If you think all airlines are cutting amenities these days, you've clearly never flown Flamingo Air. This carrier throws in Champagne, chocolates, and "one very discreet pilot." For just $425, you get a round-trip ticket to the Mile High Club for you and a partner. A bargain, unless you're flying solo!
The Cincinnati-based charter company, billed as one of the nation's most outrageous airlines, has actually been in the business of helping couples get down to business for nearly 21 years. And like many daring ideas, this one started with an actual dare: Pilots wagering with one another about who could get a couple to pay to join the Mile High Club. Thus, a business (and at least one baby that we know of) was born.
"I have had a high heel in my ear once, been shot in the back of the head with a Champagne cork, and thank God we wear headsets," says co-president and pilot Dave MacDonald, who recently shared some of his in-flight experiences with a local television station. "What goes on behind the curtain is no concern of ours."
Infinitely more comfortable than getting busy in an airplane bathroom, Flamingo's flights feature a cushioned love seat tastefully separated from the cockpit by a curtain. Fair warning, though: The actual plane isn't as glamorous as the one pictured above; we just couldn't resist that photo. On the plus side, at least you can chart your own flight path. Choose between flying over the Great American Ball Park or Paul Brown Stadium; either way, you're likely to score more than the Reds or Bengals. Each flight lasts an hour, and there's no word on whether the pilot will circle around a few times if you um, need more time. We just hope they steam-clean that love seat between flights.
At this point you're probably wondering if it's a good value for the money. (Just humor us.) While admission to the Mile High Club is clearly priceless, you're still going to have to fork over more than $400 in "membership fees." For quite a bit less, you could get the Celebration package at Cincinnati's nicest hotel, The Cincinnatian, which includes accommodations, a half bottle of Champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a $40 dining certificate. More romance, but fewer thrills. This is a case where your milegage will definitely vary.
Of course, for an even cheaper travel-related thrill, just book a flight on any old airline and get "randomly" selected by the TSA for a patdown free of charge. Nothing beats free!
Readers, what do you think? Would you pay $425 to join the Mile High Club? Would you admit it to us if you did?