Today, I, gay male, went on Delta’s homepage to manage my upcoming travel schedule and let’s just say I felt very much at home. The airline has introduced Delta Comfort +, a new class of service in economy, with this…sensual ad. I’m 100% obsessed. It speaks to me. I’ve condensed an ocean of thoughts on this issue below.
1. First off, these fictional men like men.
Make no mistake. Advertisers are professional profilers and every tell in the book of Traditionally Homosexual Behavior is being told here: Perfect facial hair. Obsessive side-parts. Plucked eyebrows. Fitted shirts. Men touching each other. The only red herring is the not-gay ear pierced but he definitely has both done, so no.
2. How Long Have They Known Each Other?
Couples that have been together for a long time, they don’t usually look at each other quite like this. They might fall asleep on their partner’s shoulder while sharing a split set of earbuds but they don’t shoot brow-raised stares that say “Are you thinking what I’m thinking? (Meet me in the rear lavatory in five)”. My gut says that they met a little after take-off—notice the upright seats—and are waiting, as my co-worker pointed out, for “cruising” altitude.
In this post-marriage-equality era, I honestly would have rather seen an ad like the former, a couple embarking on a voyage with merged souls, but I can’t deny that the unmistakable glance captured here gets my heart racing a tiny bit. Who hasn’t fantasized about meeting a stranger on a flight? Who hasn’t seen Up in the Air? Who hasn’t encountered this desire mirrored back at them in imagery that speaks to their own sexual orientation in a campaign for a major airline before?
3. Where are they flying to?
Too casual for business travelers. My guess—informed by places Delta flies to, the general vibe of their apparel, and the fact that they, two gay men, a tiny fraction of the general population, were seated next to each other randomly—is JFK to Palm Springs.
4. I do want it all!
I want unlimited drink service! I want extra legroom! I want seats that feel like tiny clouds! I want excellent lighting! I want a more defined jawline! I want to look like I shaved exactly eight hours ago! I want both of these shirts but especially the striped one! I want the rush of being reminded life can be spontaneous! And, mostly, I want that man on the right’s arm touching mine, with the armrest up, on a six-hour, transcontinental flight!
5. Maybe I’m not as complicated a person as I thought?
I just upgraded to Economy Comfort+ for my October vacation to Tokyo.
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