February 27, 2012

Struth! Airline encourages Mile High Clubbers

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says Cincinnati (USA) charter air company, Flamingo Air is helping people trying to spark up their marriages or private lives… with a unique 1-hour in the air it calls Flight of Fancy.

The company began as a regular small-plane charter operator 21 years ago. Then one day the pilot friends who started it up, dared each other to entice a couple into a "mid-air romp that would entitle them to membership of the Mile High Club in the largest single-engine Piper aircraft in the sky."

It was an instant success, extraordinarily with 90 per cent of bookings since then being made by women. Pilot and co-founder, Dave MacDonald says he believes many of these women, as well as some men who book, "are trying to put a spark in their relationship, some even trying to save their marriage."

The Flight of Fancy costs US$425 for the hour, and that includes a bottle of Champagne, chocolates, the opportunity to fly over landmarks of romantic significance for those who make the bookings – and a very discreet pilot.

"I've had high heels in my ear, been shot in the back of the head with Champagne corks – and thank God we wear headsets," jokes Dave. "We can't hear anything anyway with those headsets, and what goes on behind the curtain is no concern of ours. It's all about professionalism."

And he says an amazing 95 per cent of customers happily tell him when they get back on the ground that they've achieved their goal.

Flights of Fancy are still only ten per cent of Flamingo Air's business, and not everyone who books has done so to join that Mile High Club. Says Dave:  "Cincinnati is a pretty conservative place, and one couple turned up with a picnic basket, saying they just wanted a quiet lunch together. When they told us they had eight kids, it made sense."

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