Ace hypnotist Aaron Calvert put five subjects – who between them have racked up hundreds of air miles – under hypnosis in a bid to reignite their passion for air travel.
The world-first stunt came about after research found more than a third of Brits admit they have ‘fallen out of love’ with flying, considering it more a chore than a treat.
When they woke from their trance the five passengers had no recollection of ever having flown – or even, in some cases, of being inside an airport at all.
They were led onto a Thomas Cook flight from London Gatwick to Enfidha, Tunisia, being taken through the entire process as if it was their first time.
The visibly-excited group went through security, passport control, and even duty free shops like they’d never done it before – taking selfies and marvelling at the parked-up planes.
It was only on returning to the UK that Aaron allowed their memories to return, leaving them with a new appreciation for flight.
Hypnotist and mind-reader Aaron, 27, said during the day: “It’s really exciting. These guys absolutely believe this is their first flight. And what’s amazing is the simplest things are exciting to them – everything’s brand new.
“These guys looked out of a window, saw a plane, and couldn’t believe the size of it. They’re all full of questions – simple things they know already because they’ve been away hundreds of times, but right now they’ve got no idea.”
Jo Cattini of Hemel Hempstead, 47, estimated she’s been on more than 30 flights, taking a couple of family holidays a year.
Married couple Lee and Jade Evans, 30 and 29, from Portsmouth, are also regulars on planes – with Lee’s job as a project planner taking him on monthly flights to Scotland and Europe.
The duo had even spent their honeymoon in New York and Florida, spending a total of three weeks in the USA.
Also put into a trance were James Jebson, a 33-year-old photographer from Blackpool, and Murray Tweddle, 32, of Kinross.
Murray, an international chef, said after touching back down in London: “It’s been absolutely phenomenal.
“To be told I’d actually flown before was incredible – I had no idea half of the stuff that was going on. I loved it.”
And James Jebson added: “I’ve got a massive range of emotions. It’s made me realise how incredible flight is, and that it’s open to everybody.
“If I hadn’t been hypnotised myself, I’d be the guy going ‘that’s fake’.
“But I can guarantee, it’s the most strange, bizarre and beautiful experience.
“If you haven’t flown before, just do it. Don’t let the apprehensions you have hold you back in doing something that will change your life, as cheesy as it sounds.”
A poll of 2,000 adults found on average Brits go on six flights a year, taking the excitement out of what was once a first time experience.
Many cited the checking in process, making the journey through the airport to the gate and boarding the plane were the worst things about flying.
Respondents who have fallen out of love with flying said it took 20 flights before the enjoyment wore off.
Forty five per cent said they remember the first time they flew very well and a further two in 10 wish they could experience the ‘first flight feeling’ again.
The average age to experience flying on an airplane for the first time is 16 and a half, according to the OnePoll.com data.
Once the excitement has disappeared, over half of adults see air travel as a means to an end – but New Zealand, Australia and Japan are the places Brits would most like to visit for the first time.
Maggie Kennedy, director of group cabin crew management, said: “We think that your holiday should start as soon as you step on the plane, which is why we want to show the fun of flying through this experiment.