I was on United’s Pride Flight to Sydney and OMG flying will never be the same!

In-flight cocktails and glitter? Don't mind if we do!
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Picture this: you’re sailing 45,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean in a Boeing 777 decked out in rainbows, downing fabulously fruity cocktails while dancing along to ABBA and playing games hosted by a fierce drag queen.

Well that’s exactly what happened on United Airlines’ first ever Pride Flight last week – and I was lucky enough to be on it! 

WATCH: HAYU Loud and Proud Trailer. Article continues after video.

The fun began last Wednesday at San Francisco’s International Airport, where more than 300 passengers and crew were treated to a mini-Mardi Gras at the departure terminal, complete with rainbow treats, drag performances, glitter cannons and even some adorable furry friends that helped send us off in style.

Bangers pumped out of the speakers as we boarded the flight, which was fabulously decaled with a koala donning a rainbow flag. For those lucky enough to hold onto Polaris Business Class tickets, there were bespoke flannelette pride pyjamas, courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue, a plush pride koala teddy bear, and a glass of sparkling rosé.

The flight was hosted by a fabulous drag queen, who also works for United Airlines as a flight attendant. (Credit: WHO)

All of the usual mundanity that comes with a long-haul flight was thrown out the window as we drank up a storm and got to know the entirely LGBTQIA+ crew, who entertained us all just as much as our drag queen MC who hosted games and even read us bed a time story.  

When that wasn’t enough, the perfectly curated in-flight entertainment list featured all of your fave queer classics, like Priscilla Queen of the Desert and To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.

All of the crew, including the flight attendants and pilots, were LGBTQIA+. (Credit: WHO)

After nodding off for a few hours – a particular milestone for this uneasy flyer which is completely credited to the amazing reclining bed and Saks Fifth Avenue bedding and pillows – we descended into Sydney to a welcome party to end all welcome parties.

Speedo-wearing lifesavers danced around handing out branded T-shirts while we were treated to performances by Ru Paul’s Drag Race stars Ecterera Ecterera and Minnie Cooper, and a show-stopping set by ARIA award winning artist Samantha Jade. 

Passengers in Polaris Business Class were gifted with a fabulous welcome pack including Saks Fifth Avenue bedding and pyjamas and a pride koala plush toy. (Credit: WHO)

As I attempt to recuperate from the flight and the first weekend of World Pride, it’s hard to imagine how I’m ever going to return to economy, but on top of all of the fabulous luxuries and fun and cocktails and glitter, the flight has highlighted the progress we’ve made in celebrating diversity – it’d be amiss for me not to mention that United have long supported the queer community and were the first U.S. airline to offer non-binary gender options throughout all its booking channels  – but most of all it highlighted the importance of flying, and the connection it provides family and friends within the LGBTQIA+ community during a fabulous time such as World Pride.

Needless to say, my experience with flying will never be the same. 

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