Survey: 1 in 10 Flyers Have Had Sex at the Airport

a man handing a purse to a woman

Most flyers have wondered at one time or another just how many of their fellow travelers are members of the Mile High Club. Maybe that’s the wrong question.

Citing results of a survey by French flight-booking site, the Washington Post is reporting that around 10 percent of American travelers have had a sexual encounter at the airport. That compares with just 8 percent who claimed to be members of the Mile High Club.

The surprising (to me) finding was based on responses from almost 5,000 Americans who were at least 18 years old and had flown at least once in the past two years. That’s a substantial enough data set to give the survey results a solid degree of statistical significance.

Airports are hardly hospitable environments for romantic gestures. The crowds. The high-visibility presence of law enforcement, TSA, and airline workers. The oppressive air of stress and anxiety. The garish lighting and lack of cozy nooks. My guess would have been that closer to one in a hundred had indulged in airport hanky-panky. One in 10? That’s a head-shaker.

But never mind my skepticism. Back to the survey results.

As to the all-important question of where, exactly, these encounters took place, the results were as follows:

  • 42% in a public restroom
  • 28% in a storage area
  • 14% “under a coat”
  • 12% in a VIP lounge

More grist for skepticism here. Coupling in a public restroom? In the many visits I’ve made to airport restrooms over decades of air travel, I have never seen a woman enter or exit a stall in the men’s room, with or without a partner. Nor for that matter have I ever seen a man enter or exit an airport women’s restroom.

My 19-year-old daughter has a stock response to assertions that she finds questionable but undeserving of a counter response: “Interesting,” followed by a pursing of the lips and a brief head-nod.

My response to this survey? Interesting, followed by a pursing of the lips and a brief head-nod.

Reader Reality Check

Based on your own time spent in airports, how frequently do airport hook-ups take place?

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

This article first appeared on, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.


  1. Counsellor says

    Includes maybe same-sex activities? If so, could explain the restroom point you raised.

Comments are closed.