The fun kicked off even before the flight, with Pam Ann checking in a few lucky early birds at the ticketing counter before going through the security body scanners herself. No TSA size jokes there. At the gate, passengers were treated to a champagne and cupcake (with pink frosting, of course) reception. Then, after giving the nearby Virgin America crew a good-natured ribbing, Pam Ann announced it was time to board. On the way to the plane, passengers were given gift bags with issues of OUT and The Advocate, snooze kits with eye masks and ear plugs, a JetBlue key chain, and commemorative t-shirts.
Pam, true glam air hostess that she is, welcomed each passenger aboard—some more salaciously than others—and introduced the flight crew to the raucous travelers, conjecturing about each one’s sexual proclivities. With all the niceties out of the way, it was time to take off into the (very gay-)friendly skies.
Right on schedule, JetPride Flight #1969 was winging its way to Long Beach. Pam Ann got a firm grip on the plane speaker phone and regaled the crowd with one-liners before taking charge of beverage service herself, and presiding over the pouring of unlimited free champagne and pink cocktails (cranberry-vodka, if you were wondering) for the passengers. Treating the cramped aisle as her own personal runway, Pam preened and pranced, stalked and sashayed, glad-handing “the gays” and trading quips with everyone within earshot.
After a first round of bubbly and booze, Pam Ann brought JDV Hotels founder Chip Conley to the front of the plane. In addition to the Hotel Maya’s Pride Package for the weekend (which included tickets to all the parties and the Pride Festival, plus a $50 hotel restaurant credit), Conley hosted a quick giveaway contest where he doled out free stays at three other JDV properties in California, putting the crowd into an even better mood.
JetBlue then announced that it would be pinning Pam Ann with an honorary set of wings…and we’re sure you can imagine the jokes that followed. But before you knew it, it was time to start our descent into Long Beach, and with a few parting shots, Pam relinquished the speakerphone and took her seat.
Of course, her hosting gig wasn’t done quite yet. Stationing herself on the outdoor jetway, Pam bid each and ever passenger farewell with a smile, a wave, a hug, and yes, even a pat on the derriere when the situation called for it. We took an informal survey of our fellow passengers afterwards, and the only complaint was: that the flight was too short. Same time, next year?
Disclosure: Jaunted went on the flight and to Long Beach's PrideFest as a guest of JetBlue and JDV.
[All photos: Jaunted]