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Flying Postman

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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 and World in the Sky 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. Some courier companies deliver letters or packages by mail.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In ARIA, Woody is an airbike courier. This series also has the land-based, or should we say canal-based Mr Mailman as well.
  • The namesake of Kiki's Delivery Service is a variant, where Kiki is a witch who makes deliveries via Flying Broomstick.
  • Last Exile Claus and Lavie are vanship pilots and work as couriers.
  • The Love Live! Sunshine!! fantasy spin-off Yohane the Parhelion -SUNSHINE in the MIRROR- portrays You Watanabe as an air messenger who glides across the land for deliveries after being shot out of a canon.
  • In One Piece, newspapers are delivered by trained seagulls all over the world, due to the huge amount of oceans and islands. 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.
  • Pokémon: The Series has Delibird's Delivery Service and Pelipper's Post Office. Other than being from two different regions, think of Delibird's Delivery Service as more akin to UPS while Pelipper's is your standard postal service. Another episode had a "Carrier Pidgey Express" parcel delivery service.
  • In Chapter 16 of Rockman-san, Gyro Man alongside other flying robots are shown to have started an aerial delivery service whose main selling point is delivering packages right to their clients windows, although he's run into several problems such as getting mistaken for a burgler, tricked into delivering illegal goods, flying over a military base by accident (getting shot down in the process) and being chased by foreign aerial defense after flying over their regions without permission before he set a delivery boundary.
  • One of the Miyazaki-directed episodes of Sherlock Hound centered around Moriarty trying to sabotage a fledgling cross-Channel air post service.

    Comic Books 
  • In one Donald Duck comic by Carl Barks, Donald works as a postman in a rather extreme environment, with extremely muddy roads, people living on mountainsides, and one house located on the underside of a cliff. He eventually buys a mini-helicopter to lighten the load, but things go wrong when an eagle attacks him to get at a package of meat he's transporting.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Shoe (a world populated by semi-anthropomorphic birds), Loon is a mail and general delivery flier.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal:
    • The Air Mail has largely been a monopoly of Klatch and its (now) civilian-orientated force of magic carpets — which now offer an unparalleled passenger and airmail service linking the major cities of the entire Disc. It has not been lost on Lord Vetinari that the Klatchians made a kind offer to ferry the diplomatic bags of Embassies to and from their home capitals — for a modest fee and a promise the diplomatic secrets will not be intercepted or tampered with while in transit.
    • Vetinari's riposte was to offer the growing Pegasus Service as Ankh-Morpork's airmail equivalent. This is working. However, the Ankh-Morpork Post Office absolutely insists that if the Pegasus Service pilots, all Air Witches, are to be used to deliver mail, then they must also pass the ordeal known as The Postman's Walk. Hilarity ensues.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom is 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. Many of these predate her appearances in the series that explicitly show her to be a mailmare.
  • Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space. Our heroes have their luggage delivered to Antarctica by rocket mail, but a targeting error means it wipes out half of Melbourne instead.
    "I knew I shouldn't have packed that plutonium-powered toothbrush!"

    Film — Animation 
  • In The 3 Little Pigs: The Movie, the postman who brings Feeno and Felix their mail is a stork.
  • Balto III: Wings of Change is centered around a race between a dogsled teak led by Balto's son Kodi and a biplane to determine which one would be the superior solution for delivering mail (taking place when the use of airplanes to deliver mail was just beginning).
  • Saludos Amigos: Pedro is about a small anthropomorphic airplane from an airport near Santiago, Chile, engaging in his first flight to retrieve air mail from Mendoza, with disastrous consequences. He manages to safely return to the airfield with the mail, which happens to be a single postcard.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Moonrise Kingdom: Because the island setting of has no roads, mail has to be flown in by plane.

  • In Anne Mccaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern books, fire-lizards deliver messages, although unless the distance is very short, they teleport rather than 'flying straight'. When not fighting thread, dragonriders deliver messages, cargo, and/or passengers as necessary.
  • 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.
  • In the Harry Potter series, owls are used to deliver mail. The Ministry of Magic uses enchanted paper airplanes for internal memos (although MACUSA uses origami mice instead).
  • Rocket Ship Galileo by Robert A. Heinlein. The Retro Rocket the protagonists modify for a Trip to the Moon Plot was previously used for carrying international mail.
  • The Secret of the Ninth Planet, by Donald Allen Wollheim. While on an expedition in the Andes mountains, the protagonists receive a special delivery by missile post. The missile, radio-guided from a Moon base, flies overhead and detaches its message-carrying nosecone which then floats down to them by parachute.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, maesters use ravens to deliver messages back and forth. In particular, the Wall will send a white raven south to signify the beginning of winter - this occurs at the end of A Dance with Dragons.
  • A bird postman (postbird?) is the second animal (Mudge is the first) Jon-Tom meets, back at the beginning of the Spellsinger series.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga it's mentioned that in rural areas of Barrayar, mail is distributed by lightflyer (small plane) pilots who deliver the post to regional drop locations. They replaced horsemen who used to deliver the mail to the various individual's actual homes (Though Count Piotyr was deliberately slowing down the transition so that all his couriers - many of whom were former cavalry officers who served under him through multiple wars - would qualify to retire with full pensions before being laid off).
  • A short story by Rudyard Kipling, "With the Night Mail", chronicles the adventures of a transatlantic mail airship.

    Live-Action TV 

    Myth & Religion 
  • Hermes, the Greek messenger god, has winged shoes and a winged helmet.

  • There is no GATE; we did not fight there: For the marching cohorts of the armies of Rhavenfell (and possibly the rest of the Empire), messages are carried via ravens. Couriers for actual mail in the Empire proper can be handled by anyone, but the use of Harpies, who can fly, is slowly growing more popular in Rhavenfell due to their alliance with the humans.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: As psychic activity such as telepathy is forbidden in Commorragh and regular mail is too easily intercepted, the most reliable form of Dark Eldar communication is the Scourges; denizens artificially modified into Winged Humanoids. Their importance to Dark Eldar society gives them the closest thing to Diplomatic Immunity one has in the Wretched Hive which is Commorragh, provided they can survive the operation and avoid the harrowing flight from the laboratories where they're augmented to the spires where the Scourges roost.

  • BIONICLE: Venom Flyers were used to deliver messages between the Brotherhood of Makuta and the Dark Hunters.

    Video Games 
  • Animal Crossing: Pete the pelican delivers the mail from the Post Office, which is also run by pelicans. In Wild World, he can be seen and even shot down mid-flight. While none of the pelicans appears in New Horizons, postcards can instead be air-mailed to other players through the airport, run by dodos.
  • Legend of Mana: A pelican is responsible for mail delivery, and figures into several sidequests.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Paper Mario: The postal service is run by Paratroopas, the franchise's most common Airborne Mooks. You can get one of them as your partner in the first game.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon has Pelipper (a pelican Pokemon) delivering the mail in each game.
  • Solatorobo: Some sidequests make you the mailman (with a unique flyer), though it plays out more like a racecourse.
  • In Temtem, the post office in Uhuru uses the bird-like Paharo line to make most of their deliveries.


    Western Animation 
  • The Backyardigans: One episode crosses this trope with Dragon Rider by casting the protagonists as dragon-riding mail carriers.
  • Middlemost Post: Parker is a postman, and being a cloud, they can of course float.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • An unnamed mail pegasus has a brief appearance in "Wonderbolts Academy".
    • Similarly, Memetic Bystander Derpy Hooves (a pegasus) has been shown to be a postal worker in several episodes.
    • "The Fault in Our Cutie Marks" introduces Gabby, a griffon who works for the postal service flying mail between Equestria and Griffonstone.
  • Ninjago: The Postman has a pedal-powered flying bicycle he used to deliver messages to the ninja while their base was a flying pirate ship. He doesn't seem to use it in any other situation.
  • Postman Pat: PAT 3 is the helicopter used by Pat Clifton while working at the Special Delivery Service in Pencaster. As seen in the picture at the top of the page, there’s even a seat for Jess the black-and-white cat!
  • The Rugrats reboot has Daxton with the delivery service Duffy who zips about from place-to-place using a propeller to deliver packages, seemingly at speeds matching plot. Presumably other Duffy deliverers travel the same way, but we only ever see Daxton.

    Real Life 
  • Carrier pigeons can be seen as a downplayed example.
  • may soon be using cargo-carrying unmanned aerial vehicles to drop off packages for its customers.
  • One of the first (some would say the first) civilian uses of airplanes was carrying mail from city to city. This was at its peak in the 1920s and 1930s; it declined due to 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.
  • Rocket mail has unfortunately been more effective as a publicity stunt than an economical means of mail delivery.