Fly the Rainbow skies

Fly the Rainbow skies
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

United Airlines decades agos chose “fly the friendly skies” as their key branding slogan.

Yesterday they decided to add a new layer of friendliness to their brand. Or perhaps friskiness is a better term.


I was today years old when I learned that the sexual preferences of the pilots in the cockpit (hmm…does that refer to, well, you know…?) is a key part of the process for choosing staff.

Come to think of it…does United ask applicants to describe their sexual preferences in the application process? Is there a form that flight attendants and pilots fill out, and does it include the particular types of sex that they enjoy on their time off? Just how did the management get this information, and is it legal to do so?

It IS their time off we are talking about, right? Or perhaps they have drag queen sex education classes for children in the back of the aircraft to keep people entertained. After all, a San Francisco to Sydney flight could get a bit long. Maybe the sexual preferences of the crew do matter for flight operations.

I watched the heartwarming video accompanying their announcement and began to wonder about whether fuzzies are on the crew. That rainbow panda that they spent actual money painting on the aircraft looks kinda sexy.

United has come a long way from its early advertising. I remember when it was a bit less…well, like this. Although I have to admit that some of the flight attendants were rather attractive, and that was a key selling point for the airlines.


The reaction on Twitter was not entirely positive, with many United customers wondering more about the particular qualifications of the pilots than their sexual proclivities. But this is Twitter, where people are notoriously churlish.

The general public, I am certain, is deeply concerned about whether the pilot or the copilot is the “top” or the “bottom” in the relationship, or whether that blue-haired flight attendant’s drapes match the carpet.

Are there polyamorous relationships among the crew, or are they simply all opposed to associating with the cis-het among us? Are they in a polycule? We need to know!

How many are bi-curious? What are their pronouns? How many “mile-high club” members are on the crew? Did it happen in the cockpit or the restroom?

There are so many unanswered questions I really have no idea where to begin.

Now that the various genders, sexual practices, and other personal characteristics are fair game in staffing decisions, can customers choose the sexuality, race, gender, and pronouns of the crews they fly with? It seems only fair since clearly these are matters that United has announced are relevant to their customers.

I think we should be given a menu of available crews. Prior to now, I thought that the skill of the crew was the most important variable to consider, but now I am not so sure.


I also want the crew to wear pins identifying their preferred sexual practices. Perhaps it is not only the genitals of the sexual partners the crewmen choose that matter, but also their particular ways of stimulating or being stimulated. Are costumes involved? Are sex toys distributed on the plane, perhaps?

Do I have to look for stains on those nifty blue uniforms? Is the pilot wearing a blue dress? Is it a he, she, it, ghost, xi?

Will anybody have a breakdown if they get misgendered or deadnamed?

I hope the geniuses at United have the intelligence to at least handout guides for etiquette.

Which, come to think of it, would be a good idea no matter who is in the crew these days.


Of course, Virgin Airlines has United beat by a mile. Watch and weep:

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