Usually, the highlight of a flight for me is realising there are no screaming children sat anywhere near me, or discovering a movie I’ve been meaning to watch is part of the in-flight entertainment.
I don’t believe I’ve ever clambered aboard a plane and expected to recieve a free console, but that’s exactly what happened on a Southwest Airlines flight from Dallas to San Diego, where every single passenger was surprised with a Nintendo Switch of their very own, and a copy of the excellent Super Mario Maker 2.
I’m not beside myself with jealously. Not at all.
— Lauren 🎤hosting @ Comic-Con (@LaurMoor) July 17, 2019
As it turns out, Southwest Airlines has teamed up with Nintendo for a competition at the Nintendo Gaming Lounge during San Diego Comic-Con, during which lucky winners can bag themselves a console and copy of Super Mario Maker 2.
Not everyone is going to SDCC of course, so clearly Nintendo and Southwest Airlines decided to start the party early by going full Oprah and throwing a Switch at everyone on the flight.
While this was probably a fantastic start to the trip for those that were going to SDCC, even those who aren’t into gaming won’t have turned their nose up at a free machine to play some Mario on for the duration of the flight, and Southwest even made a special custom level in Super Mario Maker 2 for everyone to play through.
Predictably, those in attendance promptly lost their minds and took to Twitter to show off their good fortune. It’s almost as if this whole thing was a canny marketing ploy from Nintendo. That’s not a criticism, mind. I think it’s a genuinely lovely gesture, and helps get the word out all at once – what’s not to like? Let’s just hope everyone remembered to put their new machines into flight safe mode.
— Nicholas Friedman @ SDCC (@NMFreed) July 17, 2019
Well this adventure just for better at 30K feet. Not only we got to play a level made for Southwest but we all get a Nintendo Switch. Yes a free Nintendo for each of us. Thank you @SouthwestAir and @NintendoAmerica Super awesome!!! #southwestxnintendo #nintendo #supermariomaker2 pic.twitter.com/wx4POtfnLc
— Juan Jose Anchante (@JuanAnchante) July 17, 2019
It’s unclear whether Nintendo intends to surprise further flights with free Switch treats for the duration of SDCC, but I’d wager it was an extra special one-off treat. How mad would you be if you were on the flight directly before or after though?
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.