It has been an interesting couple of weeks for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and what appears to be the growing trend among high profile celebrities to sign up for flights aboard the V.S.S. Enterprise. Two weeks ago a Russian businessman reportedly paid the equivalent of $1.5 million at a benefit auction for the right to share a flight with Leonardo DiCaprio. While for many, hopefully most, the experience of several moments of weightlessness would provide enough stimulus as it is, the idea of flying with a celebrity makes a certain amount of sense. It should prove to be a remarkably equalizing moment when everyone is out of their element, literally.
Perhaps it will start a trend. In some ways, it could be the equivalent of fundraisers using pro/am celebrity golf. No matter how famous, influential or otherwise generally important an individual may be, there is a certain delicious moment of clarity when they step up to the tee and give it their best effort. Whether they just arrived by helicopter to play their one hole, or are surrounded by a phalanx of body guards the rest of the day, they are for a moment, just another person hoping they don’t whiff.
And so we come to the question. If someone was willing to donate $1.3 million to fly with DiCaprio, how much could be raised by auctioning off the right not to have to fly with Joffrey Baratheon, check that… Justin Bieber?