- Fast-food chain Arby’s offered $US6 round-trip flights to Hawaii to 11 lucky people.
- The winners flew to Los Angeles to watch a Dodgers game and stay overnight on Friday before heading to Honolulu on Saturday.
- The catch was that participants only spent six “sandwich-filled hours” in Hawaii before returning home.
- INSIDER spoke with three of the participants about what the whirlwind trip was really like, and all three said they would do it again.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
To promote its new, limited-time King’s Hawaiian sandwich menu, fast-food chain Arby’s recently gifted 11 fans with a round-trip flight to Hawaii for $US6.
The catch? Winners were allotted just six “sandwich-filled hours” in the Aloha State before making their way back home.
INSIDER spoke with three of the Arby’s winners to get some insight on what the whirlwind trip really entailed
Thomas Hamilton, 18, from Dayton, Ohio, who said he was scheduled to graduate from high school two weeks after the trip, told INSIDER he skipped school to try to win a ticket.
“I was pumped [when I won], but also I was in disbelief,” Hamilton told INSIDER. “I actually thought that it was probably a false-positive or something, but no, I actually did win.”
Another winner, Igor Ribeiro, 36, expressed similar sentiments.
“Of course, just like with any promotion, you don’t think you’re going to win,” Ribeiro said. “But then I decided to participate and it said ‘congratulations.’ A few hours later I received an email from them saying that I was one of the lucky ones.”
On Friday, just a few weeks after winning their tickets, Hamilton, Ribeiro, and the other participants flew from their closest major airport to Los Angeles. They watched a Los Angeles Dodgers game from the King’s Hawaiian box and stayed overnight before embarking on their quick trip to Oahu.
“I wasn’t entirely certain what to expect,” Art Walthall, 36, from Huntsville, Alabama, told INSIDER. “The general idea, of course, was to go to Hawaii for six hours, eat Arby’s sandwiches, and fly home. I was very curious what the other winners would be like, and it turns out they were a lot like me. They were game for anything and the kind of people who would take a day trip to Hawaii for fast-food sandwiches.”
All 11 winners, a number of whom had never been to Hawaii before took the five-hour-and-22-minute flight to Honolulu in first class
“This was the first time I had ever flown alone without an adult or anybody else that I knew,” Hamilton said. “At first my parents were a little unsure if it would be wise for me to go or not, but with me being 18 they agreed.”
Once the attendees arrived in Oahu, they were served Arby’s sandwiches on the beach to fuel a jam-packed day of activities.
The group then learned the hula from hula dancers, watched a private concert from Kimié Miner, one of Hawaii’s top artists, enjoyed some shaved ice, and took a canoe ride in the ocean. All the while, Arby’s and King’s Hawaiian representatives shot footage for a marketing video.
Then, almost as quickly as it had begun, the trip was over
Nine of the participants headed back to the airport to return home, while two of the winners, including Ribeiro, extended their trip for a bit longer. Arby’s confirmed to INSIDER that the company did not pay for these extensions.
“It was great to stay a little longer, even though it still would have been great if I had returned with everybody,” Ribeiro said. “Having the opportunity to stay one extra day was just like the cherry at the top.”
All three participants who spoke with INSIDER insisted that, despite the trip’s brevity and the extensive travel involved, the experience was worthwhile.
“It was six dollars. I got all of that for six bucks,” Walthall told INSIDER. “And although I had to go through the end result of having to fly a long series of flights to get back home afterwards, yeah, I’d do it again. What more value can you get for six bucks than an afternoon in Hawaii?”
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