A family of four said they had an “amazing" time as they found themselves on board Virgin Atlantic's one-off Pride Flight on Friday.
Kerry Powell, her husband Sean, and their two sons, Calum, and two-year-old Cody, from Essex, were seated alongside celebrities and drag queens as the LGBTQ+ crew of the plane performed sing alongs on the trip to New York.
The boys appeared to really enjoy the experience, with a video posted online showing them jumping and dancing with the rest of the crew.
This unsuspecting family accidentally booked on to the @VirginHolidays @VirginAtlantic #PrideFlight for their holid… https://t.co/XkMhbvU06q— Attitude (@Attitude)1561809285.0
The flight sold out in 24 hours, and took off from Heathrow on Friday. It was scheduled to coincide with World Pride in New York on Sunday, June 30.
“We booked the flight in September, then Virgin called us in October to tell us it had been chosen as the Pride flight. They asked if we wanted to change to a different day, which we couldn't do, so we just went ahead," Mrs. Powell told PA.
The flight was hosted by TV and Broadway star Tituss Burgess, and featured celebrities including RuPaul's Drag Race star Courtney Act, I'm A Celebrity winner Scarlett Moffatt, and Strictly Come Dancing's AJ Prichard.
Mrs. Powell said she and her husband did not have to worry about keeping Calum and Cody entertained, saying “the eight hours flew by."
The family took the flight to visit family in New Jersey and had the entertainment explained to them beforehand.
“It was amazing. We knew what it was all about, it wasn't a surprise. Everyone was so lovely to the kids," she said.
The flight, and the World Pride event many passengers were traveling to attend, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riot.
It's exactly 24 hours until our #PrideFlight takes off to @NYCPride! 🌈❤️ Will you be joining us and… https://t.co/SA4MR7xc1g— Virgin Atlantic (@Virgin Atlantic)1561647910.0
So tomorrow I m going on this - why do I let myself be talked into these things 😹🤣🇺🇸🏳️🌈 #NYCPride #VirginAtlantic… https://t.co/3YDQmorJmG— Karen Tennents girl 🏴 (@Karen Tennents girl 🏴)1561615433.0
Virgin Atlantic's flight was named VS69, to mark the year that riots took place at The Stonewall Inn in New York and kick-started the LGBTQ+ liberation movement.
Also on board the plane was Stonewall veteran Tree Sequoia, who, at the age of 80, still works as a bartender in New York at the site of the 1969 demonstrations and was there during the police raid.
“At Virgin, we take our commitment to diversity and inclusion seriously. We also know how to put on a seriously fun party," Mark Anderson, global LGBTQ+ lead for Virgin Group, said. “We wanted to do everything possible to give customers the Pride experience of a lifetime."
Here are a few highlights from the flight:
VS69 has landed in New York to celebrate WorldPride. 🏳️🌈 Here are our highlights from the #PrideFlight. 😍 https://t.co/ECqI7x4nbW— Virgin Atlantic (@Virgin Atlantic)1561795140.0
Who is traveling this Afternoon on @VirginAtlantic #PrideFlight VS69 to @NYCPride ??? 🌈❤️ I got a delicious treat… https://t.co/lDUwNQQtnQ— eric lanlard (@eric lanlard)1561709335.0
VS69 is cleared for takeoff. ✈️ Next Stop: WorldPride in NYC. 🏳️🌈 https://t.co/ms6q0Nz1v3— Virgin Atlantic (@Virgin Atlantic)1561724180.0
There was a fabulous atmosphere in our Clubhouse as we eagerly awaited boarding for VS69 to NYC. ❤️ Now, we are re… https://t.co/4Bc36GeXgR— Virgin Atlantic (@Virgin Atlantic)1561734232.0
Taking #Pride celebrations to new heights @VirginAtlantic UK’s first #PrideFlight takes off from Heathrow! With a o… https://t.co/MRNNVXtfqn— Heathrow Airport (@Heathrow Airport)1561736678.0
Anyone else wishing they were on the Vs69? Biggest party in the sky or what?! All these videos are giving me chills! https://t.co/ZBqKfh3uYj— Chloe Stephenson (@Chloe Stephenson)1561817419.0
@VirginAtlantic Thank you for our year supply of Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics... 👄💄✍🏻💋 #PrideFlight #VS69 https://t.co/2e9wKQDElT— Thomas Michael Curson (@Thomas Michael Curson)1561814473.0
Love this 🌈 #VS69 #Pride https://t.co/Ym3AAf1F4H— Rachel Greenough (@Rachel Greenough)1561715908.0
VS69 being used to carry passengers and crew to New York Pride. This is why I absolutely LOVE @VirginAtlantic 🤣🤣🤣🤣🌈 https://t.co/H8IsNkRsMa— Mark Parke (@Mark Parke)1561724237.0