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How One Man Spent His Time on an Empty Flight

How One Man Spent His Time on an Empty Flight

Skirmantas Strimaitis is one lucky man. And he didn’t need to throw coins in the airplane engine for the good luck.

The Lithuanian native was checking into his flight at Vilnius International Airport (VNO) when an attendant informed him that the Boeing 737 crew flying from Vilnius to Bergamo was waiting for him.

Something was definitely amiss because Strimaitis wasn’t late for his flight. But why would they wait?

Though the flight’s seating capacity is 189, the only bodies on board were Strimaitis, two pilots and five crew members.

“The crew seemed quite confused at first,” Strimaitis told CNN Travel. “Maybe it was a new experience for them as well.”

Most likely. It’s not a common occurrence and there isn’t a secret formula or hack to be one of the lucky few that get to enjoy an empty flight. In Strimaitis’ case, he purchased discounted tickets with a third-party tour operator, Novaturas. They chartered a flight from Bergamo to Vilnius for a group of clients that day and one-way return tickets were put on sale to avoid an empty flight back. However, Strimaitis was the only person to buy a ticket.

So what does one do on a two-hour, deserted flight?

“I was provided with a personal pre-flight safety demonstration. Then I just enjoyed the flight by taking selfies and writing. To have silence on a plane was very unusual. I was smiling all day,” said Strimaitis.

[Image Source: Flickr/ Cory W. Watts]

View Comments (4)



    April 5, 2019 at 10:01 am

    I had a similar experience 18 years ago. I was the only passenger in BA First from LHR to JFK. It was wonderful!! My two flight attendants came over, to do a solo safety drill and customize the in-flight experience to my liking. What a peaceful experience.

  2. mvoight

    April 5, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    So, did he buy an economy ticket and stay in economy?

  3. 2P or not 2P

    April 8, 2019 at 5:48 am

    At 189 seats it was an all economy aircraft.

  4. CO FF

    April 8, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Something similar: 12/31/1991, IAH-JFK on TW. Our flight was scheduled to leave IAH at about 7:45pm on 12/31, and arrive JFK just after midnite on New Year’s Day. Needless to say, it was not a particularly full flight – but a colleague and I had been in Houston closing a deal on 12/31, having not slept since 12/30, and that was the first flight home we could catch.

    We were the only 2 F pax; there were 7 additional pax in Y. The FAs asked us if they could move everyone up to F, so that everyone could enjoy the flight – and so that they wouldn’t have to work as hard, I’m sure. We agreed, on the condition that we got rows 1 & 2 for ourselves (we each took a window seat in 1 to sleep, and didn’t want anyone behind us pulling our seats or talking right in our ears). The other 7 pax were 3 couples & a single, so they didn’t care, and everyone “squeezed” into F.

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