Maybe it's the lower air pressure. Maybe it's travelling at 500 mph. Maybe it's just a desire to do what few people have ever done. The complimentary wine probably plays a part. It's unclear, but sometimes people just like to have sex on aircraft. Usually in the toilet, which is not exactly the most romantic location on the planet (nor spacious on most airplanes), but is one of the few private places. Occasionally, however, the more bold will attempt it at their seats.
The Other Wiki has an article on this. It is worth noting that the airline company will probably sue you, since it's of questionable legality. There are, however, dedicated companies for this sort of thing (however, despite the name of the Trope, there is no actual "club" of this name). Realistically, given the layout of most modern-day airplanes, unless it is very late at night and everyone is asleep and no attendants are looking, it's difficult for two individuals to enter the same washroom at the same time without being noticed, much less exiting when the odds of someone waiting to go in is very high. And not to mention the flexibility it takes for even two people of normal body weight to even get into position to do the deed in an airplane bathroom.
For the stage beyond the Mile High Club, see Zero-G Spot. Compare Three-Way Sex in terms of sexual rubicons all men are supposed to aspire to.
There is also the 'Meter High Club' sometimes called 'Mile Post Club' for people who have had sex on trains; with sleeper services this is a lot more practical and legal, but also common place in the days of 'closed compartment' trains. However, these days sleeper trains are more and more of a rarity and coach style seating is replacing compartments, making the lavatory once more the last place one can... discuss Uganda...
May involve a Sexy Stewardess.
- In Vassalord, Rayflo and Charley do the vampiric equivalent of this — no sex, but lots of very suggestive blood-sucking and groping.
- Ellen DeGeneres joked that she doesn't get people who do this, since "there's hardly enough room to have sex by yourself in an airplane bathroom."
- Ron White joked that instead of the "Mile High Club", he's a member of the "Mile Ahead Club", which is where you do it behind a Cracker Barrel billboard.
- Demetri Martin once boasted about joining the Mile High Club, then added "Solo Aviators Division".
- In season eight of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy and Angel fly around having lots of sex after getting superpowers.
- Cherry Comics: Cherry has sex in a hot air balloon in one story.
- In Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Wonder Woman and Superman do it without a plane. Superman does her so hard, he thrusts her into the ground — causing several planet-wide earthquakes — and the act of climaxing causes the entire planet to shift from its orbit.
Wonder Woman: Mr. Kent, you could populate a planet!
- In Domino Lady's Jungle Adventure #3, Domino Lady and a defector from the Italian army finally consummate their relationship in the cockpit of a plane flying on autopilot.
- In Excalibur, Kitty Pryde and Pete Wisdom have sex for the first time in the Midnight Runner after blowing up the Dream Nails station.
- In Fairest #8, Jack has sex with three different stewardesses during a flight to Japan.
- Miracle Man has some planeless flying sex.
- Ramba has anonymous sex with a stranger in an aeroplane bathroom in "A Perfect Hit".
- Red One has the eponymous Russian female superspy grab a random nerdy guy for some relief during a long flight to America.
- A rather infamous example occurred during Chuck Austen's run on Uncanny X-Men, which saw Angel have sex with his girlfriend in mid-air, much to the mortification of everyone watching (including said girlfriend's mother).
- In the XXXenophile story "Hoisters", two passengers joining the Mile High Club has unexpected consequences for a flight.
- From Avatar: The Abridged Series: In Episode 11, Sokka and Yue are implied to have done this. And they would have been riding on Appa.
- Harry Potter and the Rule of Three includes the heroes joining it deliberately.
- In The Prayer Warriors, Draco and Ginny get on a plane and explicitly decide not to do it — but only because they're not married yet. (Draco should be married to Ebony, but that got retconned away.)
- In Weekend at Hisao's, Hisao and Shizune, flying back from Lilly's wedding, have sex in the airplane lavatory. Hisao complains that it's too cramped to enjoy himself, and they get caught by the stewardess.
- Sita Sings the Blues: When Sita becomes pregnant shortly after arriving in Ayodhya from Lanka, the narrators wonder if she and Rama joined the club while being transported on whatever magic mode of transportation they used.
- 1941 (1979): Ice Queen Donna Stratton turns into a raging nymphomaniac whenever she gets into the air. Knowing this, Handsome Lech Captain Loomis Birkhead is willing to risk death (he flunked flying school) to get her up in an aircraft. Just as he's finally mastered the plane (and her), they're interrupted by the guns of a pilot in a P-40 Warhawk who thinks they're flying a Japanese aircraft.
- Airplane II: The Sequel: A woman seduces a man by saying she doesn't want to die a virgin. Later, she tries the same trick again with another man, and a number of men are shown lined up waiting to have sex with her. At one point, she does the same thing with a donkey.
- In Beyond the Lights, after Kaz reveals to Noni that he doesn't like flying and has never flown on a plane, she blindfolds and puts headphones on him. She then brings him on her private jet and starts to have sex with him. Then he removes the blindfold and the headphones and rightfully begins to freak out.
- In Bridesmaids, Megan attempts to seduce a man whom she thinks is an undercover air marshal into doing this. He declines. Presumably because it turns out he really is an air marshal.
- In Emmanuelle, the eponymous character joins the club during her flight to Thailand because it's a long flight and she's too restless to sleep. In fact, she does it twice in the space of five minutes: once in the lavatory (the "traditional" way), and once actually in her seat (which turns on an onlooker, leading to the lavatory rendezvous).
- EuroTrip: Cooper and Jenny go into the airplane bathroom to do it at the end.
- James Bond is not a member of the club, despite flying all over the world and having done it damn near everywhere else, from a train to in the space shuttle. The closest he gets is in the opening sequence of Moonraker with the Sexy Stewardess, which is thwarted when she tries to kill him instead.
- In the obscure mid-1980's softcore movie Love Circles Around the World, a pilot has sex with a stewardess in the cockpit in the middle of a flight. The couple joggles various instruments, causing the plane to bounce around alarmingly, and the stewardess hits the intercom switch with her high heel at a crucial moment, causing the sounds of the proceedings to be broadcast into the passenger cabin.
- My Super Ex-Girlfriend: G-Girl has sex with Matt while flying him around the city. Matt's not sure what to call the "club" he's just joined, because it wasn't on a plane.
- Nothing in Common starts with Tom Hanks' character engaged in this with a flight attendant.
- The Pumaman and his Satellite Love Interest do it without a plane.
Crow: (to the film's Theme Tune) Now, get going, to boff in the air!
- Red Eye: When Rippner locks himself and Lisa in the bathroom, the flight attendants assume that they're having sex. In fact, he's giving her a beatdown, and the sexual subtext makes the scene all the more disturbing. Though he walks out of there perfectly composed and smug, she's terrified and nearly in tears.
- In Rich and Famous, Jacqueline Bisset picks up a guy and gets it on with him in a plane lavatory during the landing process.
- In Rush, James convinces a stewardess to do this. In this case, it's less about fanservice and more about showing James's increasing restlessness and frustration with his life, especially given his poor racing form and his very public divorce in which his wife left him for Richard Burton.
- A Simple Favor: As Sean tells it, Nicky was conceived in an airplane bathroom.
- In Snakes on a Plane, the stoner couple do this — and, of course, they die for their drug-abusing, sex-having ways. It's also played for some lovely Black Comedy: the flight attendants arrive after the couple has been bitten by the snakes, but she hears screams and bodies thumping against the wall and assumes the couple is still having sex. Listening to the woman's screams, the elder female flight attendant muses this guy is good. When the pair dies and the screams stop suddenly, she changes it to "Maybe not that good."
- In Up in the Air, frequent flyers Ryan and Alex compare Mile High Club notes.
- In Vegas Vacation, Clark Griswold convinces his wife to join him in the lavatory during their flight to Vegas. It all goes wrong, and Clark gets his forearm lodged in the toilet.
- In Island of the Sequined Love Nun, Tucker Case crashes a plane he's piloting while having sex and gets blacklisted from flying in the United States.
- The Martian: When it's discovered that two astronauts on an expedition to Mars have started a sexual relationship, another astronaut congratulates them on having joined the "Million Mile High Club".
- The Mile High Club is a short story by Rich Hall in which Wayman Barksdale, having been lured into an aeroplane bathroom for a tryst with a stewardess, finds out that there really is a Mile High Club — when they start pressuring him to pay a membership fee.
- In Night Probe, a major character and his mistress boff while in a small private plane. During this, the mistress wonders if the fact that the plane is circling around on auto-pilot with nobody at the controls means that they're in violation of some aviation reg.
- Presidential: The book ends with Emily and Connie going off to have sex on Air Force One while in Connie's bedroom on there.
- One of the subplots in Small World by David Lodge involves the ridiculously competitive Howard Ringbaum trying to convince his wife Thelma to have sex with him on an aeroplane so he can join the Mile High Club, apparently labouring under the misapprehension that the Mile High Club is an actual organisation.
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish: Arthur and Fenchurch, sans plane. But they almost get run over by one, and a passenger spots them in the act.
- In 1000 Ways To Die, a couple is having sex in the airplane lavatory when heavy turbulence tosses them in the confined space, cracking their skulls and killing them both.
- 24: A terrorist known only as "Mandy" and a soon to be deceased reporter.
- Alias had this as a perk for the SD-6 operative in charge of their airborne computer network. For security reasons, his jet was constantly kept in the air except for refueling stops; his compensation for staying on board 24-7 was a constant supply of hookers. Sydney poses as one to infiltrate the plane and disrupt the network, leading to the downfall of SD-6.
- Banacek: The title character and his Girl of the Week do it in "A Million the Hard Way" and reference the trope by name.
- In the Broad City episode "Jews on a Plane", turbulence is caused by the pilots giving each other blowjobs.
- In Brothers & Sisters, Robert and Kitty McAllister take advantage of an empty cabin on a private aircraft.
- In one episode of Cheers Carla claimed she did this with Nick on their honeymoon. Unfortunately, the plane experienced some rather heavy turbulence when they did, and it scared her to death, giving her a rather bad fear of flying from then on.
- In the Community episode "Remedial Chaos Theory", Pierce takes any flimsy excuse to brag about the time he had sex with Eartha Kitt in an airplane bathroom.
- CSI's Sara Sidle. She claimed the experience is overrated, as was her partner.
- CSI: NY: The victim in "Turbulence", who did it with an airline stewardess.
- Dead Man's Gun: In "Black Widow", Tanya and Sandford have sex in a hot air balloon on their "honeymoon".
- Frasier: Niles tells a story of how when he was younger, on a flight to Paris, a woman on the plane asked if he'd like to join the Mile-High Club. He didn't want to admit he was unfamiliar with the term, so he said he didn't fly often enough for that to be worthwhile.
- Discussed in an episode of The Friday Night Project sketch show. In an audience Q&A, a flight attendant asks special guests Girls Aloud if they've ever done it. They not only denied it, they found the idea strange, questioning why anyone would have sex inside a small bathroom on a plane.
- Friends did it more than once:
- Monica and Chandler plan to meet in the bathroom on their flight from London back to New York. Joey thwarts them by striking up a conversation with Chandler.
- On another flight from New York to Las Vegas, Ross and Rachel get into an Escalating War. As part of it, Ross tries to embarrass Rachel by loudly pretending to reject her attempt to seduce him. A little while later, another passenger tries to proposition her on the way to the bathroom; Rachel tells him to keep walking.
- The MTV show Fur TV had the Handsome Lech (well, a sock puppet, but all the ladies treat him as such) propose this to whomever happens to have a hundred million dollars.
A plane filled with woman catering to your every need, 30,000 feet above any legal restrictions. I call it "The Flying Fuck".
- On General Hospital, in the course of Luke and Laura's adventure-packed return, the two stole a private jet to make their way to Port Charles. Aroused by all the excitement, Luke promptly turned on the automatic pilot and seduced Laura in the back of the plane.
- In Hustle, Danny Blue managed to do it with two airline stewardesses. In "Gold Mine", he mentions a soap dispenser that almost put out one stewardess's eye.
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Frank, apparently unaware of this trope, wants to become the first ever member of the "Air Sex Society".
- Just Shoot Me!: Jack Gallo has apparently been a member since 1963.
- A Leverage episode entitled "The Mile High Job", despite referencing the trope averts this; of all the shenanigans on a plane, sex wasn't one of them.
- On Mad Men, Pete Campbell and his girlfriend Bonnie do this at the beginning of Season 7's "The Strategy", on the flight from California to New York.
- Married... with Children: In "The Mystery of Skull Island", while skydiving, Bud's date Kara has sex with Biff the skydiving instructor after Bud is pushed out of the plane.
- Discussed in an episode of NCIS: A murder is committed on an airplane and Tony is showing the corpse to Ducky via webcam while jokingly asking if this qualifies them for the club. Ducky then speculates on whether or not Tony's already a member.
- Discussed in an episode of Orphan Black: When Donnie and Alison have phone sex (Donnie needed to give a sperm sample while infiltrating the Bright Born clinic), they play out a fantasy of Donnie joining the Mile High Club with an Italian Sexy Stewardess. Their dialogue indicates that this is not the first time they've done this fantasy.
- The Outer Limits (1995): In "Decompression", Senator Wyndom Brody has sex with his mistress Catherine Walsh, a member of his campaign team, on his plane.
- Political Animals: Susan Berg has sex on the Hammond's private jet. Twice — once with another reporter, and again with Doug Hammond, who's already engaged. When she confesses during a drunken conversation with Doug that she's had sex on their plane before, he is relieved to find out that it was not with his father, which was his first assumption.
- On QI, Stephen Fry briefly discussed this trope, and showed it to be Older Than Radio, relating the following entry from an eighteenth-century wager book:
"Lord Cholmondely has given two guineas to Lord Derby, to receive 500 guineas whenever his lordship 'plays hospitals' with a woman in a balloon 1,000 yards from the Earth." For "plays hospitals with" I think you can insert your own— word."
- Queer as Folk (US) has an example which starts off lighthearted and ends very seriously: George and Emmett are going at it in the plane's bathroom when George has a heart attack and dies.
- It is reported in Red Dwarf that an alternative, wealthy version of Dave Lister would meet his end at the age of 98 in a plane crash... caused by him losing control of the plane while having sex with his fourteenth wife.
- Joked about in Spin City, where Mike and Caitlin simply talk in the airplane's bathroom. When they leave, the other passengers assume they have joined the Mile High Club, and the men proceed to give Mike high fives.
- Stargate Atlantis: In "Brain Storm", Rodney and Jennifer attend a Physics conference being hosted by an old rival/friend who ferries them to and from the location via a private jet. On the way home, Rodney is grumbling about his friend getting the credit for saving the day despite using Rodney's solution, so Jennifer suggests they take advantage of the fact they have the jet to themselves. She jokes that it's either that or spend the trip home listening to Rodney complaining. Rodney offers to give "being humble" a second try, since it's clearly a vote winner with the ladies, and the episode fades to black on them kissing.
- Harvey Specter and Dana Scott in Suits.
- In one cutaway on Titus, we see Ken and Juanita coming out of the airplane's men's and women's rooms, followed respectively by a flight attendant, and the pilot.
- From the song "Do Bears" by Rowan Atkinson and Kate Bush (originally performed at Comic Relief 1986 and later included on one of the Not the Nine O'Clock News albums):
Rowan: I met her in the first class lounge of a jumbo jet
It was love at first sight, Romeo and Juliet
Kate: He looked pretty rich and I was down on m' luck
So I charged him a fortune for a flying fu...
Rowan: ...for crying out loud!
- Edguy's hilarious "Lavatory Love Machine."
- Nickelback's song "Rock Star".
- "International Lover", the final track on Prince's 1999 album.
- "Overseas" by Thundercat ends with Thundercat suggesting this to whoever he's talking to, followed by the captain of the flight he's on noticing and recognising him.
- Alter Ego (1986) has this crop up late in life, sometimes, where your significant other has a pilot's license and private plane.
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare references the trope; it's the achievement for beating the Bonus Level on the highest difficulty, which takes place on an airplane. (But you can't have sex with anyone.)
- The tutorial level in Huniepop 2 takes place within an airplane's bathroom, where the Player Character makes out with Lola, with Kyu watching.
- Just Cause 2 has a literal Mile High Club: an aircraft carrier supported by two blimps with dancing girls and evil bartenders.
- A weird example in Metal Gear Solid 4 has Naomi and Otacon having sex, in a stationary helicopter, inside a flying plane. That probably counts for membership.
- The main character of the eroge Monmusu Quest can meet his demise from being raped while flying over the ocean. In the Game Over scene, the narrator asks him if it was worth joining the "exclusive club".
- In one comic of Concession Angie and Rick tried to have sex in an airplane bathroom, but found it a bit too cramped.
- Girls with Slingshots plays with this: Jamie and Erin have sex in the toilet at the airport and wonder if that means they're in the club now. Another user says "it doesn't count".
- Crops up a couple of times in Ménage à 3:
- In a guest strip (August 2 2010, between #333 and #334, NSFW), Dillon claims to have joined it— in the cockpit.
- Senna and Gary have sex on a private jet en route to Paris (Strip #780, August 20th 2013, NSFW funnily enough). Gary asks if they've joined the club; the answer would be "yes". Although they're eventually interrupted, penetration had occurred, and although the aircraft was on its landing approach by then, they must have been at least a mile high when they started.
- Quantum Vibe: While riding a Space Elevator, Bobinardi asks a female subordinate if she's considered joining the "thousand mile high club".
- In Queen of Wands, Kestrel, Felix and Shannon are getting on a plane, and Felix jokes about him and Shannon planning to join the Mile High Club. Kestrel notes that they live in Denver, "the Mile-High City" (because it's up against the Rocky Mountains and situated a mile above sea level), so they're already in the club. In The Rant, the author notes that she heard this joke a lot back when she lived in Denver herself.
- In an episode of American Dad!, Stan and Francine are having sex in a bunch of different places. There's a shot of a locked bathroom door when the camera zooms out to reveal the line of people, then zooms out to show the airplane, then zooms out to show Stan looking at the plane from his bedroom.
- In the episode of Family Guy where Lois becomes a flight attendant, Peter tries to convince her to join the Mile High Club. She refuses, but they get stuck in the cramped bathroom together, and as they struggle to get out:
Peter: Well, at least one of us is in the Mile High Club!
- In "The Duh-Vinci Code", while underground in Rome, Fry invites Leela to the Mile-Deep Club.
- In "A Farewell to Arms", during the apocalypse, Leela asks Fry if he wants to join the Balcony Club.
Zoidberg: The Balcony Club? I have an individual membership!
- In a Thanksgiving Episode of King of the Hill, the Hill family go to the airport to travel for Thanksgiving. Luanne tells Hank a man asked if she wanted to join the Mile High Club and asks him if he could help her get an application. Hank says he thinks applications would be on the plane. Neither one of them figures out that it's a Sexual Euphemism.
- In a Halloween episode of the The Simpsons, Kang and Kodos select Marge for their "cross-breeding program".
"To put you at ease, we have recreated the most common spawning locations of your species. You may choose either: the back seat of a Camaro, an airplane bathroom, a friend's wedding, or the alley behind a porno theater."
- In Episode 3 of The Boys: Diabolical, the Great Wide Wonder is revealed to have done a plane-less variant of this to two female students from Columbia University, taking them way up high for a "flying fuck". Unfortunately, high altitudes lead to extremely cold temperatures, resulting in the women freezing to death and possibly suffocating. Even worse, Wonder didn't care about how the cold would affect them as it was "part of the fun" for him, and apparently never bothered to retrieve their bodies from orbit.
Billy Butcher: Thing is, it's a bit fucking cold way up there. And by the time they twigged that he didn't give a shit, that it was part of the fun for him... it was too late. As far as we know, they're still up there in orbit.
- There is a Fun T-Shirt that said "Million Mile High Club" and had a picture of astronauts having sex. It should be pointed out that the "highest" any astronaut has flown is roughly 300,000 miles, the distance to the Moon, and no woman has left Low Earth Orbit (700 miles), but "Three-Hundred-Thousand Mile High Club" just doesn't have the same ring to it.