Virgin Atlantic has a surprise for passengers who steal its salt and pepper shakers from flights

Iconic tableware frequently gets pinched by light-fingered travellers

Helen Coffey
Thursday 27 October 2022 10:13 BST

Related: Virgin Atlantic announces gender-neutral uniform policy

Passengers who steal Virgin Atlantic’s inflight salt and pepper shakers might just get a shock when they get them home.

The airline’s iconic tableware frequently finds its way into travellers’ hand luggage, according to the airline, thanks to its cute design of cartoon-like planes on little feet.

The fun shakers come in silver, gold and black, and have become something of a collector’s item.

But it will now be clear when someone has helped themselves to a five-finger discount after the shakers were given a small design tweak.

“Caught red handed?” the carrier tweeted. “If you’ve walked away from one of our flights with a ‘new’ salt and pepper shaker, take a peek at their feet and you’ll be in for a surprise.”

Virgin Atlantic shared the cryptic message along with a picture of a set of its gold shakers with a plane in the backdrop.

But one user quickly cleared up the mystery, replying to the post with a winking face emoji and a photo of an upturned shaker to show a secret message.

The bottom of one of the shaker’s feet reads “pinched from” while the other reads “Virgin Atlantic”.

Users appeared to approve of the update and shared their fondness for the shakers.

One commented: “I might or might not have black, silver and gold! Looking forward to ‘borrowing’ some more in under five weeks!”, while another wrote, “They may have accidentally fallen into my bag whilst tidying up after dinner…. eight times.”

In 2018, a Washington Post columnist spoke to airline staff who revealed customers routinely steal cutlery and coffee mugs from flights, along with life jackets, air sickness bags, and first class pillows and blankets.

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