The Pulse: Join The Mile High Club Legally With This Traverse City Small Business
Scott Conaway provides a unique service to customers; the opportunity to become a member of one of the oldest clubs around.
A few days ago in a mindless, television watching haze I found myself sucked into episodes of Family Feud. On the episode I was watching there were two teams of men competing against each other. Steve Harvey called two contestants up to the podium and asked,
“Where’s a place you’ve never made love but still hold out hope that you will someday?”
One of the contestants tapped his button without hesitation and answered, “airplane.” It was the No. 1 answer.
What is it about making love on an airplane that’s so alluring? Maybe it’s the thrill, maybe the moment just feels right (really?), but if you’re like most it’s about being able to say that you did. Scott Conaway gives people an opportunity to join the mile high club with his business Mile High TC.
I’m confident that most people know what the mile high club is, but to those who don’t; it’s a nonexistent “club” that you become a member of if you have had sex on a flight that is at least a mile up in the air. According to milehighclub.com the mile high club was invented in 1914 by a pilot named Lawrence Sperry who invented autopilot, naturally. So, needless to say airborne lovemaking is something that has been going on for a while now.
I met Scott and his plane, Cherokee Six on a hot Tuesday afternoon. Scott is pleasant to talk to and we form a rapport pretty quick. He insisted that we go up on in the plane and who am I to turn down an opportunity to get an aerial view of the beautiful Grand Traverse Bay?
“I was looking back to see when my first flight was, and it was August 2 of 2012,” Scott said.
Seven years in business is a success in this day and age, considering half of small businesses fail by year five. Where does an idea for a business like this come from? Scott said that he had initially started out doing air tours of the bay.
“Ever since I got my pilot’s license, first time my wife got in the airplane I said, ‘Let’s join the mile high club!’ and she said, ‘Shut up and fly the plane you idiot.’”
Once Scott and I level off in the air I am stunned by the beauty of the bay from way up high. The waters are beautiful and the beaches and wineries are lovely to look at. Who wouldn’t be inspired by views like these?
Scott continued to toy with the idea of starting the business. He worked in IT creating websites and after making so many, got offered a free website domain name of his choosing. He picked MileHighTC.com.
“I did a goofy, one-page website and that website sat in website land for six months. It wasn’t on Google, I never registered it, I wasn’t promoting it.”
Somehow radio personalities Ron Jolly and Christal Frost mentioned Scott’s Mile High Club business on the radio, and when Scott got into work that day his co-workers were happy to let him know that the AM show revolved around Scott’s unique business venture.
“When I got into the office that morning, one of my co-workers said, ‘They talked about you on the radio for almost 15 minutes! For the mile high club!’ And I said, ‘Shut up, they did not.’ Well, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and I had around 100 phone calls.”
To this day Scott doesn’t know how the radio caught wind of his website, but this rush of attention to the business may have just been the push Scott needed to get the business off the ground. He started receiving droves of calls from interested, potential customers. Scott consulted his wife to figure out next steps.
“I said to my wife, “Should I really do this? Should I just delete the website and never answer the phone again and make it go away?”
Scott’s wife gave him a unique answer to his question, or rather, a unique question to his question.
Scott knew that he didn’t want the business to be tasteless or seedy, so he confidently proceeded with starting the business and taking customers up on a “romantic flight.” Scott doesn’t know what his customers are up to once they take their seatbelts off and head the back of the plane. Well, he doesn’t pay attention. The most recent couple he had went on a flight for Fourth of July. When I asked if the couple fooled around Scott said, “I cannot confirm or deny. I’m just a pilot,” with a sparkle of mischief in his eye.
Mile High TC is up to code in every aspect. Scott is authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to give air tours which is what the flights are considered, the romance is just a unique perk. Scott is required to drug test, have his plane inspected and he keeps his flight instructor certificate current.
“I don’t wanna be just a good pilot, I wanna be a couple steps above.”
Scott also makes a point to give back to the community, and donates Mile High TC certificates to local fundraisers like Bras For a Cause.
Owning Mile High TC has given Scott some fun experiences and memories from customers. He has taken up a couple in their 70’s, and also a couple where the woman was expecting. Like any flight, customers have to keep their seat belts on for takeoff and landing, but once they’re in the air they’re free to roam. The bed in the back of the plane is small, but it works for its intended purpose. As far as privacy goes, Scott draws a red curtain to separate himself from the customers.
The most common customer for the flights are women between the ages of 30 and 40, usually for a birthday surprise or an anniversary. Scott has noticed that a surprise initiation into the Mile High Club is always well received by a man being surprised but not always the reverse.
“I warn guys if they’re surprising the girl that does not always go over well. The reverse? We have never had an issue. Ever. I’m under the impression that women are slightly more particular of who’s around them when they’re being intimate.”
Running a fun, sexy business like Mile High TC would be a dream job for a bachelor, but Scott is a family man. Although his wife is not affiliated with the business, Scott has always considered her when working on the business.
“I honestly can’t tell you if my wife supports the business, but what I can tell you is that my wife supports me 100%.”
Whether you’re looking for a unique date, anniversary or birthday idea or if you just want to be able to say that you did – make sure to join the mile high club through Mile High TC.