The Wrong Way To Steal Virgin Atlantic’s Salt & Pepper Shakers

by SharonKurheg

People have been pinching (that’s “stealing” for us Americans) the salt and pepper shakers from Virgin Atlantic for years. And no wonder…they’re shaped like planes and are adorable!

a person holding a pair of small red objects

Humorously named Wilbur and Orville, the little plane-shaped spice pots, usually offered in either silver, gold or black (but also with a limited edition run of red during December, 2017), have become so popular in the past 15+ years that the bottom of them even now say, “Pinched from Virgin Atlantic” (which, BTW, is a genius advertising campaign).

a silver piggy bank with a black label

This post isn’t a diatribe about whether or not you should steal them – that’s up to you and your conscience. This one is simply how you DON’T want to steal them.

Joe and I had a quick visit to London a coupla years ago and took Virgin Atlantic both ways, using our Delta miles. We had only been on Virgin Atlantic one time before, and it was YEARS ago – way before I was brave enough to steal salt and pepper shakers (although at the time, I really, really wanted to. Joe, always the more goody-two-shoes of the two of us, talked me [who’s always been easily swayed to good] out of it). I’m older and wiser now. And yeah, significantly more brazen, too (especially since I know for sure they don’t mind). So I took them and threw ’em into my computer bag.

Bad move.

Y’all, learn from my mistake.

Remember that Orville and Wilbur are salt and pepper shakers. That means they have salt and pepper in them. And if they’re just thrown into a pocket or a bag or whatever and land face down (well, nose down), salt or pepper will pour out of them. And then you’ll have a mess to clean up.


So if I were you, remove the salt and pepper from them first. They’re easy to open. Just pull the nose off each one and pour the salt and pepper out. You can even rinse them in the lavatory first.

a group of black objects on a wood surface

And THEN pinch them 😉

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


cr November 10, 2021 - 5:57 pm

or, since we know they encourage it, bring a ziploc or two along, just because you never know….

pinched VS shakers, mixed nuts, partially used (on a short stay) L’Occitane toiletries) or whatever unexpected treat you may encounter…

JohnB November 11, 2021 - 5:58 pm

Ok, I will come clean. I have a fetish for airline coffee/ tea spoons. Alitalia had really nice espresso spoons. My current faves are KLM teaspoons. They are designed by Marcel Wanders. They are very unique! I have 3 so far.

Jorge Paez November 11, 2021 - 9:08 pm

The tops come off that easily? No unscrewing?
That’s not a good trait 😕 in a shaker…..

robertw May 13, 2023 - 2:35 pm

I never remember any metal ones. I am pretty sure I was given plastic silver ones that you could take. I have flown Upper Class alot in hte past.


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