplied with Hello Kitty cat litter, just kidding, it’s really toilet paper, and you
might even find a Kitty-shaped dessert on your meal tray! Oh, and your burger will also
be stamped with the pretty Kitty. Meow! However, you can catch these themed planes
only on certain routes: Taipei to Singapore, Taipei to Paris, and Taipei to Chicago. In 2015, Australia’s biggest airline company
Qantas Airways offered its First Class passengers Gear Virtual Reality headsets to entertain
them on long-haul flights! You could have a 360-degree view of Qantas’ lounge in Los
Angeles, watch runway videos of a huge A380 landing, or sneak a 3D peek at Kakadu National
Park in Australia. Hey how about we just get there on time? Hmm? Well, would you like to take a flight on a
“Freelandia” jet? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned something new today,
then give this video a like and share it with a friend.
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Stay on the Bright Side of life!