The 8 Most Important Years in the History of the Mile High Club
Celebrating 100 years of flying the friendly skies.
1914 – American pilot Lawrence Burst Sperry invents the autopilot, giving pilots time to pursue other activities in the cockpit.
1916 – Sperry, the same pilot who invented the autopilot, disengages it during a flight and crashes. Duck hunters find him and a woman treading water naked near the coast of Long Island. They insist the force of the crash knocked off their clothes. Everyone else credits them for inventing the Mile High Club.
1978 – The Airline Deregulation Act changes everything for the aviation industry. The days of dressing formal for flights are over and people start to fly in whatever attire they choose.
1996 – Airlines practically promote the Mile High Club. British Airways introduces a first-class seat that reclines and transforms into a bed for two.
1997 – The airlines’ promotions work a little too well. Singapore Airlines officials say Mile Highers are a “particularly worrying trend.”
2002 – Virgin Atlantic installs diaper-changing tables in airplane lavatories. They’re destroyed within weeks.
2007 – Things get so bad, Singapore Airlines has to come out and ask passengers to stop engaging in sexual activities on flights.
2010 – The Mile High Club is possibly quantified. A survey indicates that 3% of people participate in inflight intimacy. Assuming three billion people fly each year – and half of them lie – there could be as many as 45 million Mile High Club meetings annually.