Updated: here’s a photo of Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group, dressed as a stewardess on an AirAsia X flight after losing a bet with AirAsia’s owner Tony Fernandes. Both gentlemen own a Formula One team and put up a wager over whose team would finish highest in the 2010 racing Championships. The two agreed that whoever lost the bet would have to dress up as an air hostess, serving drinks and diner to the guests on the other owner’s airline. And so he did!
Passengers aboard a flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur next month will get the rare opportunity to be served by a billionaire dressed as a flight attendant as Sir Richard Branson makes good on a bet gone wrong by joining a cabin crew and responding to passengers’ beck and call.
It’s been more than two years since Branson, czar of the Virgin Group, lost a costly bet with AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes over a Formula 1 race.
In 2010, the pair of big talkers and high rollers “in terms of face and pride, at the very least” wagered that their respective teams, Lotus Racing and Virgin Racing, would finish ahead of the other in final rankings.
The bet? The loser would have to serve as a member of the female cabin crew on the opponent’s airline.
Unfortunately for Branson, whose race team fell two points behind Lotus Racing, that means he’ll be slipping into a pair of heels, shaving his legs, applying a layer of lipstick and strutting down the cabin aisles asking AirAsia passengers if they want coffee or tea.
Sir Richard added: “I’ve done some outrageous things in my time but this will be up there with the best of them. Tony won our bet fair and square and I’m a man of my word – so I will dress up and make a splash in the name of Starlight, a fantastic charity. I’ve just got to practice walking in high heels first.”
Proceeds from each seat booked as well as a portion of all ancillary sales from the flight will be given to the Starlight Children’s Foundation in Australia.
The flight will take place May 12, between Perth and Kuala Lumpur. For details and to book tickets, visit http://www.airasia.com/my/en/coffee-tea-or-me.page.