Alex Simon arrived at the airport February last year and discovered he was the only passenger who had booked a flight with Philippines Airlines from Manila to the paradise island of Boracay. He traveled with Philippines Airlines to Boracay like a superstar in his private jet.
The lucky 28-year-old from Ischgl in Austria who, according to his Facebook page, lives in Ibiza, Spain, described the bizarre experience of traveling VIP for the price of economy as “unforgettable.”
After he was called over the loudspeaker to come to the information counter at the airport, a Philippines Airlines staff member told the stunned travel blogger that the flight wouldn’t have to wait two hours as scheduled but would leave in 30 minutes because he was the only passenger on the flight from Manila to Boracay.
“When I arrived to the airport I just heard my name on the speaker,” he told the Daily Mail. “So the lady explained to me that I don’t need to wait two more hours on my connecting flight, we’re gonna start in 30 minutes because there are no more passengers except me.”
“I was little bit surprised and I couldn’t believe it,” he continued. “I thought I was dreaming. Later while boarding I just realized that it’s gonna be a special flight because this time I didn´t even need to line up.”
Like a billionaire superstar flying in his private jet, he had an entire passenger plane to himself.
He was alone in the turboprop passenger plane with two flight attendants and two pilots. When he asked one of the flight attendants if he could sit next to the window, she answered with an indulgent smile, “You can sit anywhere, because you’re the only passenger.”
He took a seat in the front row and captured footage showing long rows of empty seats behind him.
During the flight, he changed seats at will and could recline without having to worry about annoying other passengers.
The cabin crew had known that only one person booked the flight and had prepared to have fun with the lucky passenger.
Before takeoff, he was allowed to visit the two pilots in the cockpit. He spent some time chatting with them. He recorded a video of the cockpit visit that shows him posing with the pilots and saying, “This is my private plane.”
During the flight, he spent time chatting and joking with the two flight attendants who took turns filming him as he savored the privilege of having an entire passenger plane to himself.
Footage filmed by one of the flight attendants shows Simon stretching luxuriously on his seat and declaring, “This is my own plane. Nobody’s here. I booked the whole plane just for me and the crew. Maybe I’ll sit next to the pilot.”
As the plane prepared for touchdown in Boracay, Simon filmed the beautiful island from the air. He was so stunned by the beauty that he exclaimed, “Oh my God. Wow, wow, wow. It’s like paradise.”
The attendants filmed him as he walked off the plane after the flight. He said the attention he received from the cabin crew made him feel like a superstar.
A staff member told him at the airport that the situation was very unusual because domestic flights from the Philippines capital Manila to Boracay were usually packed.
“It was an unforgettable feeling to take a flight to the one of the most beautiful islands of the world, but to be alone and feel like a superstar it made it more special,” he said. “I just had luck, I think, that no one else was interested on this day to fly to paradise.”
He uploaded a three-and-a-half-minute video of the bizarre experience to YouTube earlier in February 2015. The video went viral only last week after it was picked up by some websites.
But that was not the first time that a traveler has found himself alone on a commercial airline flight. In August 2015, a British traveler, Nigel Short, flying Air Zimbabwe from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, found he was the only passenger on the Boeing 737 jet designed to carry more than 100 passengers.
Also in 2015, an American traveler, Chris O’Leary, found he was the only passenger on a Delta Airlines flight from Cleveland to New York after other passengers took other flights because of a delay due to bad weather.
[Image via Alec Wilson/Wikimedia Commons]