Madonna and entourage released from grounded Virgin flight two hours ahead of mere mortals

Passengers on a Virgin Atlantic flight diverted from Heathrow to London Stansted had to wait on the tarmac for three hours before they were taken off the jet and brought into the airport -- all except Madonna and her entourage, who were taken off in about an hour. Madonna had reportedly been horrifying her fellow first-class passengers by practicing yoga in the aisles while they were held hostage in the aircraft.
Virgin issued a statement saying it was common for "business and first-class passengers to disembark first." In this case, though, there was apparently at least one more class of passenger. "Madonna was taken off the plane way before the rest of the first-class people," a member of the normally privileged upper classes told the Daily Mail. "We were all grumbling about it."
Virgin Passengers Not Named Madonna Wait 3 Hours To Get Off Plane

(Image: Virgin Atlantic A340, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from 39551170@N02's photostream)

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  1. Hrm, sit on a plane for 3 hours with Madonna doing yoga at me or sit on a plane for 3 hours without Madonna doing yoga at me..? They should be thanking their lucky stars, privileged bastards!

  2. I disagree…it’s definitely news that Madonna is STILL considered a celebrity!

    Ironic that after all those years of Kylie Minogue trying to be Madonna that Madonna is now trying to be Kylie.

  3. Of course it is not unexpected that an airline give preferential treatment to a celebrity. So it is not, as such, News.

    But it’s still worth reporting because every time attention is drawn to this sort of thing there’s a one percent chance that said celebrity will feel one percent shittier. And every time it’s ignored there’s one hundred percent chance that said celebrity will feel backed up in their sense of entitlement to such treatment.

  4. More importantly, every time attention is drawn to this sort of thing there’s a greater chance that the *airline* will think twice about doing it again.

    1. I doubt it. They can twist the whole thing into positive PR like “even celebrity like this and that choose their airline”.

  5. The point is not that they let Madonna off, but that they kept the rest of the passengers for two more hours for no reason. The airline couldn’t get away with holding a celebrity prisoner, so it should shine light on the fact that they are doing so to everyone else.

  6. This shows the flip side of the Republican’s Rich Man / Lottery Ticket effect. Republicans make the USA a rich man’s paradise (tax cuts, benefits for you the more wealthy you are, weakening of EPA, anti-union). Poor and lower middle class people vote Republican, hurting themselves in the present moment, thinking that in that distant future when they are rich, oh how they’ll benefit.

    This doesn’t apply with Madonna’s example because most people wouldn’t visualize themselves as becoming super-celebrities.

    And most people who are poor and lower middle class would help themselves greatly but not visualizing themselves as mega-rich and voting for the interests of same.

    1. Says it all, doesn’t it? And the “celebrities” exist for the proles to cluck about on the way to the polls to vote themselves another season of shafting. And the “revolutionaries” can say stuff like “Madonna will be the first up against the wall.” Really, how adorable.

  7. So it’s the “less rich” first class passengers complaining about preferential treatments normally reserved to them when no celebrities are on board.

  8. well, it’s not news that there are some animals which are more equal than other animals.

    on another note, being grounded on a plane is bad. being grounded on a plane with Madonna is what i imagine as hell, so the equaller passengers were actually given the priviliged treatment they are used to, by removing Madonna from the plane.

  9. Somewhere in the world there must be a headline
    “Madonna Gives up Virgin Berth Early Before X-Mass”
    Not on Boing Boing though.

  10. I like how Virgin’s statement refers to “business and first-class passengers” when Virgin doesn’t have a class it calls business or first. It calls its premium product “Upper Class,” but I suppose that might not sound right in this particular statement….

  11. A Virgin spokesman said yesterday “According to members of our cabin crew who were present, Madonna threatened to begin singing if she was not allowed to disembark. For the safety and comfort of all our passengers, our staff therefore decided to expedite her disembarkation. We regret that it was then necessary to delay the deplaning of other passengers in order to ensure that the volatile entertainer and her baggage had completely cleared the terminal before allowing other customers to leave the aircraft. We remain convinced, however, that our staff acted in the best interests of all aboard and that their prompt action helped to prevent a deeply unpleasant and potentially traumatic incident.”

  12. I think Madonna deserves credit for flying commercial, rather than chartering or owning a private jet like all the other environmentally conscious celebs do.

  13. I don’t understand why they didn’t let everyone else start leaving for another hour. If they had the ability to let people off the plane but did not, is that not kidnapping?

    1. Yes it’s kidnapping. But you have to remember to take into account that airlines are allowed to kidnap you. Use an airport and you give up all your human rights. It’s the roolz.

  14. I love how fellow passengers were “horrified” by someone doing some stretches in the isles. Isn’t that common? I’ve seen gymnasts staying limber during a flight. Of course, it really made me feel really uncomfortable watching someone taking care of themselves while I sat on my lazy ass.

  15. “According to members of our cabin crew who were present, Madonna threatened to begin singing if she was not allowed to disembark. For the safety and comfort of all our passengers, our staff therefore decided to expedite her disembarkation.”

    After that threat, what they should have done was to let everyone off the plane *except* Madonna.

  16. Has anyone considered that the “bus” or “van” was not operated by Virgin?

    Madonna has hundreds of people helping her move around the world. Madonna simply makes a call and the phone tree lights up like Christmas. One of those call goes out to a private transportation company that receives orders to go pick up Madonna.

    Simple, easy, and paid for with private money, not taxpayer. So shut up.

  17. I like that we all assume that Madonna was behind this. Virgin could have taken her off first to avoid any problems keeping people from pestering her, or (more cynically) to avoid her eventual tantrum. She could have left first thinking that all the other passengers would be right behind her for all we know. But who am I to stop you from speculating and assuming the worst?

  18. It’s not surprising that someone called Madonna is treated like a celebrity on an airline called Virgin.

  19. FYI this article is slightly incorrect, as Virgin Atlantic do not have a First Class cabin. Upper Class is Business Class

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