With Oprah’s help Qantas overtakes high-rolling junket title from V Australia

In this installment of quirky news, the queen of daytime TV in America may have given away cars to her audience, but for the start of her 25th and final season, Oprah Winfrey teamed up with Qantas to fly “over 300 of Oprah’s most loyal viewers” to Australia in December for an eight-day, all expenses paid trip, Qantas says.

It is easy to be ingratiated by the news with Oprah’s proclamation, “We’re going to Australia! We are going to Australia! You and you and you and you, are going to Australia!”

The announcement however shows just how high the stakes are between Qantas and V Australia to promote their trans-Pacific services. With this announcement, Qantas has now overtaken the high-rolling junket title from V Australia, who announced last week it would fly 180 travel agents from America to Hamilton Island for the Corroboree 2010 trade event. The agents are due to fly V Australia across the Pacific and then take a specially chartered 737 to Hamilton Island.

For added dramatic effect, Oprah’s announcement was accompanied with a guest appearance by Qantas ambassador John Travolta and an aircraft mock-up. But the real drama may unfold when audience members realise they may not be able to go. When Oprah gave away Pontiac G6s in 2004, many audience members had to refuse the cars because of the taxes they would have had to pay on the car’s $20,000 price tag (unlike Australia, America levies taxes on prize winnings). There is no word yet how many, if any, winners will have to pass up a vacation on the Flying Kangaroo for a so-called staycation.

Update: Good news to audience members who would have had to forfeit their Australian junket due to high taxes. Oprah will pay for all taxes and even the visa processing fee. There’s a downside of course and that is those now able to head down under will need to watch out for drop bears. 

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6 Responses to With Oprah’s help Qantas overtakes high-rolling junket title from V Australia

  1. Simon Williams September 24, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Dear Will
    Got a question for you , my family lives in Melbourne and my
    farther is working on the B24 there ( retired FE ).
    I am presently redoing my JAR-FCL PPL in Germany ( got the theory bit done )and was interested in chartering an aircraft
    ( prob a C172 ) either this year at Xmas when were over or next
    year . The Q is do you have any ideas were I could charter an A/C
    and if there are any specials you can advise me of.

    Brgds Simon

  2. Will Horton October 7, 2010 at 6:36 am #

    Hi Simon,

    Thank you for your comment but unfortunately I do not know of any operators that could assist you. You might first trying GA sections of airports (in Melbourne Essendon is a good airport to start with) and ask for their recommendations.

    Hopefully someone reading this blog will be able to help.

    Hope you’re able to charter the aircraft. If you do let me know how it goes and take some photos!


  3. jan November 10, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    Yes, they need to watch out for drop bears.


  4. Will Horton November 10, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Brilliant! Well done. That’s hilarious!

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