While COVID-19 has almost entirely been a non-stop stream of bad news for travel and aviation lovers, a silver lining has emerged for plane enthusiasts, interior designers and even quirky collectors.
Around the world, hundreds of aircraft sit parked at storage facilities. Some will be there for months or years, others will likely never leave.
This has led to the sudden emergence of some rare collectable items being made available to the public. The latest is the iconic drinks trolley.
Qantas is offering 1000 of its 747 galley carts stocked with a range of items from champagne and Australian red and white wine to Tim Tams, pyjamas and an exclusive-to-Qantas First Class Sheridan throw.
These bar carts were removed from the airline's recently retired and much-loved 747 fleet before they were flown to the Californian desert.
Qantas operated various incarnations of the 747 'Queen of the Skies' for almost 50 years before retiring the jumbo jet six months early as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The farewell of the last Qantas 747 in July inspired an outpouring of affection and nostalgia from not just the Australian public, but travel lovers around the world.
Qantas executive manager of product and service Phil Capps said the airline wanted to offer up a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to own a physical piece of the 747 legacy, particularly at a time when travel was out of reach for many.
"These pre-loved carts served Qantas and our customers well during their world travels from London and Los Angeles to Singapore and Santiago, with each one averaging around 2000 flights. While we no longer have use for them, they still have life in them, especially for those with an appreciation for aviation collectables and an eye for design," Capps said.
The Qantas 747 half bar cart features:
- A Qantas 747 half bar cart – used (not new)
- 40 x 187ml bottles of white wine (equivalent to 10 standard 750ml bottles)
- 40 x 187ml bottles of red wine (equivalent to 10 standard 750ml bottles)
- One bottle of Champagne from the Business class cellar
- Two Qantas Business Class amenity kit featuring ASPAR Travel Essentials
- One Sheridan throw made exclusively for Qantas First Class made of 100 percent combed cotton
- Two Qantas Business Class sleeper suits M/L & L/XL (suitable for most shapes and sizes)
- 5 x light weight plastic drawers used (not new)
- 1 x sleeve of Tim Tams
- 1 x sleeve of savoury biscuits
- 1 x bottle of champagne
- 1 x packet of smoked almonds 200g (first class)
The trolleys start at around NZ$1000 or 169,000 Qantas Points. A full-sized cart with double the items is also available for around NZ$1600.
While these prices include freight for Australians, sadly they aren't available to us here in New Zealand.
While the bar carts are 'second-hand' and will show signs of wear and tear, they are soaking in history. Just imagine the thousands of people they've served, the places they've been and the conversations they have interrupted.