PHOTOS: Virgin & United celebrate Mardi Gras 2024 with trio of Pride Flights

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Edited by Travel Weekly


    More than 500 travellers, including drag performers and famous faces, partied at 30,000 feet today onboard Virgin Australia and United Airlines’ Pride Flight services from San Francisco, Melbourne and Brisbane.

    The services touched down in Sydney ahead of Australia’s largest LGBTQIA+ event this weekend.

    After landing, Virgin Australia and United Airlines’ Pride Flight ticket holders were welcomed at the gate by Tinder ‘Glambassador’ Danni Issues.

    Travellers then made their way to the official Landing Party (after party) at popular venue, The Beresford, for a lineup of exciting entertainment, including Virgin Australia dance troupe performance and ballad by Hugh Sheridan.

    Arrivals for Mardi Gras 2024

    Three Pride Flight services landed in Sydney today ahead of Australia’s largest annual gay and lesbian celebration this weekend:

    Melbourne to Sydney VA1978 (numbered to represent the year 1978, when Sydney hosted its first Mardi Gras Parade), Brisbane to Sydney VA2017 (the flight number represents the year same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia) and San Francisco to Sydney Pride Flight, UA863 (codeshare flight VA8005).

    Flights from Melbourne and Brisbane included a pre-flight departure party with drag entertainment by local LGBTQIA+ venues (Fluffy Nightclub and Sircuit), celebrity appearances, mid-air drag performances, bottomless beverages, DJ entertainment, dancing and more.

    Celebs on board

    A number of famous faces were part of the celebrations today including NBL star Isaac Humphries, former AFL player Danielle Laidley, triathlete & lululemon ambassador James Parr and Tik Tok personality/Tinder ambassador Tim Collins.

    $30 from the sale of each ticket on Virgin Australia-operated Pride Flight services will be donated to Minus18, a LGBTQIA+ youth charity. United Airlines will donate $125K USD to The Trevor Foundation as part of an annual contribution.

    Check out the fabulous pics of the flights at the gallery above!

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