It all started from a bet, and now, aviation history is made on 12 May 2013, where Sir Richard Branson donned on a red hot AirAsia Cabin Crew uniform and served onboard flight D7 237 from Perth to Kuala Lumpur. All was done for good cause, where part of the proceeds from the flight goes to the Starlight Children's Foundation.

Our Online Travel Editor recounts a whirlwind flight that made aviation history and changed her perspective forever.

The Day I Was Served by Sir Richard Branson by Ellyse Ng

“He’s coming, he’s coming”. There was an excited buzz in the air. My head spun from my 6 hours flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perth, just to see ‘Mister Virgin’ himself. Suddenly, the crowd rushed to the entrance of the VIP lounge of Perth International Airport, and there, clad in his red AirAsia cabin crew uniform (complete with fishnet stockings and red ballet flats), Sir Richard Branson stepped out with his coifed head held high and his AirAsia handbag on his shoulder.

Sir Richard Branson serves as a flight attendent on Air Asia flight after losing a bet with Caterham F1 boss Tony Fernandes
Sir Richard Branson serves as a flight attendent on Air Asia flight after losing a bet with Caterham F1 boss Tony Fernandes

Photo by: Air Asia

Just this morning, I touched down in Perth – blurry yet excited. Today’s the day I get to meet the great billionaire up close, along with inspirational entrepreneur Tony Fernandes. Two brilliant minds, one crazy bet! Just over two years ago, the both made a bet and to cut a long story short, the loser (that is Sir Richard) will serve onboard the winner’s airline. Two years down the road and some fine-tuning later, the originally ‘fun and spontaneous’ bet is now back on…for a good cause! The special AirAsia X charity flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur aims to raise funds for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a body specially created to assist and support seriously ill children, helping them feel better about themselves, expanding their creativity and giving them a sense of belonging.

The flight was crowded of course, but that didn’t dampen Sir Richard’s spirit at all. He strutted through the immigration check-points with much flair (and the blatant lack of a female’s finesse to wear a skirt), smiling warmly at the media fanfare he has caused with his presence. A light-hearted moment was shared between him and Tony Fernandes, when Tony introduced his latest (and hottest) recruit, and Sir Richard promptly planted a big wet kiss on Tony’s cheek. Of course, playing his ‘damsel-in-distress’ role down to a tee, he even got Tony to carry him just like how a shining knight would carry his maiden. Not an easy task, since Branson overshadowed Tony by a head and a half.

In the plane, Branson’s career as an AirAsia flight attendant was taking off…or maybe not so. Revenge is sweet, but it’s even sweeter when you’re wearing a dress he’s put you in and spilling an entire tray of drinks all over him. Yes, to true Branson/Fernandes fashion, let me just say – Tony was soaked, Branson was laughing, and all was done in the name of entertainment! My initial impression of millionaires never stepping out of their comfort zone was proven wrong, as the funny moment continued with Branson slowly and seductively wiping the juice from Tony’s clothes with a cheeky grin on his face. “I’m so sorry Sir; let me get you nice and dry”. Funnily, Tony seemed to be enjoying the moment as much as we did *grin*.

The flight took off smoothly, and the blonde-wigged cabin crew started their safety demo. Of course, Sir Richard clowned away with his own version of “what NOT to do in an emergency”, much to the delight of everyone! Once the seatbelt sign was turned off, he proceeded to walk down the aisles to greet the guests onboard. I waited in anticipation!

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