Five years ago, Virgin Atlantic Airways came up with an inspired and inspiring marketing campaign as a way to put the glamour and excitement back into air travel—to spawn a new Jet Age, populated by a group of “high fliers” whose mission is “to achieve greatness” and “raise the bar in their industry or simply succeed where no one else could.” These go-getters who get around were dubbed jetrosexuals. Can’t get any flier than that.
Along with the designation came a list of eleven commandments to which Fly Brother tries his darnedest to adhere, and in order to advance to the level of a true jetrosexual, grasshoppers, you must not only commit these to memory (in theory, at least), but you must live by the mantras espoused here in your everyday actions as well:
11. Thou shall have thine passport ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Fly Brother says: Naturally.
10. Thou shalt have a favorite airport and be prepared to explain why it is thine fave.
Fly Brother says: Hong Kong International. A triumph of glass, steel, and light, HKG at Chek Lap Kok is a monumental yet supremely user-friendly temple to transcontinental air travel. You could get lost, but there’s plenty of English around to make sure you don’t wander onto the runway. If only they could keep the new terminal but bring back that classic Kai Tak landing.
9. Thou shalt not be a Chatty Cathy with thine seatmate.
Fly Brother says: Never. In fact, the eyes are lowered into a vintage Toni Morrison before the seatbelt light goes on.
8. Thou shalt never hold up the security line.
Fly Brother says: Even though it is ridiculous that only United States security personnel require shoes to be removed, it’s even more ridiculous to continually set off the alarm with the Herringbone you got last weekend at Flea Market USA.
7. Thou shalt be able to order a beer in at least six different languages.
Fly Brother says: Let’s up the ante a little on this one, shall we?
Vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred.
Martini de vodka. Sacudarido, no revuelto.
Vodka martini. Secoué, non remué.
Vodka martini. Ristet, ikke rørt.
Martini, που τινάζεται βότκα μην ανακατωμένος.
6. Thou shalt respect the five minute rule when using thine lavatory.
Fly Brother says: This is a tough one on those 17-hour New York to Bangkok flights. Just try to go before you leave home. And don’t eat too much.
5. Thou shalt be able to pack a week’s worth of clothes into a single carry-on bag.
Fly Brother says: A good laundry service at your destination and appropriate clothing selection can stretch that week to a month if necessary.
4. Thou shalt not own one of those inflatable neck pillows.
Fly Brother says: While they may be comfortable, they look horrid. Style and comfort must be balanced.
3. Thou shalt have at least one passport stamp from a country that now goes by a different name.
Fly Brother says: This may be difficult for some of the less-seasoned jetrosexuals. A stamp from a country on the US State Department‘s travel advisory list will do.
2. Thou shalt travel Economy class, on rare occasions, just to keep thine self humble.
Fly Brother says: This is relatively easy when thou payeth for thine own ticket.
1. Thou shalt leave terra firma behind in order to move business and culture forward.
Fly Brother says: Done.
Now, copy and paste this handy pocket-sized list of jetrosexual commandments to print for quick reference in the event of kidnapping or memory loss.
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