travel

Virgin's first ever Pride flight staffed by all-LGBT crew to mark 50 years since Stonewall riots

Pride is taking place at at 30,000 feet in honour of the anniversary.

2019-06-28

Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic are taking Pride celebrations to new heights with the UK’s first Pride Flight set to take off this afternoon, celebrating WorldPride 2019 and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

Passengers will be treated to six hours of Pride extravagance including a performance from Broadway musical icon and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess, a troupe of drag queens leading games, interseat dating and a set from DJ Jodie Harsh who will keep revellers dancing all the way to the streets of Pride.

Also on board is a star-studded line up of celebrities including entertainer Courtney Act; Grammy-winning singer songwriter MNEK; Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard; model and activist Munroe Bergdorf; television darling Scarlett Moffatt; and singer of the official London Pride song Saara Aalto.

Organised at an international level to celebrate Pride for those countries where LGBTQ+ activity is still illegal or repressed, World Pride 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising.

To mark the occasion, Virgin will celebrate diversity within its business and beyond, with a a one-of-a-kind party at 38,000 feet, crewed entirely by LGBTQ+ Virgin Atlantic staff, onboard flight VS69, which takes its name from the year of the riots.

Making a special journey for the momentus occasion is 80-year old Stonewall veteran, Tree Sequoia, who recalls the night of the Stonewall Uprising and how the world changed after the demonstrations. A true LGBTQ+ hero, Tree still works as a bartender at the Stonewall Inn in New York which stood at the site of the 1969 demonstrations.

In partnership with NYC & Company and the Alliance for Downtown New York, the flight is just the beginning of Virgin’s WorldPride 2019 itinerary with guests set to take part in a host of activities including a party at the One World Observatory, co-hosted by Attitude.

Tituss Burgess, broadway star and co-host of Pride Flight, said ahead of take-off: “Pride is the ultimate celebration of diversity and inclusivity, and what better way to celebrate it than with a party to fly the rainbow flag above the clouds? The Virgin Pride Flight is ready for take off!”

Current Attitude cover star Jodie Harsh, DJ and co-host of Pride Flight, commented: “This year’s World Pride is a hugely important one, marking 50 years since the Stonewall uprising.

"Although progress has been made to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people, there is still work to be done and WorldPride is a chance to make our voices heard.”

Mark Anderson, Global LGBTQ+ Lead for Virgin Group, added: “At Virgin, we take our commitment to diversity and inclusion seriously. We also know how to put on a seriously fun party.

"To mark this momentus anniversary in the history and future of LGBTQ+ rights, we wanted to do everything possible to give customers the Pride experience of a lifetime.

"The doors are set to manual, and welcome drinks have been poured as the Pride Flight is finally set for take-off!”

Follow @attitudemag on Instagram and Twitter for live updates from WorldPride 2019 in New York City.