One of my absolute favorite things to do in SL is taking flights around the grid. No idea why I’m such a huge fan, seeing how I hate flying in RL and have to do it often. In SL though, it’s been a really fun way to meet new people that have a love for something that feels like its a whole grid away. There’s such a passion that people in the flying community have that is just a nice change of pace. I wanted to take a moment to share what I love about flying, what to expect of the experience, how to get into it, flight etiquette and even my favorite pilots and aircrafts. Get ready for a long one!
Remembering My First Flight Like It Was Yesterday.
I remember when I took my first flight ever I didn’t even think I was supposed to be there. In total noob fashion, I was drifting around Second Norway Airport because I’d just purchased a bunch of new land on Second Norway (SNO), which is mainland on the Blake Sea (If you love sailing and driving, its a great place to be), and saw a plane taking off so I just hopped right on. At this point, I hadn’t even known actual flying in SL was possible.
I figured we’d be circling the sim like I’d done on my other sim a few times but no, it was actually a 30 minute flight over who knows how many sims and the pilot was super welcoming. My pace in SL was different back then so I never caught his name but he was a huge help in finding out how to continue booking my first class trips around the grid.
What’s to Love?
Ok, so what got me hooked? I’m honestly just a fan of realism in SL these days. Before I lived for the role play, but I lost the time for finding immersive para-RP sims so I just like to have “experiences’ lately. And flying is definitely an experience, depending on who you are flying with. There are plenty of different styles to suit what you’re looking for. For me, I love the flights where they’re role playing all of the take off bits, while somehow still operating the plane (which looks complicated) and also offering in-flight services. It really is a good way to just relax, especially if you keep a busy Second Life.
It’s also a great activity to do with friends. My friend Rey and I have bonded over our love of flying and it’s just a quick way to take a moment to connect with each other and have stories to tell later.
FASHION BREAK – What I’m wearing
Pro-flying fashion tip. Its hard not to get dressed jet-setter ready when flying but you definitely want to keep your complexity and scripts as low as possible. You will be crossing sims and it can make things sticky for everyone if you’re script heavy or trotting around with a high complexity. I usually try to keep my complexity under 90,000 for flights. I was just over 89,000 in this outfit.
- Dress – Rowne – Fraser Moto Dress
- Handbag – Mowie – Karlie Bag
- Shoes – (AMD) – Ruffles Heels
It’s a good idea to remove extra accessories, ie handbags. I tossed the bag in overhead storage (aka detached) for the entire flight. I also remove all my animating huds – face animations, AOs, my body huds (they tend to break after a flight if you leave them on and its a rocky one). Then its also great to remove any huds you won’t need during the flight – texture huds, makeup, sexy-bits huds.
What to Expect
Go into each flight with an open mind. Depending on the airline and the pilot, things may be different. Some days SL may be behaving and others it might be the SL day from hell. So, yes, there’s a strong possibility you may crash… not as in SL crash but as in, your plane may end up in the ocean. Have a good spirit about it, pilots will usually try to get you back. Some pilots may even extend the RP. Either way, a crash is honestly a lot of fun.
If you’ve never flown before or if you’re having a bit of a laggy day you may crash (viewer crash) or even somehow fall out of the plane. Pilots are also usually great about getting you back on the plane. I’ve even seen them stop in the air and wait until you’re seated comfortably.
So, don’t take it too seriously and just enjoy what ever SL has to throw at you that day!.
Now, how can you get into your first flights?
The first thing you want to do is join a passenger group. Pilots and flight attendants post their flights throughout the day. They’ll include info on the type of aircraft, where they are leaving from and flying to, any stops they’re making, SLurls so you can find them and time. They usually send these posts between 5-10 minutes before taking off so it’s a good idea to keep the group open to see when they’re flying and if no one is flying out, you can shoot an IM to the group to ask if someone’s available.
I recommend joining Passengers of SL. If you’ve read any of my previous posts or reviews you know I love an easy process. No need to book in advance here. No need to run around to different airlines. Just open the group and keep your eye on the chat, just be ready to move fast when you see one mentioned!
I am also a member of the new group D&R Elite Status, which is a collaboration between two of my favorite airlines – Air Madison and Velvet Airlines. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been sticking to my favorites because I just really appreciate the effort they put into it and everything just feels high quality. So, if you’re a quality chaser, I recommend both. If you don’t have much group space and need to make a choice, I’d go with D&R to start with these 2 airlines first. Of course, in the Passengers group, you’ll be open to a lot more pilots and airlines and its easy to request a flight. So, you be the judge!
Who, what, where, when, why…how? Just a list of my faves.
I mentioned Air Madison and Velvet are my favorite airlines. In terms of pilots, I recommend Doug Brently who flies with Air Madison. You’ll see him post to the groups and if you do, definitely try to make the flight. I remember my first flight with Doug, SL was behaving badly that day and we crashed. There were a few other people on the flight and we ended up in the water. Doug had life vests for everyone and we floated as he went to get a rescue boat! We sailed to a location and made it out alive. But it was really fun to fly and sail all in one trip. The photos were hilarious too! I have a few on my instagram.
Other than a hilarious trip, Doug is also really accommodating and flies to great locations. I try to avoid flying to the exact same place all the time and he usually has a destination I’ve never heard of and has recommendations for other cool places to check out. And no matter what, he finishes the trip, even if that means a water rescue or whipping out the sea plane. I’m sure he owns every aircraft in SL too because every time we fly its something new!
Antoinette is another great pilot you’ll find at Air Madison so be on the look out for any notices or IMs she sends for flights!
My Favorite Planes.
I’ve learned to also keep an eye out for my favorite planes. It helps you know what to expect when you get to the airport and to know how many friends to invite along.
- 737 – is my all time favorite aircraft. You’ll usually see the aircraft posted in the group when they’re doing a boarding call. There is a 737 by Dani Planes that is just so chic too. Its got private seating, conference room, bedroom, bath, TVs… everything you’d want to feel like you’re on a private flight.
- D-300 – is another fave. Similar in overall size but has seating like normal commercial planes in RL.
- Grand Caravan – is a plane that can take off or land on water. It’s a small one and was awesome for the hiking trip I took recently. We landed on a jungle sim and took a hike. This was the perfect plane for that theme.
- 757 – I haven’t taken many flights on these. It’s not a favorite of mine but the easiest to recognize. These are the big commercial looking planes. Personally, I feel like its probably harder to get across some sims with this but its also great for trips with more people. And they look great in photos!
I bet you’re thinking this all sounds expensive. I’ve honestly had guys in SL try to woo me with the thousands they’ve spent on flights. Err. No. All flights through either group above are 100% free. However, and I repeat HOWEVER, tips are appreciated. I think its so worth it to tip your flight crew. Usually its just the pilot, sometimes there is also a flight attendant.
Depending on the flight length and just what went down on the flight is how I determine my tip. Either way, once you’re on the plane I think you’ll realize how much effort some pilots put into making a great experience for you. An average tip is between $200 – $500 a person. Once again, totally not required at all. Pilots are more than happy making the flight but they will appreciate the tip! If you can’t afford it, go for the experience! It’s always great to see passengers in the air.
Be on time
I’ve missed flights by showing up 2 minutes late so just try to get there for the time they plan to take off and early if you can. Usually when I’m in the mood to fly, I’ll just get ready, open the group and go when I see it posted. Sometimes they catch me off guard and I’m in the middle of a shower with a head full of wet hair or whatever. Then its a scramble to get dressed and to the airport!
Not sure if this falls in etiquette but remain seated during your flight. You will go falling. Also, just an FYI, if you try to just poof out mid flight it can ruin your entire SL day lol. As I mentioned with one of said guys who tried to woo me with that flight, also tried to welcome me into his mile high club so ya girl just decided to poof. My avi tweaked out for the rest of the night (I resist a relog like the plague) and on their viewers I was still in the plane! Like no, boo… I left.
This was a crazy long post so I’ll end it here! I’d love to hear your experiences with flying and any other tips you have for passengers. And if you’d like to join me for a flight, I fly Saturdays at 3pm with Royal Getaways to lots of fun locations. Doug is piloting so you’ll definitely want to join. Join the group for the invite.
Here are a couple shots from recent flights and destinations.