Ever heard of the Fly2Miami flight? I’m talking about the first ever flight to be filled up via Twitter. Amazing! KLM announced on Twitter that they would be reopening their Amsterdam-Miami route on 27 March. A Dutch DJ and a filmmaker responded with disappointment, since that would be too late for the DJ festival starting a week before that. They boasted they could easily fill up a plane. KLM took up their challenge and guess what? In only five hours they managed to collect 150 subscriptions!
I am one of the lucky crew members who got to take off on that ‘private dance jet’ on Monday. I have to admit I felt a bit out of place; the co-pilot, senior purser and a steward are all DJs, not to mention the fact that most of my other colleagues are also very familiar with the dance scene.
But not me. I’d heard the name Armin van Buuren before, but I only found out quite recently that he is a world-famous Dutch DJ. In the past, when I’d tell someone I met abroad that I’m from the Netherlands, the most common response would be, “Ah, Ruud Gullit!”. But not anymore. When I spoke to an Australian guy a little while ago, he told me I should be proud of ‘our’ Armin van Buuren. That’s how I found out who he was. So I surfed online, searching for pictures of Armin, so I’d be sure to recognize him when he boarded the plane.
Armin van Buuren never did board the plane, but flight KL627 to Miami was filled with DJs, VJs, MCs and other professionals from the dance world. It was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. It took some time before I realised that most of these cool-looking, relaxed, and friendly folks had even never met before. But already before take-off, they were hanging out, chatting and laughing together as if they’d known each other for years.
Once we hit an altitude of around 35,000 feet, a DJ started spinning, mojitos were ‘stirred and shaken’ and the party was on. The music was played through the airplane speakers, so no-one missed a single beat – not even when going to the loo. I’m sure the flight will end up in the Guinness Book of Records. After landing, the fire brigade at Miami Airport gave us a warm welcome shower and a Fly2Miami banner was hung from the cockpit.
I’ve never experienced such a crazy flight before, nor such a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere on a plane. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything! While the partygoers dispersed throughout Miami, I enjoyed the ‘beat-less’ silence of a tropical night in Miami and then fell into a deep, deep sleep.