EVA Air’s Bizarre Speed Dating Flights To Nowhere

Filed Under: EVA Air

We’ve seen several airlines offer flights to nowhere before, but not like this. I have a lot of questions…

EVA Air’s flights for speed daters

EVA Air was among the first airlines to offer a flight to nowhere during the pandemic, as a way of letting people experience the joy of flying without actually going anywhere. EVA Air’s first flight to nowhere was for Father’s Day, and I can appreciate the concept behind it.

As reported by CNN Travel, in the coming weeks EVA Air will operate three flights to nowhere… but for speed daters (this is possibly an even stranger concept to me than Thai Airways’ flight to nowhere for chanting Buddhist mantras over 99 holy sites). The airline is working with travel experience company Mobius on a campaign that’s being called “Fly! Love is in the Air.”

As a representative from Mobius explains the concept:

“Because of Covid-19, EVA Air has been organizing ‘faux travel’ experiences to fulfill people’s desire for travel. When single men and women travel, apart from enjoying the fun in travel, they may wish to meet someone — like a scene in a romantic movie.

The biggest advantage of speed dating on a flight comes from the serious nature from our participants. In addition to gathering participants with enough spending power, it also attracts a group of single people who love traveling. With the same values, it boosts participants’ motivation to meet and helps smoothen their conversation from the start.”

There will be three different experiences, on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day:

  • The Christmas Day experience will be followed by an afternoon tea on the ground
  • The New Year’s Eve experience will kick off with a candlelit dinner, and then participants will kick off the new year onboard a plane
  • The New Year’s Day experience will kick off with breakfast and then the flight

How does this work?

  • There will be 40 singles on each flight, with 20 men and 20 women
  • Participants need to be university graduates and citizens of Taiwan; men need to be ages 28-38, while women need to be ages 24-35
  • Each experience will include a three hour flight from Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, plus a further two hour date on the ground
  • Participants will be randomly seated on the plane based on a drawing, but are encouraged to move around and talk to more people
  • Participants will be able to have conversations while enjoying inflight meals, and will be asked to keep on masks when not eating or drinking
  • Tickets for each experience cost ~$295

I’m sorry, but this just seems unpleasant

I hate to be a grouch (not really), but I have some thoughts and questions:

  • There’s obviously controversy around this concept, given the environmental impact of flights to nowhere, as well as the age discrimination here
  • What these people have in common is that they can afford to spend $295 and like taking speed dating flights to nowhere to travel — that’s how we’re defining “having the same values?”
  • I couldn’t think of a worse place to speed date than a plane — if it doesn’t go well there’s no escaping, not to mention you’re potentially “blocked” into a window seat with someone you don’t want to be next to in the aisle
  • Unrelated, but how is EVA Air making any money on this? Maximum revenue is under $12,000, which doesn’t seem like much for three hours of flying and everything else that’s included

Lastly, going to the Mobius website for this promotion, why is Google Translate failing me so miserably?

Bottom line

As an introvert, the concept of being trapped on a plane with strangers for three hours with the expectation of speed dating sounds… not fun. That being said, (also as an introvert) I’d love to be a fly on the wall fuselage, because I feel like this could make some good entertainment. Though I’m not sure I could handle the secondhand embarrassment and awkwardness I might feel.

What do you make of this EVA Air speed dating flight concept?

Comments
  1. Typically in speed dating, you get a certain amount of time to talk to each person. So you’re not really “blocked” in with someone you don’t want to be with. You talk to someone, times up, move on to the next person. That’s how speed dating works.

  2. Age discrimination is an American concept. It doesn’t apply elsewhere in the world. You shouldn’t have been surprised knowing Asian airlines didn’t have any grandma’s! Sorry! 🙂

  3. At 20+20 capacity, everyone gets their own block of 3 seats (assuming the flights are operated by their A321).

  4. I’m sorry but… Its. Not. For. You.

    It’s a Taiwanese airline offering a service to Taiwanese singles. EVA wouldn’t be offering this if they didn’t think they could either recoup the costs or if it didn’t provide them some sort of other benefit.

  5. I think this works; age thing (4-yrs) is a non-issue in Asia (it isn’t like a “sugar-daddy” setup where men need to be 50+ making 6$-figures while women need to be “working their way thru college”). COVID is probably a non-issue there too w/ daily infections in single digits since end of Apr. I’d assume, if it’s on an A321, you’d have one ‘couple’ per 3-seats. It’d be interesting to see if FAs would go on the intercom every 15-min to announce time to switch seats (to those who want). Hope it’s not a bumpy flight for those really looking for true speed-date experience!

  6. I’m going to the middle of the day, to the middle of the day, to the middle of the day.

    (Great translation, right?)

  7. Time to get over the *environmental factors* of aviation. Let people fly if they want to fly. The world wouldn’t be as advanced as it is today without aviation. Let us enjoy it!

  8. I am Taiwanese, and I can tell you it’s a great idea!

    Unlike westerners, Asians tend to be very introverted. Plus the crazy working hours, it’s not that unusual that many have never had a relationship until 30. (That includes me). So it is very common that you have arranged meetings for both side.

    For people who are willing to pay $295 to fly nowhere, at least one thing is in common, they all love flying. Just based on this common interest, many of these singles ones can have something to talk about.

    I’m 3 hours it’s hard to say things work or doesn’t work out. Again, Asians tend to be very polite, if you don’t like each other. Simply just graciously say “nice meeting you” and move onto meeting someone else.

    With money, I don’t think EVA is trying to make money here. Maybe it’s a flight to keep the pilots hour, or just use it as part of advertisement.

  9. As others have already pointed out, it’s a concept that doesn’t work for you. It’s only for Taiwanese individuals. So… Not much to criticise here… If there’s someone on board with it… that’s ok…

  10. Age discrimination? What about educational background discrimination? Only those with college degrees can date on Eva’s new promotions? Hmmm….

  11. The most wired part to have speed dating on a plane is that moving around to change your partner is not a particularly convenient (and safe) thing to do…

  12. I’m sorry, but this just seems unpleasantI hate to be a grouch (not really), but I have some thoughts and questions:

    There’s obviously controversy around this concept, given the environmental impact of flights to nowhere, as well as the age discrimination here

    -You don’t talk much about the environmental impact for other flights to nowhere, so I don’t see how this is any special. Age discrimination is a fake concept. If you can offer benefits to senior citizens, you can do so to youth, and the California lawsuit is ridiculous.

    However, the issue here is less of age, more than gender discrimination.

    What these people have in common is that they can afford to spend $295 and like taking speed dating flights to nowhere to travel — that’s how we’re defining “having the same values?”

    -Only a true avgeek would go through that experience. Well, also those in dire need to date. But the point is, it’s a blind date, and they do like airplanes enough to go on a date, so what’s the problem?

    I couldn’t think of a worse place to speed date than a plane — if it doesn’t go well there’s no escaping, not to mention you’re potentially “blocked” into a window seat with someone you don’t want to be next to in the aisle

    -How about request a seat change because there probably are 200+ seats?

    Unrelated, but how is EVA Air making any money on this? Maximum revenue is under $12,000, which doesn’t seem like much for three hours of flying and everything else that’s included

    -Maybe Mobius pays them? Or maybe pilots do it to keep their licenses.

    -I’m surprised you’re being grouchy about this, but it’s not much different from other airline concepts you like to talk about and is perfectly fine.

  13. Is restricting the sale of a product to one country’s nationals allowed? I doubt that it would comply with the UK’s equalities legislation.

  14. Instead of tying up with Mobius EVA Air should partner with Tinder for more exposure!!! if dating clicks on air what about arrangements to join the Mile High Club?? The 4 lavs in the A321 should be equipped with copious supply of contraception packs.

    The other flights to nowhere were at a max of 90 mins but here its double the time. EVA has been very thoughtful in offering the participants enough time to go the distance.

    This concept is very common in Asia where such events are organised in 5 star hotels/clubs for prospective daters to mingle, now this is happening in the air!!!

  15. John Gresham, the U.K.’s increasing erosion of civil liberties sits ill at ease with its history. If a business wants to sell products or services only to its own nationals, it ought to be allowed so to do.

  16. Couple notes:
    1. This is a event by mobius, not EVA air. I believe these participants would just be part of the flight. There would be other travelers in the flight that aren’t doing speed dating. Therefore the revenue would be much higher. I would guess that Mobius received a group quotes for the seats.

    2. I see people commenting on “educational background discrimination”. Hahaha. I would say 98% of Taiwanese people between 20~40 have college degree.

  17. Sometime tells me that would this flight be a gay dating event the author would be all for it. But not it isn’t so fire away with your ridiculous arguments.

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