Sunday, September 25, 2005

In-Flight Romance, Please

Ahh, airplane travel. That oasis of pure serenity that comes with knowing that the inflight snack will be salty, the inflight movie will inevitably be Herbie: Fully Loaded, and that odds are good that you probably won't plummet 30,000 feet into someone's empty swimming pool. Flying solo often means sitting next to people we don't know, and, given our druthers (whatever druthers are), might never hope to meet. This last journey of mine, I was pretty lucky. Aside from my first seatmate, NY to Chicago, a man who laughed when another passenger hit me in the head with his bag and then promptly fell asleep, I shared space with good people: Chicago to LA was a lovely woman named Melissa, who was going to visit her sister, and LA to NY was a Duchovnian-looking teacher named Josh (shoutout to Josh, if you're reading) who was just returning to NY from a Buddhism conference in Tokyo. It's a good thing we were both willing to talk to each other; I even took some notes. In the good old days, when airplanes served actual meals, Jewlicious passengers could pick each other out by the kosher or vegetarian meals they ordered; if your seatmate asked "is there meat in that?" you'd fall in love instantly. But these days, things are more difficult... Enter AirTroductions. (Why they didn't call it "Love is in the Air" is beyond me. Dude, people so need to hire me for this stuff.) According to the Washington Post, "The recently launched site has described itself as "JDate meets the Mile-High Club," though participation presumably is not limited solely to those of the J-ish persuasion."
"Having taken over 500 flights in the past four years, I can count on one hand the number of times that I've been seated next to someone I actually wanted to talk to," site founder Peter Shankman said in a release. "Creating AirTroductions was a labor of love. Hopefully, people can match themselves up and sit next to someone they want to talk to! Imagine what kind of success can come from this, on a business, personal, and friendship level!" You buy your ticket as usual, then go to AirTroductions, log in and create a profile. You can post a photo, just like JDate, or any other computer dating service, then are encouraged to say what kind of person you would like to sit next to.
So, be honest, kids. And specificity is your friend. Don't just say single, or odds are you'll end up next to a ten-year-old kid or an octogenarian. And be careful with those long flights, or you could end up on an eleven-hour date with someone with no rescue calls from friends or escapes through bathroom windows. (Not that I've ever done either of those things.) But don't say I didn't warn you. (Cross-posted to My Urban Kvetch)


Anonymous said...

Ever curious and with a somewhat lewd mind, I went to

and learned that the Mile High Club is not about flirting with your seatmate. You actualy have to "do it" at an altitude greater than 5,280 feet.

People with small planes are apparently running "shtup flight" taxis for couples who are so inclined. Probably more entertaining than driving conventioneers to and from LaGuardia?

I once sat next to a dark, tan, slim and incredibly arousing young woman on a flight from LGA to visit my sister in Houston. She began talking to me, and like southerners will, told her life story to me, a total stranger. She starting talking about how her mom was divorced, and she was living with her stepdad, who was cool though.

"How old are you?" I asked.

"14" she replied.

"Oh". Pop

callieischatty said...

Ok so what is wrong with sitting next to someone in their 80's??

Hey you will be there before you know it, IF you are lucky.

So don't knock older folks...its not smart.

Esther Kustanowitz said...

Anonymous...everyone knows that about the MHC. But not everyone knew about your experience. Um, ew. But thanks for sharing.

Callie, surely you didn't really think that this post was a cry against elderly people, any more than it was a rant against must have realized that it was only to bring to your attention the fact that if a specific company exists to bring you the company of your fellow singles, you will need to specify the age range of your liking. That is all! Sheesh!

Tyler said...

Anonymous, for some reason, your story reminds me of the first line of the poem in that famous novel by Nabokov:

Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze.
Hair: brown. Lips: scarlet.
Age: five thousand three hundred days.
Profession: none, or "starlet"

Perhaps five thousand two hundred and eighty days would be more apropos, said the pattern-seeking numerologist.

I've never joined the mile high club. Actually shagging in a aircraft toilet would be more like a six or seven mile high club given the altitude (greater than thirty five thousand feet). I wonder if the relatively low cabin pressure would make everything more strenuous?