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10 Sexy Facts About The Mile-High Club

by Shannon Quinn
fact checked by Jamie Frater

The mile-high club is not a real club but rather a collection of people who have pulled off the risky deed of having sex on an airplane. Most people don’t think much of this, or they believe it happens once in a blue moon.

However, it happens far more often than you think, and companies have gone as far as to tie it into their marketing campaigns. From celebrity encounters to scientific data on in-flight orgasms, there is so much more to know about the mile-high club than most people realize.

10 The Founding Member

Photo credit: Chicago Daily News

In 1914, Lawrence Burst Sperry was a 21-year-old pilot who went down in history for inventing the self-driving autopilot. This helped him to win a $10,000 prize and a load of newfound confidence.

Two years later, Sperry was giving Mrs. Waldo Peirce (Dorothy Rice Sims) a flying lesson in Long Island, New York, when they decided to put that autopilot to good use. They got a little too excited and bumped into the switch, which sent the plane crashing down.[1]

When they were rescued, they were both totally naked. This was especially troubling for Mrs. Pierce, who was married. Her husband was at war driving an ambulance in France. The scandal was on the front page of the newspaper, exposing the affair.

For years, the mile-high club was exclusive to pilots who could pull off similar stunts. It took years for passenger planes to be big enough to accommodate passenger sex.

9 Atmospheric Pressure

Apparently, joining the mile-high club is not just about status and fulfilling a fantasy. There is also at least a little bit of science behind it. As a plane flies, the air becomes much thinner at higher altitudes. This triggers something called “erotic asphyxia,” which is the lack of oxygen helping to intensify an orgasm. Together with the vibrations that passengers often feel in their seats, this creates great conditions for having sex.

Although all of this may be true, some people don’t need to get an entire mile in the air before they get aroused. Disneyland removed its gondola rides, which greatly disappointed fans who loved the convenience of traveling from one area of the park to the other without having to walk.

While he was on set learning some Disney secrets during the filming of Saving Mrs. Banks, Tom Hanks learned that the real reason why Disneyland removed the gondolas was because tons of people were having sex on them. That wasn’t good for the company’s pristine family-friendly reputation.[2]

8 Famous Members

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Although some celebrities cherish their private lives, several famous people have shamelessly admitted in the media to joining the mile-high club. According to Kris Jenner, she and her then-husband, Bruce, sneaked into the bathroom to have sex on a flight. They thought they got away with it until one of the flight attendants spoke over the intercom and congratulated them for becoming new members. They were brought a bottle of champagne to celebrate the occasion.

When he was just 19, Richard Branson became a member with an attractive woman he was sitting next to on a flight to Los Angeles on Freddie Laker Airways. As they were getting off the flight, the woman turned to Branson and asked him to pretend that it never happened because her husband would be meeting her at the gate.[3]

Branson loved airplanes so much that he grew up to be the CEO of Virgin Airlines.

7 Busted

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In October 2017, a flight left Los Angeles on its way to Detroit. Two passengers—a 28-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman—were total strangers when the flight took off, but they shared an onboard connection that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

According to witnesses, the woman put her head under a blanket and began to perform oral sex on the man. They were caught and arrested. This is so serious that even the FBI is conducting an investigation. Normally, public indecency is a misdemeanor, but reports say that this could be considered a felony.

A similar story happened in January 2018. A couple was returning home to Minnesota after their vacation in Las Vegas, and they were both drunk. They were making out and groping one another, and the wife went down on her husband underneath a blanket.[4]

When they were caught, they claimed that they were “just joking” and she only put her head under the blanket for “two seconds.” But according to the passenger sitting behind them—who cringed through the entire experience—it was all very real. After they were arrested and escorted off the plane, they told the press that they planned to hire a lawyer.

6 Legality

Considering that some passengers are arrested and investigated by the FBI while others receive little to no response from a blushing stewardess, you may wonder: Is the mile-high club legal or not?

The BBC ran an investigation of the legality of having sex on a plane. According to the Crown Prosecution Service, there has not been a single arrest related to the mile-high club in the United Kingdom, which is why people still continue to go for it when an opportunity presents itself.

If such a case were ever brought to court, sex on a plane should fall under the umbrella of “public indecency” if an airplane were considered by a judge to be a public space. However, the argument is questionable because most encounters happen inside a bathroom away from the eyes of the public.[5]

If you try to have sex in your seat where other people can potentially see what is going on, that is a totally different story because it is, in fact, in the public eye.

5 Bedroom In The Sky

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Airlines are always trying to compete with one another to attract new first-class customers. Apparently, some changes were unintentionally encouraging people to choose an airline because they thought it would be an easier place to have sex.

Singapore Airlines introduced first-class suites with double beds on their A380 flights. The suite is a private room that has reclining leather chairs and a double bed that is big enough to fit two people. Doors block public view, and passengers can even watch in-flight movies.

It costs a steep $18,000 for a ticket. For that kind of money, passengers want to get a little more out of their experience than a comfortable place to sleep. It should not be surprising that wealthy customers chose these suites with the sole intent of having the most comfortable sex-on-a-plane experience ever.

Of course, this made the news. A spokesperson for Singapore Airlines said that sex in their suites is “forbidden.” If a couple was caught, they would be “politely asked to desist.”[6]

4 Lucrative Side Hustle

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Passengers aren’t the only people who are getting it on in the air. For some men, having sex with a stewardess is a fantasy that they would love to do at least once in their lives.

For the right price, at least one woman was willing to make it happen. According to a newspaper from the United Arab Emirates, a stewardess on an “unnamed local airline” (that should be obvious to anyone who travels enough) was prostituting herself to wealthy first-class passengers.

The stewardess was making $2,000 per flight by seducing male passengers to join the mile-high club in the plane’s extra-large bathrooms. In just two years, she made over $1 million. When she was caught, she was fired from her job. However, considering how much money she made and the fact that her name was kept out of the press, she should be doing fine.[7]

3 Give Them What They Want

Sir Richard Branson’s Guide To Getting Lucky

Everyone has heard about those small wedding chapels in Las Vegas that are willing to throw a small elopement ceremony. But one company has taken the practice to the next level.

A small business called Love Cloud offers in-flight eloping or renewing of wedding vows. This can be followed by closing the doors to the cockpit and giving the happy couple a private plane with the sole purpose of joining the mile-high club. The interior of a Cessna 340 is equipped with a mattress, red velvet blankets, mood music, and a heart-shaped pillow.[8]

Air New Zealand also has an area called the Economy Skycouch, which some are calling “cuddle class.” It is exactly what it sounds like—three seats that do not have armrests in between, making it possible for passengers to lie down to take a nap. Not surprisingly, many people have used these seats to do a little more than spooning with their partner.

Sir Richard Branson was also engaging in his shenanigans again with his “Guide to Getting Lucky.” This was an advertising campaign that heavily suggested that Virgin Airlines wouldn’t mind if their customers joined the mile-high club. The airline introduced an option to buy snacks and drinks for other passengers on the flight as well as a seat-to-seat chat feature.

2 Hooters Air

The Rise And Fall Of Hooters Air

Not many people remember the small airline that started in 2003 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, called Hooters Air. All the stewardesses were beautiful women who wore proper uniforms. Waitresses from local Hooters restaurants also wore their short shorts and low-cut T-shirts just to flirt and play trivia games with the passengers. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of the people who bought tickets on these flights were men.

We’re not saying that any of these women ever joined the mile-high club. But the entire premise of this airline was to take advantage of the arousal that people apparently feel when they’re up in the air.

In the end, Hooters Air shut down because it simply was not profitable. They did not charge enough for their tickets, and the corporation ended up losing $40 million. Hooters Air closed in 2006, just three years after its launch.[9]

Although there are no confirmed sexual experiences aboard the airline, one of the pilots who worked for the company simply said that the job was a brief glimpse into “pilot heaven.”

1 Encounters And Techniques

Not everyone is a pilot, and most people cannot afford to pay for a private plane or a giant suite. However, people from all walks of life have joined the mile-high club. According to a survey, only 5 percent of people say that they were able to join the mile-high club, but a whopping 78 percent said that they fantasize about trying it.

Of those who confirmed that they were members, 30 percent of them had encounters with total strangers whom they had just met on the flight. Today, that has become even easier with the existence of apps that cater to airline sex.[10]

The stereotype of having sex on a plane is that two people sneak into the bathroom together. Considering that the bathroom stalls are so tiny, it would take a contortionist to pull off doing the deed.

However, in 2005, when most airlines began adding diaper changing tables to their bathrooms, this opened up the possibility for a woman to sit in the seat. It became obvious what was happening after the changing tables began to break frequently. Of course, there is the option of subtly slipping hands under blankets in the middle of the night.

No matter what technique you try, don’t get caught.

Shannon Quinn is a writer from the Philadelphia area. You can find her on Twitter.

fact checked by Jamie Frater