Mile-high mischief

Passengers on Air Canada flight arrested for in-flight sex

By Patrick Vaillancourt, News Editor

A 38-year-old man and 24-year-old woman from from the maritimes are under investigation for allegedly engaging in sexual activity on an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Halifax on January 24.

The two individuals were approached by RCMP officers after landing at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The woman, who has yet to be identified, was also charged with causing a disturbance and assaulting an officer as officers approached her for questioning related to the in-flight incident.

Those who engage in sexual activity while in-flight are often referred to as members of the “mile-high club.” This type of activity is widely-regarded as one of the more popular sexual fantasies of both men and women, and its achievement is often memorable due to the risqué nature of the act.

Airline staff, in particular flight attendants and pilots, however, don’t understand why this behaviour is so prominent in the minds of some more sexually insatiable air travellers.

Elisa Choi, an Alberta-based flight attendant with WestJet, told the Other Press that, while this is not an issue that comes up often, sex in an airplane should be regarded in the same light as sex in a public place.

“It’s no different than having sex in a restaurant,” said Choi. “You can’t have sex in a restaurant without being told to stop.”

In-flight sex is considered to be an act of indecent exposure.

Choi also highlights that there are sanitary considerations that must be factored in.

“My first thought is ‘ewww’,” said Choi. “Airplane [lavatories] are much too small and dirty to be doing that in there.”

Choi notes that the in-flight sex fantasy, at least in her opinion, is not something airline employees think about because it is their workplace.

Choi admits to not having experienced this issue in her career, but knows of stories from colleagues and friends. When asked what she would do if faced with a couple of passengers caught in the act, she stated  that every action has its consequences.

“I’d just tell them that it’s not appropriate. We would consider it an unruly act and there are consequences to that. It’s not worth it,” said Choi.

“I’d also apologize for busting their fantasy,” said Choi with a laugh.

A spokesperson from NAV Canada, Canada’s air-traffic control authority and training school, who requested anonymity, told the Other Press by phone that there are other concerns with these kinds of behaviours.

“It’s dealing with people,” the spokesperson said. “Much of the time, it’s pretty straight forward, but from time to time these types of incidents lead to arguments, fights, and the endangerment of the entire flight.”

The source noted an example from years ago in which a flight in the United States had to make a premature emergency landing due to a heated marital conflict, in which a man caught his wife in the airplane’s lavatory with another man.

“Never mind that it’s disgusting. When you’re at 40,000-feet, any little argument at all could endanger the lives of all passengers,” said the NAV Canada spokesperson.