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How to win a world record - Fiji Airways sets record for highest altitude wedding

By Shane Hussein Posted 19 Sep 2013


  1. Think of an activity that links to your brand, product or service, and really have fun with it.
  2. Figure out a way to make it truly unique, or a world-first
  3. Contact the wonderful folks at Guinness World Records to see if what you’re planning is record-worthy. They really do help a lot
  4. Follow their requirements exactly as you plan your event, activity or stunt
  5. Well, go ahead and do it

Not detailed enough? Well, here’s how we did it.

It begins with an idea

You know how they say all great journeys begin with a single step? Well, it’s true. When we set out to launch Fiji Airways in our key markets - Fiji, Australia, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and New Zealand, we had to find unique ways to reach our customers, announce the launch of our rebranded airline, with new planes, new service, and renewed vigour.

For New Zealand, we wanted to do something which would be different and appealing to our Kiwi friends. One thing we knew for sure – they loved Fiji, they liked being different. Shannon, our NZ General Manager wanted to get some Kiwis married in the air. And I was always interested in getting a world record.  So we combined the two and came up with getting couples married in the air on our brand new A330 plane and attempt the world’s highest altitude wedding.

So we contacted Guinness World Records (THE universal authority on records) to see what we needed to do to win get a Guinness World Records title. They gave us requirements to get the title of Highest Altitude Wedding on an aeroplane.

The next steps were a little harder to put together. One wedding is hard enough; imagine five, on a plane, at 41,000 feet (11,000 ft. higher than the top of Mount Everest, by the way). Not exactly a walk in the park - or cloud, in this case this with a host of operational, logistical and regulatory requirements to fulfil - now that is a challenge.

But as it happens, we are blessed at Fiji Airways to have a great team in Fiji and New Zealand, and they were determined to make it happen. The excitement of getting a real world record spread an enthusiastic spirit across all in-house departments.

We confirmed More FM in NZ as our radio partner to take this campaign to the loved-up kiwis, The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa and Radisson BLU Resort Fiji Denarau – two of Fiji’s most gorgeous resorts - also immediately jumped on our ‘wedding flight’ wagon as accommodation partners.

Top Fijian inbound tourist operator Rosie Holidays signed up provide luxury ground transfers for our newly-weds and their witnesses, as well as transform the Nadi International Airport into a tropical wedding oasis.


Campaign partners                     
Celebrant, decorators, make-up artists        
Guinness World Records adjudicator         
Flight operations plan and approval              

Now to find the couples

Through More FM, we launched a week-long campaign giving interested Kiwi couples enter for a chance to win a wedding in business class and a honeymoon when they landed in Fiji, and they got to bring two friends along. On the first day of applications on www.fijiairways.com, we received 8 submissions. But as the days rolled on, the entries increased dramatically. On day two, a dozen more signed up, and by the third day we were up to 150 couples. At 11.59pm on the 28th of July we closed off submissions at a whopping 441 entries. Needless to say this response blew us away. It says a lot about the adventurous spirit of New Zealanders. It’s a wonderful thing indeed.

Through the short listing process, we got to know many couples through their amazing stories of friendship and love, often rising above difficult personal circumstances. What had started off as a business-case activity had turned into a project with heart, and the will to give five very deserving couples a wedding they would not forget. And the biggest surprise to come for them would be to find out that their first day as husband and wife would also be immortalised by Guinness World Records (at least for a period of time).

Of course, the record will be broken one day. But we will always have the honour of having five wonderful making a beautiful commitment to each other aboard Fiji Airways, higher than anyone else in the world before them.

Others loved this story too. See what they had to say here:

Guess what? We’re now a case study on the Guinness World Records website! Check this out:

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