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Virgin Atlantic shares 'mile-high club video,' Facebook gasps

Commentary: A viral video showing a couple emerging from an airplane restroom is shared by the airline in question. Is it all it seems?

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


virginviral

What could be at the heart of this?

Virgin Atlantic/Facebook screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Many of the reviews were excitable.

"Best airline ever; the fact that you shared this is just fabulous!!!" said Sáoirse C. Dagg.

"The fact that virgin shared it cracks me up," beamed Melissa Raw White Hill.

They had just enjoyed a video shared on Friday by Virgin Atlantic on its Facebook page. It showed a woman emerging from an airplane restroom, shortly followed by a man.

The woman was somewhat grim-faced. The man emitted a satisfied smile. 

The action had apparently been filmed by a fellow passenger. 

And Virgin captioned it with: "We're pretty sure that's our plane! The mood lighting certainly put a smile on their faces." To this was added the witty hashtag #smilehighclub. 

Mile High Members Get Caught In The Act

Mile high club members thought they'd hid it so well... ✈️😂😂

Posted by LADbible on Thursday, July 6, 2017

The video had first been posted to Facebook by media company LADbible, with the caption: "Mile high club members thought they'd hid it so well." It was originally shot by Florida resident David Eve, who says on Facebook that he works for an engineering company. It has enjoyed more than 7.5 million views. 

Not everyone, though, was entertained. 

"How creepy of this guy to video the scene, send it to the airline, who then post it as a 'badge of honor.' On so many levels, this is NOT what passengers need to see, especially with overpriced limited seat room," offered Den Osborne.

Eve, who said on Facebook that he shot the video on a London-Miami flight on July 4, was a little concerned himself on Saturday.

I asked him why he'd shot the video. "I suppose it was on a whim. I recognized the comedy value for my friends and family on Facebook, but never properly considered that it would go viral. Who does?" he told me. Oh, I think one or two people might, sir.

He said a few friends had asked him to make it public, so that they could share it online. Some suggested he post to LADbible. Then it went viral.

"Now that it has, I do have a nagging worry about the couple in the video," he told me. "I'm sure they'll see the funny side of it, but judging by some of the comments I have seen there's potential that people that matter to them might not take the same view."

And what of the airline? It might be seen to be outing passengers who may -- or may not -- have been in flagrante in one of its restrooms.

I asked Virgin whether it felt it had participated in compromising its passengers', well, privacy. 

"We were made aware of the video when it was widely circulated on the internet, and we shared the post in the same light-hearted vein that it had been reported on," a Virgin spokeswoman told me. "We take the protection of our customer data incredibly seriously, and would never share personal data about our passengers."

Some will surely fear that this might be one big setup. They'll worry that these two loo lovebirds were actors, there to further some brand cause.

The video has spread far and wide. The majority of Facebook commenters seem amused. 

Eve told me he'd love to make contact with the couple, to see if they're OK. 

"I wouldn't want them to suffer in any way and hope that they actually benefit in the publicity. After all, they weren't doing anything wrong as far as I'm concerned," he said.

Will the publicity bring this couple (even more) out into the open? Or has this much publicity already been quite enough?