Sir Richard Branson says he is not a betting man, but he’s pretty sure if Virgin America airline customers correctly employ his new in-flight delivery service and chat app they’ll exit the plane with “a plus one.”
That’s right, at 35,000 feet you too could send creepy, potentially sexually harassing messages (as well as unsettling and coercive “free” snacks and drinks) to a fellow passenger, in the hopes of a hook-up, or perhaps a love match.
Thanks Sir Richard!
The announcement of a new seat-to-seat flirting feature to the in-flight entertainment service (accessed through touch-screen monitors on the back of the seats) is being met with a mix of amusement and derision. After all, Sir Richard is well-known for his cheeky and often risqué marketing moves and personal life. In a video posted on YouTube, the randy billionaire explains how he'd try to impress a lady during a flight, and offers up the new service as a cost-effective alternative.
The company material describes the feature as an “ice breaker,” saying “Just browse our in-flight menus, select who’s having one on you, make your order, and we’ll deliver it directly to your guest of choice.”
Virgin and Sir Richard seem to believe that every offer will be charming and polite, and every rejection will be accepted with grace and discretion. Because while unwanted attention can make for an awkward moment in a social setting on terra firma, it could be hugely inappropriate (even terrifying) when you’re trapped in a flying tube for hours on end with no escape.
Unless you can also order a parachute with the in-flight service, one hopes cooler heads prevail at Virgin and this goes down as one of the shorter-lived grand Bransonian ideas.