"Lord Cholmondeley has given two guineas to Lord Derby, to receive 500 guineas whenever his lordship penetrates a woman in a balloon one thousand yards from the Earth.”
We believe that 1785 entry into the bet book for a London gentleman’s club to be the precursor to Lawrence Burst Sperry inventing autopilot in 1914, such that he could become one of the first two members of the Mile-High Club.
Given the origin story, it’s fitting that Flamingo Air — a modern-day airline offering private flights that invite passengers to join the MHC — also began with a bet.
After his friends bet him selling mile-high sex would put him out of business, Flamingo CEO David MacDonald accepted the challenge, albeit with a slight caveat that has made all the difference, according to Priceonomics.
The secret to Flamingo’s success? Instead of hyping sex, MacDonald’s airline pushes romance.
There are no mentions of the MHC anywhere on Flamingo’s website, and the airline instead refers to its hourlong airborne adventures — which include chocolates and champagne — as “romantic flights” or “flights of fancy.”
“They all tried to sell sex, not the sizzle,” MacDonald said of his failed competitors. “They all came at it from the Mile High Club angle, and it didn’t work. You’ve gotta think romance, not sex.”
Eliminating the need to shag in the loo probably didn’t hurt, either.