Reel To Real: Can Air Travelers Still Join The Mile-High Club?

Undeterred by airline security or germs, they certainly try.

Hooking up with a stranger in the friendly skies sounds pretty hot, but will hanky-panky onboard an aircraft get you in trouble?

The Reel Story: Based on its box-office performance, "A Lot Like Love" might not have that much going for it — but it does have Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet getting it on in an airplane bathroom (apparently, they love to fly, and it shows). When Oliver (Kutcher) and Emily (Peet) meet in LAX, they waste little time getting to know one another and even less time getting down to business. Thousands of feet in the air, the two grope their way to happiness and join the infamous mile-high club.

What they don't realize, of course, is that they're destined to be together, and in this "When Harry Met Sally"-lite, a sky-high gropefest turns into much more. The two lovebirds spend the rest of the film figuring out that they're the only constant in each other's crazy lives, and that sex before the first date doesn't have to be a relationship kiss of death.

That said, with airline security being what it is, not to mention the germ factor (have you been in an airplane bathroom lately?), we gotta ask: Do people really join the mile-high club?

The Real Story: They certainly try.

The presumed founding father of the mile-high club was Lawrence Sperry, inventor of the autopilot. Apparently he had engaged the device while flying over Babylon, New York, in 1916 and was getting busy when something went wrong and the plane plunged into Great South Bay. Both parties survived the crash but were hard-pressed to explain their lack of clothing to the duck hunters who rescued them.

While technically illegal (sex onboard can be considered lewd and lascivious behavior or indecent exposure), fooling around on an airplane isn't regarded as a major crime and normally isn't reported to authorities if the participants stop when asked. While aggressive behavior on an airplane will invite a visit from the FBI, those trying to join the mile-high club who are too drunk or too stupid to disengage are normally turned over to local authorities when the plane lands.

We spoke with a flight attendant (who, for the sake of his job, preferred to remain nameless) for a major air carrier who told us he'd caught a few people getting frisky in the skies. One couple went into the back bathroom, and after a few minutes he knocked. "I told them it wasn't really appropriate and I would have to call security," he said. Not surprisingly, they were pretty red-faced and went back to their seats. "But they asked for a blanket. I think they finished under there." In fact, our source told us that couples are far more likely to engage in various forms of blanket-covered action in their seats than to retire to the relative privacy of the bathroom. Remember that next time you try to catch some Z's on an overnight flight.

Check out everything we've got on "A Lot Like Love."

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