The Qantas ad that broke Australia.

As I sat on my couch on Monday afternoon flicking through Netflix looking for the millionth thing to watch to distract me from week nine of Sydney's lockdown, I was of course simultaneously flicking through Instagram. What are pandemics for if not a double scroll to really tune out the noise. 

Ash London was crying about an ad.

Clementine Ford was crying about an ad.

Everyone on my feed seemed to be crying over Qantas' new ad.

Here it is. Grab the tissues. Post continues after video.

Video via Qantas.

I'll admit I was hesitant to even watch said ad. Would it make me feel even more rubbish?

For me the tears fell about 53 seconds in as Tones & I hit the chorus and the words, because I had a dream that someday I would just fly, fly away, pushed all the right buttons. 

They were tears for the strict borders. For the Australians who haven't been able to say goodbye to their dying relative or hug their brand new grandchild. 


They were tears for the businesses and individuals reaching their financial and mental breaking point. 

They were tears for the 20-somethings who haven't had the chance to travel the world and be young and free and adventurous.

They were tears for the boredom, when so many of us are counting down being able to travel more than 5km from home, let alone attend a wedding in Singapore. 


They were tears for the disappointment of watching the numbers climb in NSW, Victoria and the ACT as the goal of 'freedom' seems to slip further and further away.

For many of my colleagues who have family abroad it was hard to care about the more trivial trips depicted in Qantas' new ad - like a family's desire to go to Disneyland. They just want to be able to sit on their parent's couch in England over a cup of tea. Or taste their dad's cooking in their childhood kitchen in America. 

They cried because it made them even more homesick. 


But some of my tears were actually ones of hope. It reminded me of the buzz of travelling. Of digging out my passport. Of RSVP'ing to an exciting overseas adventure. Of seeing new things and experiencing new culture. 

The thing I am choosing to take away from this ad is hope. Hope that one day planning something trivial like a holiday to Disneyland will be our reality.

That even though life is hard and the pandemic currently has us locked down and locked out, it won't be like this forever.

Vaccinations are our ticket out, and once we have inoculated most of our population Australians won't have to be homesick anymore. Those waiting desperately to be reunited will already have done so, and we can go back to thinking about planes and airports and passports as something exciting.

This ad from Qantas represents a dream, a dream that is equal parts devastating and hopeful. 


That's why I cried. 

Please, for the dream of travelling trivially again, get vaccinated.

Why did you or didn't you cry after watching Qantas new ad? Let us know in the comments below.

For more from Gemma Bath, keep up to date with her articles here, or follow her on  Instagram.

Feature image: Qantas/Supplied.

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