The aviation industry has long used the frisson of flirtation to sell flights, beginning with strict ‘glamour’ criteria for cabin crew on the first commercial flights and continuing through to recent sexy advertising campaigns from airlines such as Virgin. Now a survey from flights comparison site Skyscanner has revealed our romantic associations with flying are still going strong with the trend for“flyrting” – the practice of passengers flirting whilst flying.
The survey of over 1000 travellers revealed that 45% of passengers admitted to flirting whilst on board a flight, with a third leading to a rendezvous following the flight,and 8% of them resulting in a relationship. Skyscanner employee Karin Noble, a former cabin crew member commented:
“More and more people are now travelling by air so it’s no surprise that flights have become a place to flirt. After all, you are sitting next to someone for an hour or more, and the fact that you’re both travelling to the same place means you already have something in common. Add this to the heightened effect that alcohol can have at altitude and the more relaxed ‘holiday mood’ that many travellers feel, and it tends to give people the courage to flirt with a fellow passenger or even take things further, especially on long haul routes such as flights to Australia.”
More shockingly, for a small minority the flirtations may actually lead to membership of the infamous Mile High Club; a separate survey found that 20% of travellers have joined this risqué association and half of these had done so with a stranger they met on a flight.
For those that are not members however it certainly still seems to appeal with a massive 95% of those surveyed admitting they would like to join the Mile High Club, while a Valentine’s Day survey showed that 6% of men claim this was their ideal gift.
Various high profile celebrities have enjoyed a bit of flyrting; Virgin boss Richard Branson and Ralph Fiennes both claim to have taken it to the next step with membership of the Mile High Club while it would come as no surprise if Kate Middleton’s parents, who met when they both worked at British Airways, enjoyed a bit of flyrting.
The desire to get amorous at altitude has even spawned services that offer private flights specifically for joining the club. The Chicagoland Skydiving Center runs flights on a plane that has been converted for romance and comes complete with private double bed, champagne and promises of complete discretion.
However, a UK firm offering similar ‘Mile High’ flights was recently shut down by the CAA after just two years of operation, as they weren’t satisfied that onboard safety criteria were being met, and feared the in-flight action could be ‘too distracting’ for pilots.