Love is in the air, literally. Yes, the Mile High Club – that famous global association whose membership can only be attained one way, has long been discussed and referenced in popular culture. But how many people have actually gotten amorous on an airplane? A new study has revealed some interesting results.

Couple on plane
According to a study, 15% of people surveyed had had sex on a plane © Colin Anderson Productions pty ltd

According to a study released by LuggageHero, in order to claim the title of member of the Mile High Club, technically you must get intimate at 5280 feet, although a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet is much more common. A Jetsetter poll taken of 1600 travellers had 15% of respondents saying that they had had sex on a plane, while LuggageHero stated that those interviewed about their experiences were asked to outline further details about their “collaborators”, with the results showing that 74.9% of people had done it with their significant other, 19.6% with a stranger, 14.8% with a casual acquaintance, 14.6% with a friend, 6.9% with a colleague and 2.3% with a flight attendant or pilot (so very highly unlikely). 

The lavatory sign on a Boeing 737 showing that the forward restroom is unoccupied..jpg
Ever considered it? ©frontpoint/Getty Images

The same LuggageHero study states that those who join the club will be there with the rich and famous, reporting that Liam Neeson, John Travolta, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Legend, Kim Kardashian, Janet Jackson, Richard Branson and Tyra Banks are all members.

The analysis also makes sure to point out the ramifications of getting over-excited while flying with a commercial airline, which can result in being arrested once the plane touches down.

The term “Mile High Club” dates back to 1914, after a young aviator named Lawrence Burst Sperry invented an apparatus that was the first prototype of the autopilot system. It negated the need for taxing “hand flying” and kept the aircraft steady for a long period of time, allowing the pilot to turn their attention to other things. Two years later, Sperry and a socialite were rescued in the Atlantic Ocean following a small plane crash. They were completely naked, but claimed that their clothes had been ripped off in the ensuing chaos. The papers at the time however had a lot of fun with their headlines.

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