Top Ten Travel Themed April Fools Pranks

It takes a lot of imagination, time and effort to pull of an amazing April Fool’s prank and we can’t help but admire these amazing travel pranks that have been pulled off over the past few years; we’re sure there’ll be more in store over the next couple of years, starting today.


In celebration of April 1st, here are a few pranks that have been played by airlines and other travel industry folk over the years. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Virgin Atlantic – Glass Bottomed Airplanes

One of the more famous pranks of recent years would be the glass-bottomed planes from Virgin Atlantic. They made headlines with the “world’s first glass-bottomed plane”. Images of the new aircraft were broadcast far and wide, with promises of a glass-topped aircraft to follow, so passengers could see the stars at night. The prank was of course a success; it was such an appealing concept! And of course if anyone was going to launch a glass-bottomed plane, it would be Richard Branson who was quoted saying “I'm thrilled to announce that Virgin has created another world-first”.


WestJet – Child-Free Cabins

WestJet’s 2012 April 1st offering was called Kargo Kids, an initiative to help people have much more peaceful flights. The idea is that kids are placed into a toboggan and whisked off into a child-friendly cabin inside the cargo hold, allowing adults to travel in peace and quiet. Inside the cabin would be child counsellors, a healthy selection of toys, and even “a state of the art feed trough”, making sure the kids are kept safe and sound. Who said anything about wishful thinking?

 TTG – Hovering Hotel

2009 say this now infamous gag which was unleashed on the world. Cooked up by TTG Digital, it involved a planned “hover hotel” finding a home in Dubai, yup you read that right, a “hover hotel”. This 20-room boutique accommodation was to hover above the ground to test the waters, and was to be expanding should it prove to be enough of a success. It wasn't going to float a few inches up like a hovercraft though – it was said to be anchored at a kilometre in the air! If only...


Museum of Hoaxes - The Internet

This one here is for all you armchair travellers out there (don’t you just love the internet!?). Created in 1997, the Museum of Hoaxes catalogues history's most notorious pranks, some dating back as far as the Middle Ages. The website's April Fool Archive gives a year by year account of the holiday throughout history. As for other internet hoaxes, there are far too many to mention, but we hear there's a Nigerian bank which still needs some money wired.

Google Treasure Map

The video says it all really. This prank came from Google and was based on the premise that they had unearthed a previously-lost treasure map that once belonged to Captain Kidd.

The prank was amazingly intricate – people were to head to Google Maps, click the “Treasure” button and then decipher a number of riddles and symbols to find the secret. Unfortunately, all this teamwork didn't pay off; the “treasure” was this:


Air Asia's "Haggle Fares"

A couple of years back Air Asia advertised their new “Haggle Fares” which would allow people to turn up at the airport on the day they were hoping to travel and negotiate on the prices they were to pay. Not only does this seem like a too true to believe deal but Air Asia took it that step further in including “hints and tips” provided to help you get a lower fare – one was “hide your luggage and act like you don’t need a flight.”


South West USA, Hot Air Balloons Replace Planes

The US airline South West announced that they were planning on starting a more laid-back approach to air travel – hot air balloons would form their newest fleet of carriers. Passengers would  essentially be allowed to take the “scenic” route in comparison to your somewhat closed air plane travel. Best part however is that they do warn that travel time will depend on the wind speed on the day, but it’s not like you were in a rush anyway! You may have to settle in for the long haul on lengthier flights; just imagine all that beautiful scenery you’d get to see though!

Spaghetti Grows on Trees, Ticino, Switzerland

Ticino in Southern Switzerland served as the setting for one of the biggest hoaxes ever pulled by a news agency. On April Fools' Day in 1957, BBC broadcast a 3-minute segment showing a Swiss family harvesting spaghetti from trees and discussing how the bumper harvest was made possible by a mild winter and the near eradication of the spaghetti weevil. Some eight million people tuned in, and the news network received hundreds of calls the next day, some questioning the story and others asking for more information on how to best grow their own spaghetti trees.

The Branson Holiday Currency

In an attempt to curb the frustration experienced with exchanging currencies, Virgin Holidays in 2012 announced the future launch of a new currency – the Branson. The artwork was to reflect the different types of holiday offered (city breaks, beach getaways, and cruises), and you would get two Branson to the pound. The Branson was to be accepted in all Virgin Holidays destinations! Isn’t he a funny one, Sir Branson?


Pay-As-You-Go Cars


Now listen to this, with a pay-as-you-go car you won’t have to pay for the time, just for the distance you travel! To get around the potential lack of coins in your purses, the pay-as-you-go cars company were to offer deliveries of “bags of pound coins”… talk about being dubious!