(CNN) – Offering neither a window view nor easy access to the bathroom, the middle seat is arguably the least desirable place to sit on a flight.
In fact, just 0.6% of the more than 7,500 voters polled prefer — or, perhaps more likely, accidentally voted — the middle seat, according to a recent social media poll by Virgin Australia.
That number could soon increase if the airline’s plan to get passengers to voluntarily reserve the dreaded middle seat is successful.
Virgin Australia has just launched the Middle Seat Lottery, a special draw worth around AUD 230,000 (or $145,000). And it’s only open to those who sit in the middle seat — voluntarily or involuntarily — during a flight.
“Virgin Australia is an airline that is doing things differently and we’re having a lot of fun creating exciting innovations to make every part of the travel experience more wonderful,” says Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Jayne Hrdlicka. in a press release.
“Now we’re giving our loyal guests the chance to win a prize valued at more than $230,000 simply by sitting in a middle seat.”
Prizes include free flights, a helicopter pub crawl and bungee jumping
From now until April 23, 2023, any Velocity Frequent Flyer member age 18 or older sitting in a middle seat can use the airline’s app to enter the drawing.
Each week a different prize will be awarded to the winner of a drawing. Innovative gifts available for purchase include a full day helicopter pub crawl (including return flights to Darwin) and a two-night Cairns holiday including flights, accommodation and bungee jumping.
For Australian Football League fans, there are flights and tickets to the Australian Football League Grand Final, as well as exclusive access to the pre-match lunch and after party.
Travelers could also earn Virgin ‘Platinum Velocity’ frequent flyer status for a year, along with an extra million Velocity points, as well as some revamped themed gallery cars.
After the announcement was posted on the airline’s social media channels on October 24, some commentators agreed it’s a “brilliant plan”, while others said nothing could get them to sit in the middle seat.
Top image: File photo of a Virgin Australia plane. Credit: Adobe Stock