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, four, and two-year-old Cody, from Essex, were seated alongside celebrities and drag queens as the LGBTQ+ crew of the plane performed singalongs on the trip to New York.
The boys appeared to really enjoy the experience, with a video posted online showing them jumping up and down excitedly.
The flight, which sold out in 24 hours, took off from Heathrow on Friday and was scheduled to coincide with World Pride in New York on Sunday June 30.
Mrs Powell told PA: “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.”
The flight was hosted by TV and Broadway star Tituss Burgess, and featured celebrities including Ru Paul’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.
She said: “It was amazing. We knew what it was all about, it wasn’t a surprise. Everyone was so lovely to the kids.”
The flight, and the World Pride event many passengers were travelling to attend, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.
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.
Mark Anderson, global LGBTQ+ lead for Virgin Group, said: “At Virgin, we take our commitment to diversity and inclusion seriously. We also know how to put on a seriously fun party.
“We wanted to do everything possible to give customers the Pride experience of a lifetime.”