The Airline takes passengers to new heights and left its ‘pink' mark in the sky and airline industry.
Air New Zealand's Pink Flight of Fabulosity departed from San Francisco on a Boeing 777 on Tuesday, Feb. 26. The first ever North American gay-themed flight flew to Sydney, Australia in celebration of the 2008 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Kathy Griffin, Emmy-award winning comedian, unleashed her D-List diva and served up laughs as the official hostess of the chartered flight.
Pink Flight passengers started their journey the moment they entered the San Francisco International airport, where they were greeted by "Welcome Divas Pink Flight" and "Sydney Mardi Gras – Bring Your Sass to the Party" signage. Passengers checked-in for the flight at a boa wrapped kiosk, backlit in pink. After passing through security, passengers made their grand entrance to the Pre-Party at Terminal G walking the ‘Pink' carpet. As they posed for the "pink paparazzi," they were interviewed by the infamous drag queen Buckwheat.
"Air New Zealand isn't an ordinary airline," said Jodi Williams, Air New Zealand's director of marketing - the Americas. "With us, our passengers' vacation starts as soon as they come on board. We make travel fun and relaxing for our guests, ensuring that their vacation experience begins long before they arrive to their final destination."
The Pre-Party was held in Terminal G. Decorated from floor to ceiling in pink décor the celebration included dancing, drag queen performances with multiple costume changes, pink cocktails such as the Kiwi-Cotton Candy Cocktail, pink-themed appetizers and an appearance by hostess Kathy Griffin. Griffin mingled with passengers before scanning their tickets to board the plane. The plane donned a 70-foot pink boa and 13-inch pink feathers strategically placed as eyelashes.
"As soon as we heard about this flight, we knew we had to sign up," said two Palm Springs, Calif. passengers. "In fact, we were the first ones to purchase our tickets!"
Air New Zealand's flight crew wore pink boas, pink hats and gave a choreographed cabaret performance at the Pre-Party. "The crew was fantastic," said a passenger from New York. "I've never seen an airline do something like this before!"
During the 14-hour-flight, the Bravo Network taped footage for their hit-show, "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List." Griffin performed stand up routines and answered passengers' questions throughout the flight. After the scheduled rest period named "Beauty Sleep," Griffin served passengers breakfast during the "Party-Party Wake-Up." The wake-up party featured more dancing, singing and sheer madness.
Williams said the airlines' Pink Flight reflects the country's diversity-embracing nature and acceptance of all lifestyles.
"Air New Zealand's Pink Flight mimics the casual elegance and quirkiness of New Zealand's culture," adds Williams. "We are always exploring new and creative ways to appeal to all of our target audiences and this event is part of that initiative."
New Zealand has a long history of liberal social reform and is widely recognized as a friendly vacation destination for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons. New Zealand voted the world's first transgender person into a national office when Georgina Beyer was elected to Parliament in 1999. Same-sex civil unions are recognized as a legal institution in New Zealand since 2004.