Today at Melbourne Airport, the first Qantas Dreamliner flight to cross the Pacific to Los Angeles was sent off in style by Visit California. The flight’s 236 passengers were surprised at the check-in counter with fun gifts and treats from a range of California destinations.
Five Visit California partners joined the send-off, including Visit West Hollywood, Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, Discover Los Angeles / Los Angeles World Airports, Disney Destinations and Simon Shopping Destinations.
Passengers were greeted by promotional staff giving out treats and taking selfies, dressed up as a West Hollywood movie star, a Santa Monica yogi, a Disney fan, a Los Angeles Dodgers player, a California roller girl, and a Simon Shopping shopaholic. Gifts for the passengers included Los Angeles Dodgers baseball caps, Santa Monica sunglasses, Mickey Mouse ears, West Hollywood eye masks, Jelly Belly jellybeans, and Ghirardelli chocolates.
Before take-off, passengers took a group photo on board the plan wearing their Southern California gear, getting them in the mood for their trip to the Golden State.
“California is synonymous with fun and diversity, so we wanted to inject that spirit into the first Dreamliner flight to Los Angeles,” said Caroline Beteta, president & CEO of Visit California. “We are excited to partner with Qantas on growing the direct airlift from Australia to California, giving Aussies more opportunities to visit the awesome range of experiences, icons, attractions and local personalities awaiting them across the Pacific.”
Prior to today’s inaugural flight, last night Qantas and Visit California held a joint launch celebration at Notel in Melbourne. Attendees included Visit California Director of Public Relations Jennifer Sweeney, Qantas International CEO Alison Webster, Australian model and Qantas trend consultant Jessica Hart and her model sister Ashley Hart, and chef Neil Perry. Hugh Sheridan and his band provided the entertainment with a new song about Australian dreamers living in LA and coming home.
The passengers on the inaugural flight today include five top Australian travel and lifestyle media invited by Visit California to participate in a five-day “California Feels Like Home” press trip featuring Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Greater Palm Springs.
The press trip itinerary includes celebrity-inspired tips, activities, locations and restaurants linked to Los Angeles-based Aussie stars, including the likes of Miranda Kerr, Hugh Sheridan and Liam Hemsworth. Former Aussie AFL player and Los Angeles-based fitness TV personality Luke Milton will be taking the group through their paces with a high-intensity workout at his Training Mate Los Angeles studio in West Hollywood. The group will also be joined at the welcome dinner by Australian Los Angeles-based two-time Emmy Award-nominated television journalist Kathryn Eisman.