By Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny


In a recent study of over 11,000 airlines customers conducted by Saucydates, it appears that 5% of them already had had sex on a plane while 78% would like to and 17% were not interested. Of course 11,000 people (mostly from the USA and UK) out of the daily 8 million aircrafts’ passengers is not such a big number, but yet the study reveals interesting facts about these daring adventurers.

In early 20th century Sigmund Freud had already detected the erotic potential of flying. He said that the fantasy of flight had “infantile erotic roots” and that all flying dreams meant sexual desires. The 5% who answered “yes” in the Saucydates’ study could now be members of the “Mile High Club” whose members can boast of having “sexual activity at an altitude of no less than 5,280 ft (a mile high above the earth) in an airplane”. It all began when the autopilot was invented in 1914 by an aviator, Lawrence Burst Sperry. He also was the Mile High Club’s very first member! If the club was originally only meant for pilots and aircraft’s staff it now is open to all passengers.

Who with? Where? When? How long? What type of plane? These are a few questions of the study that those who did it, willingly answered to. The last question on the list being “did you get caught?” Unsurprisingly 37% of the participants are couples travelling together but 37% is far from being a majority! Actually 18% of sex on a plane occurred with a member of staff, 30% with a stranger and 15% with a friend.

Even in large aircrafts there are not so many locations where making love is safe enough. The top place, with 59% of the answers, is… the toilet. As cramped as it might be it seems to be the most private location on a plane. Second choice is seats, 31% of participants did it hidden under their blankets. The plane’s kitchen is next with 9% and the last 1% took place in the cockpit. Many thanks to the autopilot!

Although there are many more single isle planes in active service than two isles planes, double isles planes are more popular at 55% versus 45% for single isle ones. These percentages are quite logical since large planes are used for long haul flights including a large number of night flights. The model of choice is a Boeing 747 while Airbus A380 comes second. Quite understandably night flights are the most popular ones (at 68%), when lights are off and most passengers asleep or watching a movie or staring at their mobiles.

Getting caught obviously is a big issue when having sex on a plane and surely is part of the excitement for many passengers who fantasize about this exotic experience. So, as you can imagine, it is much quicker 30,000 feet high in the sky than it would be on terra firma (an average 10 min versus 16 min). 14% got caught in the act but figures change depending on the location. If only 13% were caught in the toilet and 14% in their seats, more were caught in the kitchen (21%) and even more in the cockpit (27%). Whether discovered by fellow passengers or by staff, the participants of the study admitted having mixed feelings of embarrassment and amusement at being caught. I guess it also depends on the airline company. Some companies whether for cultural or religious reasons probably are much less tolerant than others. Something to take into account before crossing the gap between fantasy and reality! For instance after Singapore Air equipped its double-decker Airbus A380 with luxury double bed “suites”, the airline asked its passengers to stop having sex in them because… the “cabins” aren’t soundproof!

In theory having sex in a plane can also mean prison sentences both in the USA and in UK. On the other hand some airline companies help people joining the Mile High Club”. For example Flamingo Air based in Cincinnati (Ohio) offers “romantic romp in the sky” for 475$. During a one-hour flight on a private plane you will get Champagne, chocolates… and a very discreet pilot!

Obviously many people wish they could join in the Mile High Club. Some of them even take pictures in order to prove that they deserve membership! It comes as no surprise at a time when, thanks to social medias, privacy is a more and more flimsy notion…

Text ©Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny