"You've got an invitation, to make a reservation . . ." sang Sir Paul McCartney on the 1967 Magical Mystery Tour.

It seems Air New Zealand's CEO Greg Foran was channelling Sgt Pepper when he announced the airline plans to relaunch the "mystery weekends" packages.

In an interview with the Herald the airline boss said the airline was lucky to have a strong domestic business, which was helping it weather the Covid 19 pandemic.

"We have been pleasantly surprised with what we have seen," said Foran about the uptake of domestic travel.


Over the school holidays some destinations had an increase in bookings on last year, such as routes between urban hubs and South Island ski spots.

However, as Foran acknowledged "not everyone can fit into Queenstown".

There are still areas on the domestic network the airline is hoping to boost and raise the profile of.

Over the past month the airline has been in contact with local mayors in 20 regions, discussing how best to sell plane seats to their constituencies.

A mystery tour might be just the ticket.

The airline said it "didn't have anything to share at this point" regarding the enigmatic travel packages.

Previously these deals have worked on the premise of selling a three-night package in luxury accommodation for a special discount. The only catch being passengers won't know where they're going until the day before departure.

A "deluxe package" was introduced, which included car rental and "superior" accommodation for $100 per person extra.


But will passengers roll up for the new mystery tour?

Setting off on holiday to an unknown destination is definitely a gamble, as one couple from Hamilton found out.

In 2017, Stu Koch and Bex Rowling paid $1500 for a mystery package and ended up in a serviced apartment in Invercargill.

The "deluxe" experience was not what they expected.

"I actually burst into tears because I'd been looking forward to it since June," said Rowling. Arranging childcare for five children meant that vacations were rare, and this was deeply disappointing.

The couple left Invercargill for Queenstown where they made their own accommodation arrangements.


A spokesperson for the airline said the company was "really sorry this Mystery Break didn't meet the customer's expectations and have offered a full refund as a gesture of goodwill".

• For more information see: airnewzealand.co.nz/book-a-mystery-break

Have you booked a Mystery Break? Would you go again? Email travel@nzherald.co.nz