Photos and Trip Report From
the 2003 Naked-Air Flight
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|Moons Over Miami or Naked Skies to Mexico...
2003 Naked-Air Flight Report
It wasn't the Wright Brothers but at least it was newsworthy.
Ninety intrepid adventurers, passengers and crew enjoyed the first nude flight on a commercial airliner May 3 from Miami to Cancun, Mexico. A chartered Boeing 737 carried the first ever NAKED AIR flight sponsored by Castaways Travel of Houston, Texas. The professionally dressed crew remained clothed throughout the flight, adhering to standard operating rules of the Federal Aviation Association (FAA). Only the passengers disrobed after "take off" and remained nude for level flight until the captain called for clothes and landing procedures upon approaching the Cancun International Airport. Length of the NAKED AIR flight from Miami to Cancun was one hour fifteen minutes. Most passengers were on their way to the El Dorado and Hidden Beach Resorts for NUDE WEEK, also sponsored by Castaways Travel from May 3-10.
Planning for NAKED AIR began years ago when Donna Daniels and Jim Bailey, owners of Castaways Travel in Houston, first conceived the notion while talking and joking about the concept with other Castaways' clients. For a number of years, Daniels and Bailey pursued commercial and charter airlines world-wide soliciting bidders. Then, in July of 2002, both flew on a charter flight from Houston to Montego Bay on an aircraft chartered as a substitute for a scheduled airline's equipment.
During the charter flight, the cabin crew told the passengers they were flying on a Boeing jet nicknamed "Air Force 3" which was used as the official airliner for the Bush/Cheney political campaign during the year 2000. The cabin crew on the flight showed Daniels and Bailey photos of the campaign's travel activities and described other clients of the charter company. In addition to political parties, the charter company's customer list includes the U.S. Military, professional basketball and baseball teams, Fortune 500 companies, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, other celebrities and special interest groups. At the end of the flight, Daniels asked for a business card from the airplane captain, who scribbled the company president's name on the back of the card.
Later, back in their office, Daniels talked by phone to the airline's president about the possibility of a nude flight. The president first checked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for clearance and afterward, presented the idea to the airline's Board of Directors which approved the flight, and, as they say, "the rest is history."
The NAKED AIR flight was actually conceived to help publicize Mexico's entry into the nude recreation industry via NUDE WEEK at the El Dorado. But, due to intense media interest, the flight seemed to take on an identity of itself after the Miami Herald ran a front page story January 16, 2003 which was picked up by news wire services and broadcast worldwide during the latter half of January.
Since about 1998, Bailey had been pursuing the owners of the El Dorado Resort & Spa near Cancun, Mexico about a resort buy out for 7 nights for a Castaways Travel NUDE WEEK. Being somewhat reluctant to approve such an event, the resort owners, both Mexican citizens, studied the proposal and maintained a dialogue with Bailey. Then, in 2002, a property management company, Karisma Hotels of Miami, Florida, was hired by the resort owners to market and operate the property as well as its sister property, the El Dorado ROYALE Resort, both located south of Cancun.
During July, 2002, Bailey contacted Karisma Hotels with a proposal for a week's buy out of the resort for a Nude Week. Two appointments were scheduled for August 16, 2002, in Miami; one with Karisma Hotels and the other with the charter airline.
After five years of planning, within a matter of hours, Bailey and Daniels struck both deals with a handshake in back-to-back meetings that launched the historic events called NAKED AIR and NUDE WEEK in Mexico.
Coincidentally, the day after deals were struck, Bailey and Daniels departed Miami August 17 to host Castaways' first NUDE WEEK in Curacao with 140 guests at Sunset Waters Beach Resort, the first NUDE WEEK in the history of the island. The next NUDE WEEKS in Curacao are set for July 19, September 6 and December 6, 2003.
Events leading up to NAKED AIR flight # 600 from Miami to Cancun began at 1045 Saturday morning, May 3, at the Miami Airport International Hotel inside the terminal. To avoid media descending on Naked Air passengers at the check in counter, Castaways Travel sponsored a press room in the hotel and invited numerous members of the media who requested more information about the nude flight and access to Daniels, Bailey and passengers for interviews. Twenty Castaways Naked Air passengers volunteered to speak to the press.. In addition, executives of Karisma Hotels, Carolyn Hawkins of AANR (American Association for Nude Recreation) and Shirley Mason from the BEACHES Foundation (Haulover Beach in Miami) were invited to speak with media representatives about the nude industry in general. Media included ABC, Fox News, CNN, CBS radio, German television, Telemundo, the Miami Herald, United Press and other representatives.
Other media contacts included Good Morning America, the Today Show and several international publications and media. Daniels and Bailey have also participated in over 200 interviews by phone and on television with outlets from the U.S., Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Japan and Australia. In addition, Daniels and Bailey appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX TV as well as in television spots on local TV in several markets across the USA including a 4 minute segment in Phoenix filmed at Shangri La Ranch in New River, AZ.
Just prior to the Miami press conference, passengers who volunteered to speak with the media plus Daniels and Bailey gathered at the airline's ticket counter to check in baggage and receive boarding passes. A different airline counter was used instead of the charter company's gate to avoid an unwanted media attention. So, while the press conference was being held, the remainder of the Naked Air passengers checked their bags and proceeded to the international terminal for boarding.
Luckily, no one came close to exceeding the excess baggage limits.....what a way to pack for a Nude vacation. In fact, many passengers just used carry on bags. Cost for the flight was $499/person including all taxes.
After the press conference, ticketed passengers cleared security and headed to the international terminal to board the flight. The aircraft arrived at the gate at 1230 PM and Miami Herald photographer plus Carolyn Hawkins from AANR and two Karisma Hotel executives boarded the plane for photos with Daniels and Bailey.
Once the media departed, remaining passengers boarded and the flight departed the gate on time at 1 PM, with everyone fully clothed. Complimentary red towels complete with white embroidery for NAKED AIR and CASTAWAYS TRAVEL were on each passenger's seat along with custom-designed set covers printed with color Castaways Travel and Naked Air logos. In addition, a lunch snack was provided during the flight. Extra space was allowed so each couple had an empty seat between them to avoid crowding on the Boeing 737. No media representatives were invited or permitted to fly as passengers to maintain the privacy of guests on the plane, although many had tried.
Only 100 custom-designed beach towels were produced for passengers and crew so hopefully they will become collector's items for this historic event.
Passengers included citizens from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Germany, England, the Caribbean and South America.
Flight rules you may or may not find in the FAA regulations that applied to the Naked Air flight:
1) Crew remained clothed throughout the flight
2) Passengers only disrobed
3) Inappropriate behavior was not condoned
4) No hot coffee was served!
5) Cabin temperature was carefully controlled by the captain for nude passengers
6) Complimentary towels provided for all nude passengers
The flight crew were also presented with their complimentary towels, too.
Once the flight departed Miami and reached cruising altitude, off came the clothes and the fun and photographs began. About a third of the passengers signed releases agreeing to be photographed and interviewed, so about 30 guests were seated in a special section of the plane for the most unique of "photo opportunities."
Passengers must have set a record for the fastest time to drop their drawers!
The nude portion of the flight at cruising altitude was amazingly short considering most everyone wanted private souvenir photos of themselves while wolfing down a lunch snack, drinks and complimentary chocolate bon bons provided by Castaways Travel.
The cabin crew and flight attendants received high marks for their fast and efficient service passing out cold drinks and beverages while most passengers spent their time talking and taking photos of the historic occasion. The crew even passed out complimentary hand towels to cover the cold seat belt buckles...how thoughtful ! Cabin temperature was regulated to keep everyone satisfied.....especially the ladies on the flight!
Once the captain announced landing procedures for Cancun, the clothes came back on and all buckled up again. The path of flight was clear over the Gulf of Mexico from Miami to Cancun with smooth air all the way.
After landing and deplaning, passengers cleared immigration, claimed their luggage and proceeded to the shuttle buses for transfer to the El Dorado and Hidden Beach Resorts (a new, nudist property opened for Nude Week and owned by the El Dorado). On the way to the shuttle bus at the Cancun Airport, about ten Mexico newspaper reporters interviewed and photographed Daniels, Bailey and passengers who volunteered to speak to the press. On Sunday, May 4, Cancun daily newspapers carried the Naked Air and Nude Week story and photos on the front page, helping spread positive words in Spanish about nudity on Mexico. The buses departed about 3 PM from the Cancun airport, stopped for beer and water along the way, and arrived at the El Dorado Resort about 4 PM, Saturday, May 3, to a lively champagne welcome and mariachi band celebration.
The outbound flight on May 3 was actually quieter compared to the return flight on May 10. After spending a week together at the El Dorado and Hidden Beach Resort, most all the passengers knew each other and provided lots of wise cracks and fun on the way back. Saturday, May 10, the Cancun Airport was a madhouse with hundreds of other travelers standing in line for their return flights home, but all Naked Air passengers proceeded through baggage and check in procedures quickly and even had time at the gate for last minute duty-free shopping. During both flights, the pilots, cabin crew and airplanes performed perfectly ...many passengers said they wished the flights had lasted longer
Once loaded, the charter aircraft departed at 1 PM, for the nude trip home. A different flight crew, except for Bryan, the flight services manager, served on the return trip. As each passenger entered the plane, the forward galley was set up with complimentary champagne which was presented to each passenger as they boarded....a really nice, thoughtful touch. The return flight lasted one hour 20 minutes and seemed a lot longer than the outbound flight May 3.
What an experience.....what's next?
Submitted by Jim Bailey - Castaways Travel - email@example.com