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With millions across the globe trapped at home due to the pandemic, Thailand's "plane cafes" offering consumers the chance to imagine they're in the sky — and the idea seems to have taken off.
Coffee drinkers onboard of a retired commercial airplane in Pattaya's coastal city make themselves comfortable on first-class seats and pose overhead lockers for photos.
Some "passengers" also opt for a cockpit tour, boarding passes in hand.
"It's a lot of fun."
Chalisa Chuensranoi, 25, said that her visit was as wonderful as any trip she had made before the pandemic that shuttered the borders of Thailand in March.
"Sitting right here in the section of first-class gives me the impression that I am really on a plane, cruising through the air," she said.
In another café at Bangkok's Thai Airways national carrier headquarters, hungry diners also seem to have missed airplane food as they consume spaghetti carbonara and Thai-style beef served by cabin crew on plastic trays.
But for 38-year-old Intrawut Simapichet, who came with his wife and baby to the cafe, the experience is more than just a meal.
"Normally I'm a person who travels very frequently, and when we are forced to sit at home... it's a bit depressing," he said as fellow passengers posed by a fake airplane door with their luggage.
Thailand was the first country to face a case of coronavirus after China, but since then, the kingdom has reported a low toll, with around 3,400 infections and 58 deaths.
Even so, travel restrictions eviscerated the tourism-reliant economy, while Thais found themselves stuck in other countries due to quarantine requirements.
Currently, the government is mulling travel bubbles with selected countries with even low tolls.
Source: Bangkok Post