Virgin boss Richard Branson was the brunt of a thousand jokes on Saturday night as he donned a skirt and a full face of make-up on a flight to Malaysia.
Sir Richard Branson, 62, swapped his boxer shorts for a pair of stockings after losing a Grand Prix bet with AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes two years ago.
The billionaire – who even shaved his legs for the flight – served drinks and pledged to clean the toilets on the special flight – all while sporting the red AirAsia uniform, which included a skirt suit and crisp white shirt.
Pulling his blonde locks back into clips, Branson completed his fresh new look with a sweep of red lipstick and a fetching set of false eyelashes.
Putting on a brave face, Richard Branson finally made good on the bet that he lost two years ago – after being too busy to see it through any earlier.
Richard Branson forced to dress as a stewardess after losing Formula 1 bet with AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes
“We both had Grand Prix teams and I was absolutely certain that I was going to win,” he said.
“Something went wrong. Of course the drivers of that race are no longer with us.
“I went to extreme lengths to avoid being here, but knew that one day I had to get it over with.”
The funds from the flight went to the Starlight Foundation for ill children, but as to how far Richard Branson would go for charity, he said he’d keep his famous beard.
“Have you not seen a stewardess with a beard before?” he asked before boarding the six hour flight.
Malaysian-born Tony Fernandes, who described Richard Branson as his mentor, used to work for Branson before setting up his own budget airline.
“As an AirAsia X’s flight attendant, he has to comply with our grooming standards and that includes shaving his legs, donning high heels, putting on some makeup and slipping into the AirAsia’s famous red uniform,” said the airline chief.
“He will be committed to carry out the responsibilities of a flight attendant, including offering coffee, tea and other food and beverages to guests on the special 6-hour Perth to Kuala Lumpur flight.”
Tweeting before the flight, Tony Fernandes wrote: “Anyone want a free flight up to Kuala Lumpur and be served by Richard Branson who lives in Perth. I got 2 to give.”
“I’ve done some outrageous things in my time but this will be up there with the best of them,” Richard Branson added before he boarded.
“I’ve just got to practice walking in high heels first.”
Delta Air Lines has agreed a deal to buy Singapore Airlines’ 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic for $360 million.
Virgin Group and Sir Richard Branson will retain a 51% shareholding, and the Virgin brand will remain in place, the new partners said in a joint statement.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval in the US and Europe.
It follows a spat between Sir Richard Branson and Willie Walsh, boss of BA-owner International Airlines Group over the future of Virgin Atlantic.
Earlier, Willie Walsh offered to wager a “knee in the groin” in a bet with Sir Richard Branson over whether the Virgin brand would still be around in five years.
He was responding to a £1 million ($1.5 million) bet offered by Sir Richard Branson on Monday.
Delta Air Lines has agreed a deal to buy Singapore Airlines’ 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic for $360 million
Virgin and Delta said the deal would allow them to “overcome slot constraints” and offer more flights from Heathrow.
The carriers will operate 31 peak-day round trips between the UK and North America.
“Our new partnership with Virgin Atlantic will strengthen both airlines and provide a more effective competitor between North America and the UK, particularly on the New York-London route,” said Delta boss Richard Anderson.
Sir Richard Branson said it was an “exciting day” in Virgin’s history.
“It signals the start of a new era of expansion, financial growth and many opportunities for our customers and our business.”
Singapore Airlines is selling its stake, which it has owned since 1999, because of increased competition in its local market.
airlines in particular have mushroomed, threatening more traditional carriers like Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines has itself launched a low-cost carrier, called Scoot, and has been putting money into its regional service, SilkAir.
Virgin Mobile Freefest 2011 takes place on Saturday, September 10 at the Meriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. It runs from Saturday 15:00 UTC to Sunday 2:00 UTC.
The Black Keys performs at Virgin Mobile Freefest this year
Virgin Mobile Freefest 2011 is the third edition of an annual event. It is free but they sell tickets if festival goers do not apply for tickets early. The festival features lots of genres such us rock, indie, and electronic music.
This year Virgin Mobile Freefest line-up includes various artists. The Black Keys, deadmau5, Cut Copy, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cee Lo Green, Two Door Cinema Club, TV on the Radio, Big Sean, Patti Smith, Okkervil River, Empire of the Sun, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Alberta Cross, James Murphy, Ghostland Observatory, Calvin Harris, !!!, Porter Robinson, Eclectic Method, Teddybears perform this year at Pavilion Stage, Festival Stage (West stage) and Dance Forest (for electronica).
Fourth Quarter Comeback, Jennifer Logue, Kingsfoil, Clear For Takeoff, Run On The Sun are the five aspiring artists, voted from ten, who plays onto the Whooznxt Stage.
Although two tropical weather systems have dumped rain on the festival site for the last two weeks, it appears the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee are slowly, and are signs for a sunny time. Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group chief, will be present at the festival like every year, regardless the weather conditions. Seth Hurwitz (promoter) said the venue was in very good shape, despite of the damp weather.
Cee Lo Green: another perfomer of Virgin Mobile Freefest 2011
Virgin Mobile FreeFest is held in a picturesque location, Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Merriweather Post Pavilion is an amphitheater located in 40 preserved acres of forest (Symphony Woods), in the Baltimore/Washington corridor off Route 29. It was initially built for National Symphony Orchestra and for forty years has hosted musical events. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Tom Jones performed at this pavilion.
Merriweather installed solar panels that power the house lights and use Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.Recently an enormous kitchen (with cuisines from all over the world) was built that as well as a Music Pinball Arcade and award-winning sculptures.
On Virgin Mobile FreeFest website you can tune-in and listen to live hits from past headliners and live coverage from past fests.