irgin Atlantic's creative team has said "yes" to some novel ideas over the years.
Last spring, the airline started using "Little Richard" ice cubes in cocktails on upper-class flights — that is, ice cubes made in the mold of Richard Branson's face. "While Richard would love to be able to sit and enjoy a drink with passengers, his schedule means that it simply isn't possible," Virgin's chief executive, Steve Ridgway, said at the time.
Now the company is bringing its off-beat amenities to Virgin Atlantic Little Red, the domestic carrier for the U.K. that was launched in March. The airline announced this week that certain flights from London to Edinburgh and Manchester will feature "in-flight gigs," meaning live music and improv comedy acts performed in the aisles.
Correction: Surprise live music and improv comedy acts. The airline will not divulge ahead of time which flights will feature shows, says Fast Company. The only scheduling information available is that comedy will be in August, music in September, and that the performers will be culled from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the world's largest arts festival.
CNN's Frances Cha isn't jumping to buy tickets. "We don't want to appear too cynical — anything that might make the chore of air travel better is worth trying — but in-aisle comedians?"
"For those of us who like to switch off, tune out and watch a movie or read a book on board, this could prove one laugh too far," says Cha.
Fast Company agrees: "We're guessing that business travelers, improv comedy, and a confined environment will be a volatile mixture, but that's just us."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- 4 life hacks from ancient philosophers that will make you happier
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- The Daily Show explains Hamid Karzai's 'Afghan Hustle'
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
Subscribe to the Week