February 10, 2021 11:19
Grounded passengers nostalgic for the days of freedom are embracing inflight meals and even listening to fasten-seatbelt announcements on YouTube as the coronavirus pandemic drags on.
Jung Hee-hoon, a 33-year-old office worker from Songpa, southern Seoul has ordered an inflight meal to his home.
The delivery included small segregated portions of pasta, salad and a breakfast roll on a tray, much in the way they are served onboard, yet more than 10,000 of the inflight meals have been sold in the month since one airline launched them.
Jung recalls that the last time he flew overseas was in November 2019. "I felt like I was on a real plane as I ate it while listening to airplane cabin sounds on YouTube."
There are also exhibitions and hotel rooms that mimic the inside of airplanes. At one airport-themed exhibition in central Seoul last week, the help desk was decked out like a check-in counter, while tickets were made to resemble boarding passes. The gift shop even had a "duty-free" sign.
One hotel in central Seoul has been selling packages since November modeled after an overseas trip. Guests check in and get a boarding pass, sleep shades and blankets. Sections of the hotel are decorated to resemble the streets of Paris so guests can take photos.
"The package has been popular among guests who yearn to travel overseas," a hotel staffer said. "We expect sales to surpass our target by more than 130 percent."
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