If you've got a world populated by multiple different sapient species, and that world has a postal service, chances are the mail delivery will be handled by a species capable of flight. If the postmen themselves aren't flight-capable but use mounts that are, that's this trope, too.
This trope practically justifies
itself; after all, if you need to task someone with mail delivery, why not pick someone who can fly over all the ground hazards and easily land at each mailbox?
Particularly common in Ocean Punk
settings, since the lack of land magnifies the advantages of flight.
Can be a form of Mundane Utility
. Compare an Instant Messenger Pigeon
, which is not officially a sapient species but often gets the message there as efficiently as if it was. If you're comparing this trope to Flying Dutchman
, you're probably reading too quickly.
Anime and Manga
- The namesake of Kiki's Delivery Service is a variant, where a witch makes deliveries via Flying Broomstick.
- The Pokémon anime has Delibird's Delivery Service and Peliper's Post Office. Other than being from two different regions, think of Delibird's Delivery Service more akin to UPS while Peliper's is your standard postal service.
- In One Piece, newspapers are delivered by trained seagulls all over the world, due to the huge amount of oceans and island. Furthermore, we later see that the Revolutionary Army seems to use large crows to deliver messages, and the World Government has been seen sending messenger bats to people.
- In Aqua / ARIA, Woody is an airbike courier. This series also has the land-based, or should we say canal-based Mr Mailman as well.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom is somehow overwhelmingly in agreement that the fan-favorite background pegasus Derpy Hooves is Ponyville's mailmare. If we tried to list every fanfic portraying her in this role, we'd be here all day.
- In the Harry Potter series, owls are used to deliver mail.
- In Cold Copper Tears of the Garrett, P.I. series, a description of the multi-species crowd in a TunFaire neighborhood includes a mention of a winged pixie messenger.
- A bird postman (postbird?) is the second animal (Mudge is the first) Jon-Tom meets, back at the beginning of the Spellsinger series.
- Hermes, the Greek messenger god, has winged shoes and a winged helmet.
- In Shoe (a world populated by semi-anthropomorphic birds), Loon is a mail and general delivery flier.
- BIONICLE: Venom Flyers were used to deliver messages between the Brotherhood of Makuta and the Dark Hunters.
- Carrier pigeons can be seen as a downplayed example.
- Amazon.com may soon be using cargo-carrying unmanned aerial vehicles to drop off packages for its customers.
- This is, of course, the basic idea behind Air Mail, using airplanes to carry mail over long distances. Actually putting the act into practice proved much harder than expected, resulting in a number of scandals including air transport companies scamming the government due to poor oversight, and a large number of military airmen dying in plane crashes in poor winter weather when the US Army tried to take over all air mail responsibilities while lacking in sufficient experience in night time and winter operations, as well as poorly equipped aircraft and insufficient manning, due to Great Depression-related budget cuts.