Galley Gossip: The mile high club – a question and a story

There’s a question I’m always asked whenever someone finds out I’m a flight attendant, a question that never ceases to amaze and simultaneously makes me cringe regardless of how often I hear it, a question about you guessed it – the mile high club.

“So…have you ever caught anyone joining the mile high club?” If it’s a single person doing the asking the question is usually direct and to the point, a just-the-facts-Ma’am kind of question, which I have no problem answering. But If it’s a couple doing the asking things can get a little creepy. Only because there’s always a quick glance at each other before the question is asked, followed by a nervous giggle between the words SO and HAVE, and a blush after the words MILE HIGH CLUB.

Now I actually began writing this post last month when someone going by the name of AlexaRPD asked the following question via twitter

How many times have you caught people, uh, fraternizing in the bathrooms on one of your flights? Is there a standard, corporate policy about what to do with folks who get caught going at it on the planes?

That question led to a few tweets back and forth about flight attendants knocking and unlocking lavatory doors or hovering over guilty parties hiding under blankets. It didn’t take long before I realized all of this would eventually end up in a post. That post started out like this…


Dear Alexa,

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve caught anyone joining the club. In fact, the last couple, a celebrity couple, I encountered exiting the lav looking a bit disheveled and not at all embarrassed have since divorced. Knowing what I know now, I’m not so sure they were even joining the club since they have a reputation for partaking of illegal substances. Joining the mile high club is not illegal. But that’s only if you stop doing whatever it is you shouldn’t be doing when you’re asked to stop doing it. Why? Because passengers are required by law to obey flight attendant instructions.

I had planned on writing more but for whatever reason became distracted and never finished the post. It happens. But a week later I found myself in a hotel in San Francisco not far from the airport. That’s where I turned on my computer, logged into twitter, and immediately received a few messages from three different followers about Alexa officially joining the club.

“No way,” I wrote back. “I don’t believe it.”

“She did! And she did it with three Marines! She wrote all about it on her blog!”

I could tell by the exclamation marks the guy was overly excited and needed a hard dose of reality. “I can barely fit in lav with my three year-old son, let alone another adult person,” I typed, my head shaking side to side. “How small were the marines?”

Out of nowhere Alexa tweeted, “I could care less if you believe me!”

“Cat fight!” several people tweeted at once.

“Send me the post!” I requested. Two seconds later a link popped up on my screen. I took a deep breath and clicked.

Yes, I really did read all about Alexa’s erotic escapade in an airplane lavatory with three Marines. Of course I read it purely for logistics, analyzing how something like this could have actually taken place in such a contaminated confined space without alerting other passengers or crew. Sure I was a little surprised to see myself, one of the flight attendants, briefly mentioned in the story. And relief actually swept over me when I realized there was some order involved. The Marines took turns.

Honestly, it’s really hard for me to believe that people actually are able (and want) to join the mile high club, especially in this day and age of air travel. Not just because the bathrooms are small, but because flights are full and people are almost always lined up to use the lavs. Whenever a passenger takes a longer amount of time than what might be considered normal, you better believe other passengers are quick to ask me to intervene.

knock, knock, knock – I’ll bang my fist on the door. Two seconds later I’ll ask, “everything okay in there?” Taking a deep breath, I pray that everything is, in fact, okay in there because I really don’t want to have to put my ear against the locked door and hear something I seriously didn’t want to hear.

Just when I thought I had finally finished with this post, I logged into twitter and typed, “Just finished the mile high club post.” Here are a few interesting responses…

  • I was once propositioned to join the club, but declined. The guy ended up buying me jewelry from the duty free cart instead. The good ole days!
  • I came uncomfortably close to joining in the lower lobe galley on a DC-10
  • I’ve never understood the ‘mile high’ club,as most seem to join in the lavatory. Do you know how dirty plane lavs are?
  • I’m a flight attendant and just had this discussion with some pax who were sitting across from my jumpseat!
  • If only the lavs were cleaner and larger
  • My advice for those considering is ONLY on the 777 with a passenger from your ticketed cabin – the loo between F and J – that’s ALL I’m saying

Don’t forget to check out the “G” rated mile high club!


Photos courtesy of sparkypics (couple), Sagrado Corazon (flight attendant)