Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Virgin Airlines Wants You to Join the Mile High Club

images If you’ve ever wanted to join the mile high club, Virgin Airlines has now made your desire a little easier. The company announced a new service to help passengers “get lucky,” allowing passengers to discreetly send a drink to another passenger with a simple touch of a button. Fliers can even send a text message to the recipient through the in-flight service. Virgin America boss Sir Richard Branson said the chances of “deplaning with a plus one are at least 50 percent.” Let’s just hope that’s all they deplane with.

[via NYDaily News]

71 comments… add one
  • avatar

    GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 12:05 pm

    This creeps me out to no end and I will purposely avoid this airline because of this shadster service. I mean can a girl (or person) not even ride a plane with out risk of a sketchball hitting on them or trying to buy them a drink? I saw this on Today this morning and was absolutely in disbelief…this is a bad bad idea in my opinion.

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    • fast eddie

      fast eddie April 25, 2013, 6:08 pm

      I’ve only flown on Virgin once and really liked ordering food and drink on the display menu. The texting (sexting?) might be a good thing, but if your young and beautiful please don’t get too friendly, it would make my wife seated next to me uncomfortable.

      I recommend paying the extra money for priority seating on long flights to get more leg room. If your budget can stand it, first class, really was FIRST CLASS.

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    • fast eddie

      fast eddie April 25, 2013, 6:12 pm

      I’ve only flown on Virgin once and really liked ordering food and drink on the display menu. The texting (sexting?) might be a good thing, but if your young and beautiful please don’t get too friendly, it would make my wife seated next to me uncomfortable.

      I recommend paying the extra money for priority seating on long flights to get more leg room. If your budget can stand it, first class, really is FIRST CLASS.

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  • avatar

    lemongrass April 25, 2013, 12:05 pm

    Skeezy.

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  • avatar

    shanshantastic April 25, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Is there another one-touch button that sends the US Marshal on the plane over to the skeeze who ordered the drink?

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    • avatar

      Friend of Beagles April 25, 2013, 1:15 pm

      Ooo, I want the air marshal button so when Eliot Spencer is impersonating an air marshal, he comes over. (Too obsure? Anyone with me?)

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      • cmary

        cmary April 25, 2013, 1:52 pm

        Yes. I am with you 100%.

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      • cmary

        cmary April 25, 2013, 1:53 pm

        And how sad is it that it’s been cancelled? I haven’t been able to watch the final episode yet because I don’t want to admit it’s the last one. I think I’ll miss Eliot most of all.

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      • avatar

        Friend of Beagles April 25, 2013, 2:01 pm

        I haven’t had the heart to tell my kids yet that it’s cancelled. 🙁 Sigh. I miss the whole team, but, yes, Eliot most of all. OK, and Hardison makes me laugh.

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      • cmary

        cmary April 25, 2013, 2:32 pm

        It really is such a shame. I thought it was a great show- well written, smart, funny, current. But I guess unless it’s “reality” it doesn’t survive. Or some God-awful singing competition. It did seem to have quite a following, though. TNT made a mistake with that decision.

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      • avatar

        Taylor April 25, 2013, 2:22 pm

        So hot.

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  • avatar

    mainer April 25, 2013, 1:12 pm

    Oh please, you’re not obligated to blow the dude afterward, like you would at your local bar. I kid, I kid. Seriously, why’d you get sketched out at a free drink? An airplane has a compilation of the most geographically-diverse group of people, it’s not like you ever run the risk of seeing the guy again and having that awkward “oh, hey, look I know you bought me a drink that one time, but..” Free drink, it’s like flying first class. And wouldn’t it be nice if bars had a call button where the guy hitting on you was legally obligated to take his seat if asked to do so?

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 1:21 pm

      I’m with mainer on this. I don’t see how this is any different that a stranger offering you a drink at a bar, they’ve just made it a touch easier. Its not like the airline is providing your personal information.

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      • katie

        katie April 25, 2013, 1:27 pm

        i agree- and really, i predict this is going to be about as popular as the “pokes” on facebook were…

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 25, 2013, 1:51 pm

        my brother pokes me all the time. it’s lame, and gross when you think about it.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 2:25 pm

        That’s what she said?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 25, 2013, 2:48 pm

        hee hee (always works)

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 2:51 pm

        I’ve taken on the role of TWSS DWer. You’re welcome!

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 1:29 pm

      I fly alone regularly, 8 to 12 times per year. I maybe go to a bar alone once per year. I mean, when I’m flying I don’t want to be bothered by strangers and this “service” is basically inviting creeps to bother you.

      I fly to get places, not to pick up guys or have to have forced conversations with strangers who feel like I owe them something because they bought me an inflated priced White Zin. An airplane is not the time or place to be promoting this kind of behavior.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 1:31 pm

        Also, I feel like this promotes drinking (perhaps binge or over drinking) and I would not be comfortable knowing passengers on my plane are partaking. I mean are the monitoring those in the exit rows? What is a hot chick sits in the exit and 5 guys send her drinks? Hello problem.

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      • katie

        katie April 25, 2013, 1:35 pm

        eh, i fly business class for work, and i get a free drink with every flight, and others regularly offer me their free drink coupons too.. you just have to hit a certain level of frequent flyer miles or whatever and they just start sending you books of free drinks, its crazy. just on monday i gave my free drink to the guy sitting next to me to celebrate his first flight ever. i dunno, drinking is a part of flying and it really always has been. i dont really think its weird.

        and anyway, you would have to order a ton of those tiny glasses to get drunk. lol

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 1:38 pm

        Plus, you would have to get the flight attendants to actually give you the drink. Its far from unheard of to have them cut you off.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 1:45 pm

        I don’t beleive most flights have exit rows in business class, just saying. And everyone’s tolerence is completely different. My aunt is snoggered on a half glass of wine, when I can drink 3/4 of a bottle.

        I usually have a glass of wine before flying. Sometimes two if my flight is delayed. But the thought of people on the plane being able to just zip drinks all over, to recipeints who don’t want them, is unsettling to me.

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      • katie

        katie April 25, 2013, 1:49 pm

        well yea, but then you just say “no thanks” and thats that, right?

        people have been buying each other drinks on planes forever, virgin is just putting a touch screen on it. its really nothing new or different.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 1:54 pm

        apparently there aren’t any restrictions on how many you can order to send out, and there isn’t a way for the receiver to decline (until the stewardess is standing there drink in hand). It just puts a bad taste in my mouth. it’s a flight, not a bar. It should be treated as such.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle April 25, 2013, 2:14 pm

        I’m with you, GG. It would just be seriously bothersome & I’d be uncomfortable for the whole flight if it happened to me. In bar, you can easily avoid these things or actually, ya know, have a face-to-face “No thanks!” conversation with guys who offer. On a plane is a different story.

        I mean, I wouldn’t feel SEXUALLY harassed necessarily, but it would be an unwanted social burden with creepy overtones for sure.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle April 25, 2013, 2:15 pm

        IN BAR, jeez, I meant “in *a* bar” Sorry, I couldn’t let that caveman-esque typo slide 😉

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 2:33 pm

        If someone gets loaded on a plane, or anywhere, its their fault, not whoever is supplying the drinks.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 2:34 pm

        Actually in most places the person serving the drinks can be held liable.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 2:34 pm

        Employees of a bar, yes. Not patrons who are buying other people drinks.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 2:37 pm

        I wonder the liability of the stewardess serving them. Also if you over-serve in you home you can be liable as well (obviously depending on the states)…so I wonder if you could argue someone buying drinks for a person & getting them overly intoxicated could be held liable.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 2:41 pm

        Idk, but the whole point is that its really only the wasted person who can be blamed for being wasted. Like, no one is forcing Auntie to drink the whole flight.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 2:44 pm

        Yeah, but that’s not how the laws in most situations work. In theory yes, it’s the intoxicated person’s “fault” but some ownus is on the people supplying it to.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 2:47 pm

        Right, but you seemed worried that someone like your aunt could end up hammered on a plane because of this, so I’m saying if that happened, it’d be only her fault. I’m not talking legally, obviously, just as a reasonable person.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 2:47 pm

        And it certainly would not be some random passenger’s fault who is buying you a bunch of drinks, legally speaking.

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      • avatar

        spark April 25, 2013, 6:09 pm

        The exit row is so pointless. I mean, if the plane crashes, chances of needing the exit row are pretty slim. And if I survive the crash, you can bet I’m getting my butt off the plane as fast as possible!

        GatorGirl, I think you’re WAY overthinking this.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 25, 2013, 6:12 pm

        GG overthinking something? Shut up, no way. 😉

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 26, 2013, 8:59 am

        I disgree. The crash into the Hudson River the used emergency exits, there have been others. It’s not over thinking to me to be concerned about my safety while traveling.

        That doesn’t 110% back up my point, but illustrates that being close to an exit row, presumably with someone who isn’t intoxicated operating the exit door. Is the safest way to survive a crash. So yeah, not pointless.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 1:34 pm

        But you know you don’t owe them anything, just like when a guy at the bar buys you a drink. You presumably are there to have fun with whoever you went with, stranger buys drink, say thanks or no thanks, and its over. I guess I just don’t see the difference between the two.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 1:42 pm

        But the GUY might feel I owe him something. I don’t fly to deal with stuff like people buying me drinks, I fly to get from point A to point B. There is also a service to send “text messages” which honestly might be worse than the stranger buying a drink. Are their fliters? Can you turn it off? What about harrassment issues?

        I haven’t had a guy offer to by me a drink…ever. I don’t put myself in situations to have drinks bought for me, and I definitely don’t want my flight to be a place that is promoting it. (Correction, at my SIL’s bachelorette we had two rounds of shots bought for the whole table, but that’s not the same.)

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      • avatar

        Mainer April 25, 2013, 1:53 pm

        I feel like you think this is going to open the flood gates and all of a sudden everyone is buying everyone drinks, there’s dancing, topless girls are taking turns flying, some guy is all of a sudden walking around with no pants on, and everything is completely disorganized, unmonitored and unregulated. Regulations on how much people can drink will continue to be monitored, unwelcomed behavior will continue to be regulated, and you will still end up at your final destination. Also, the people sitting in exit rows are not the passenger’s only hope should the plane suddenly crash. If one person is too blitzed to help escort people out, one of the other 50 people who didn’t drink on the plane will step right up.

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      • katie

        katie April 25, 2013, 1:59 pm

        and to virgin’s marketing teams credit- that is exactly the type of thinking they want people to do when they hear about this new service. come take the virgin party airplane for your next trip! drinks and boobies everywhere! touch screens!

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 2:23 pm

        I in no way think the situation you describe in your first sentence is going to happen. But I do think this “service” invites unwanted advances and creates more of a casual/party atmosphere than the typical more business like atmosphere typically found on a flight.

        It’s completely fine with me that other people like or are excited about this “service”. But I don’t, so I’ll choose not to fly on Virgin.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 25, 2013, 1:57 pm

        God I have this burning desire to run into GG at an airport and pepper her with questions when she doesn’t want to be bothered by strangers, mwwahahaha. GG, how do you always bring out the evil in me?

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 2:35 pm

        You can pepper me with questions over drinks in Chicago this summer!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 2:34 pm

        “I don’t put myself in situations to have drinks bought for me”
        That’s just not possible, unless you’ve just never gone out in public.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 2:40 pm

        Eh, I disagree. I almost never go out alone and 99.9% of the time I go to a bar scene I’m with my fiance and/or a group of our predominately male friends.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 2:42 pm

        And by “go out” I mean to a bar or restaurant…not like leave the house.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 2:44 pm

        I’m going to have to get my ass down to FL to follow you around your neighborhood offering you drinks now. 🙂

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 2:42 pm

        But that doesn’t prevent someone from buying you a drink. Anyone at anytime could choose to buy you a drink if you’re out in public, no matter who you are with. Sure its less likely if it looks like you’re with someone already, but still.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 2:48 pm

        I mean yes, obviously at anytime someone could chose to. But I think my body language is often very closed off to receiving outside attention. Which is the way I want it to be.

        And come on down to FL!

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      • mandalee

        mandalee April 25, 2013, 2:41 pm

        Yeah, I agree with LBH here. I mean, I’ve been had many drinks bought for me and I don’t go to scandalous night clubs nor am I a supermodel. I just had a somewhat creepy old guy buy me a drink when we were at this low-key restaurant because I looked like his granddaughter, or so he said.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay April 25, 2013, 2:51 pm

        I’ve had guys offer to buy me drinks when I’ve been out with friends, and I wouldn’t consider that to be “putting myself in a situation to have drinks bought for me.” It’s just me being with a mixed group or out with other female friends. I can see why they wouldn’t if you only go places with men, but you don’t have to be alone or at a sketchy bar for it.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 25, 2013, 1:53 pm

        Now see, being “bothered” by strangers, and bothering them, is one of my favorite things about airports! It’s so fun to talk to strangers, find out where they’re going, where they’re from, etc. Striking up conversations with strangers at an airport is just so … easy! It’s like time stops at airports (except for when you’re rushing to catch a connecting flight, of course, then time flies) and everyone is so friendly. If I had no friends and no job and nothing to do…. i might go pass time at an airport bar.

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      • katie

        katie April 25, 2013, 1:57 pm

        very true. i recently met a businessman who was a hunter and had a thing about killing all the meat he eats and we had a great conversation about sustainable meat. also, i just met a guy who was leaving detriot because there are no good job prospects for him and going to texas to live with his daughter and granddaughters, and that was his first flight he had ever taken!

        people are interesting.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 2:26 pm

        Sure, people can be interesting, and it is great that you guys welcome the conversations with strangers. But there are TONS of people who don’t want to talk to strangers. It creeps me out that the guy for 21F can just send over a drink and a text…

        The texting thing creeps me out more then the drinks in all honestly. Talking to a stranger is one thing, but people can be so much more blunt/daring/inappropriate when it’s not face-to-face.

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    • avatar

      spark April 25, 2013, 6:10 pm

      Totally agree, mainer! It baffles me that people are so bothered by this. I mean, seriously? A kind gesture in a super-secure place creeps you out? If you don’t want the drink… just say no!

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray April 25, 2013, 1:49 pm

    You know, I am a die hard lover of Southwest – well I was, until they stopped accepting all the drink coupons I had collected from an attorney I used to work for who was an alcoholic and turned all her drink coupons over to me when she went on the wagon. Those coupons were awesome because there was no expiration date! Until one day out of the blue Southwest stopped accepting them, bastards.

    Anyway, I digress….. Step aside, Southwest, I am now going to fly Virgin!

    Also, one time on a plane I was lucky enough to be seated next to this really hot guy! And we chatted the *entire* plane ride! *And* just before we landed he asked for my number! …. But then never called. What the hell? I will never understand why a guy goes to the trouble of asking for a number if he never intends to call.

    There, that’s about as close to joining the mile high club as I’ll probably ever get.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest April 25, 2013, 2:37 pm

      Virgin and Jetblue and my favs.
      Peter met his last girlfriend on a plane! I just remembered this, and really thought it was weird. Like, who are you, some guy in a movie?? He was flying to Vegas with friends for a bachelor party and I guess met this girl who happened to live sorta near him and they ended up dating for a couple years. He’s got a bachelor party next weekend…better make sure he doesn’t take Virgin Airlines!!!

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay April 25, 2013, 2:08 pm

    I think the whole thing is weird. And I don’t really agree with the argument that because women aren’t going to owe a man anything or be forced to sleep with him, it’s silly to be sketched out by it. If two adults see each other in a bar or a plane or whatever and want to get to know each other, great. But there are social cues for that, like making eye contact or smiling or saying “hello.” If I’m sitting on a plane, minding my own business, I don’t really want my airline to be encouraging men to buy me a drink or “text” me. Sure, you can ignore it, but I’ve ignored enough sketchy guys in bars or on the street walking home at night, and I really don’t need to do it on a plane, too.

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  • mandalee

    mandalee April 25, 2013, 2:21 pm

    I’m flying Virgin Airlines in July and I’m tempted to send a drink to a stranger just to try it out, but I don’t think my husband who is flying with me would like it that much lol

    I really don’t see a problem with it. I’ve accepted many free drinks at bars from strangers, when I was coupled or not, because FREE DRINK! I mean it’s just technology to make it easier. It’s also an excellent marketing strategy, because I feel like every blog/forum/website I go has been talking about this today. Marketing win.

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    • mandalee

      mandalee April 25, 2013, 2:23 pm

      Also, am I the only one that feels absolutely no obligation to anyone who doesn’t feel obligated to someone who sends me a free drink. Usually a head nod and a thank you, or a sorry I’m taken but thanks for the drink.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay April 25, 2013, 2:40 pm

        I don’t feel obligated either. But I think you can not feel obligated and still find it annoying.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ April 25, 2013, 3:13 pm

        I don’t feel obligated, either, beyond the nod, thanks and I’m taken bit. But I don’t find it weird or anything. I’m more likely to be flattered for a second and then go back to whatever I was doing than I am to be creeped out or annoyed. Unless the guy keeps on after the initial “thanks, but no thanks.” Then, it’s a problem, but that’s not unique to guys who buy or offer to buy you drinks.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary April 25, 2013, 3:53 pm

        I don’t feel obligated. I just say “thanks!”. A lot of times I’ve gotten them from owners/managers of the bar even if I haven’t talked to them. Don’t know what that’s about.

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  • mylaray

    mylaray April 25, 2013, 3:02 pm

    Yeah, I really don’t see something like this as a good idea. And I’m not a prude. But I don’t want to be bothered by a stranger on a plane with a free drink. I work in marketing and art direction, so we’ve been talking about this at my office today. There’s a lot of potential liability involved if something goes wrong, and so that’s another issue I have with it. I fly pretty frequently, and there have been occasions when a man is sitting next to or near me and being inappropriate or making me feel uncomfortable. I certainly wouldn’t want the idea of free drinks being thrown into that situation. Sure, this idea could be fun if you’re not offended by a random stranger sending you a free drink. But not everyone is okay with that. I feel like planes can be a breeding ground for sketchy or inappropriate behavior. And honestly, security and safety should be the number one priority and getting everyone to their destination, without making any passengers feel even more uncomfortable.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl April 25, 2013, 3:06 pm

      I couldn’t agree more with all of this.

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    • avatar

      mainer April 25, 2013, 4:04 pm

      I don’t think planes are breeding grounds for sketchy or inappropriate behavior by the mere fact that actually being disruptive or drunk on a plane can land you federal charges. Anything you do to either make the flight crew or another passenger uncomfortable will most definitely lead to an arrest or some sort of public safety federal charge. Planes are not bars; it doesn’t matter if they make it easier to buy another passenger a drink or not, people act entirely different in planes than they do anywhere else. And don’t underestimate the power of free will. Flight attendant says “Excuse me miss, the gentleman in 8A bought you this drink.” “Oh, no thank you.” Guess what, he just spent $7 on nothing. You really think he’s going to make a big stink about it on a plane? The consequences for being sketchy on a plane are far more severe than they are at your local bar.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary April 25, 2013, 3:51 pm

    I wouldn’t be skeeved out, more just like irritated. Whenever I’m flying I don’t want to talk to anyone. I know that’s anti-social, but seriously I just want to sit and read my book or watch a movie or something. Not chit-chat with some dude.

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  • avatar

    KarenE April 26, 2013, 8:22 am

    OK, I was a little annoyed by this too, but after reading Virgin’s press release, I sorta changed my mind. It’s basically a “convenience” feature that Virgin is choosing to brand as a way to “get lucky,” but it’s not ONLY meant to send drinks to strangers. It’s officially called “seat-to-seat delivery” and could be used in any number of ways. For example, if a family is flying together but sitting in different rows, one parent could use the touch screen to order snacks and drinks for all the kids and have them sent to the appropriate seats. Or, if a group of girls are traveling on a “girlfriend getaway,” one member of the party can use the system to buy a celebratory round of drinks for everyone. Having said that, I do think it’s alarming that Virgin is choosing to market it as a way to pick up a hottie. (Also, it’s Virgin America, not Virgin Airlines)

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  • meadowphoenix

    meadowphoenix April 26, 2013, 11:21 am

    Well, I personally would hate it, but I do see a family sending snacks to each other as a good thing. But I feel uncomfortable with the way this is marketed, in a way I can’t explain right now. In fact, I hate it, and I see this type of marketing as part of the problem in which women are treated (I will be curious to see if their ads are equal opportunity).

    I think the solution is that you should be able to opt-out. If you don’t want free drinks to be sent to you or text messages, then you should be able to shut off any incoming messages. I don’t think that sort of openness should be forced on anyone, especially if they’re going to up their prices for this “convenience.”

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