Weightless Flights Now Possible in Vegas

Travelers leaving Las Vegas often wonder where all their money went. Now they can have the chance to literally watch it float away. Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G, www.gozerog.com) has launched regular service of its FAA-approved commercial weightless flights from the Signature Air Terminal at McCarran International Airport.  SBE Entertainment Group CEO Sam Nazarian reacts to the weightless of water as fledgling commercial developer Paul Makarechian looks on

Dr. Peter Diamandis, CEO and co-founder of ZERO-G, says launching service in Las Vegas fits in perfectly with the grandeur of the town. "Visitors flock to Las Vegas for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and ZERO-G will deliver on that expectation," he says.

Celestial enthusiasts such as former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin and physicist Stephen Hawking have already taken flight with ZERO-G, as the company continues to roll out more service. Besides Las Vegas, flights can be taken from San Jose and Long Beach, CA, Aspen, CO, and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Travel agents can also cash in on the service. While individual seats are not commissionable, groups are. If travel agents book a group of 10 or more, they will receive a 10 percent commission off the $3,500 price per seat. Charter flights are also available for private events such as birthday parties or corporate incentives.

Continued service increases will give agents better reason to sell the weightless flights, not only as a niche experience, but also as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Here's what the $3,500 price tag gets your clients: pre-flight training and orientation, a flight of 15 parabolas (a maneuver that produces the weightlessness), flight suit, complimentary merchandise, awards, a post-event party, photos and a DVD of the flight.

During the flight, which lasts between 90 and 100 minutes, passengers will be able to fly through the length of the modified Boeing 727-200, called G-FORCE-ONE, and witness such marvels as water—and everything else not tied down—hovering before their eyes.

Since launching the ZERO-G Experience to the general public back in September 2004, the company has flown more than 2,500 passengers, whose ages have ranged from 12 to 85. The controlled ascent and descent allows passengers—or flyers as the company calls them—to experience Martian gravity (1/3 gravity), Lunar gravity (1/6 gravity) and, finally, zero gravity. The aircraft follows the same operating procedures as large commercial passenger planes.

Future dates of service from Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport are as follows: June 30; August 4; September 1, 2, 8 and 15; October 6 and 27; November 3, 4, 10 and 11; and December 30 and 31. To book a seat with ZERO-G, either visit the company's web site or call 800-936-6480. Additionally, a partnership between ZERO-G and the Sharper Image allows the latter to market and sell seats through its retail stores and at its web site (www.sharperimage.com).