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Mile High (adventures at cruising altitude)

19th August 2015

Mile High by Rebecca Chance, novel set in the air, between London and Los Angeles.

IMG_1569Join the passengers and crew aboard in the maiden flight of Pure Air’s LuxeLiner, Flight 111 from London to Los Angeles. It’s Mile High adventures at cruising altitude with no holds barred when it comes to passenger satisfaction and passenger shenanigans.

This is life at the nose end, First Class Luxury for the elite passengers who have been hand picked by Pure Air’s PR lady, Vanessa. Catalina (first name only) is a Latina pop princess who will be singing at the Oscars. And randy chef Danny Zasio is not only focussed on his corpulent lobsters but is always on the lookout for his next conquest. Add in an Oscar nominated actress, a variety of cabin crew and the head of Pure Air, Richard, er sorry, Lord Tony, and there is a good mix of colourful characters to offer entertainment at 37,000 feet. It is, in fact, like a proverbial flying box full of frogs.

At the heart of the plot is Catalina, who is being pursued by a stalker. “Cat is mine” is luridly scrawled at various venues culminating in the final written and graphic assault in her sleeping and living pod aboard the aircraft. The perpetrator is thus confirmed on board the jet. There are two air marshals on board, who grow increasingly wary of the various dynamics that seem to be escalating. Who is the perpetrator?

Learn about the – oftentimes – outrageous life on board, the colour of the tights required, the sleeping arrangements of the crew on long haul, the whiffy air that circulates in the cabin during the flight, and gain an insight into the pecking order amongst airline crew … basically, as a flight attendant you are more than likely to be working your way from the lowly low cost airlines up to first class, ideally on a Boeing 777.

Throw in a bit of humour to the heady plot, combine with some potent pills and you have an inflammatory mix of personalities and situations.

The author has clearly played around with inspiration based on actual airline companies and people – so it is fairly easy to spot the person on whom Lord Tony is based, and go on, guess on whom the tour company Bayes and Cocker is based…

Read more about the inspiration behind the book here and for more books set in the skies check out our Pinterest Board. And Virgin Atlantic share the strangest upgrade requests they have ever had!

Tina for the TripFiction Team

Rebecca has kindly agreed to answer some of our curiosity about flying up front…

TF: Clearly some of what you write about in the novel is based on fact (with or without added fantasy, who knows?). How did you first find out about shenanigans on board? How did you gain access to the secret world of flying up front???

RC: I have a LOT of gay flight attendant friends, now at pretty high levels – First Class cabins on major airlines – so I had more gossip from them than I could even use!

TF: I am guessing that the “action” is probably confined to First and Business? Do people down the back behave themselves more?

RC: Oh no, according to all my friends in cabin crew, economy is just as bad! I set MILE HIGH on a luxury airliner with only First and Business Class but there’s plenty of high jinks in economy too, I hear…

TF: Is the variety of behaviour you describe in the book confined to certain airlines or does it happen across the board, as far as you know?

RC: Absolutely across the board. Certainly there are routes which are more dodgy – the hen or stag destinations to Eastern Europe, the Costa del Sol or Ibiza with drunken people getting on the plane, are well known for being problematic, as are Las Vegas flights. In MILE HIGH I canvassed cabin crew and travellers and I have a stewardess who says the Knock to Stansted route, on an airline based on Ryanair, was more terrible for absolutely slaughtered travellers – including nuns and priests, very Father Ted! – than any other. I used that in the book.

TF: Air Marshalls feature in the book. What did your research show up?

RC: They have to have the best shooting skills of pretty much anyone in the armed services, because obviously you have to be so careful firing on board because you don’t want to hit the hydraulics, etc, and crash the aircraft!

TF: Your airline(s) of choice and why?

RC: Anything that flies out of City Airport in London – it’s so small and sophisticated. Long-haul, Emirates is by far the most luxurious I’ve ever flown. But I love Virgin for London to New York – the mauve lighting is so calming.

TF: And when you fly, are you a kindle or book reader and what kind of books are currently on your TBR pile?

RC: I always have both. I need a lot of books around me! I just got a proof of the new Jack Reacher, Make Me, and a thriller featuring an ex-magician called Jessica Blackwood, Angel Killer, who thinks outside the box to solve crazily-staged murders. Just started it and am really enjoying it so far. I also have the Elizabeth Gilbert The Signature of All Things saved up – I hear it’s fantastic.

Thanks to Rebecca for answering our questions. You can find her on TwitterFacebook and via her website.

Come and say hi via social media: TwitterFacebook and Pinterest and when we have some interesting photos we can sometimes be found over on Instagram too.


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