In 2011, Virgin Atlantic stopped giving salt and pepper shakers in the shape of mini airplanes to its first class passengers. Soon after the airline introduced its uniquely shaped shakers, thousands had disappeared — usually into the carry-ons of passengers.
One year later, the airline brought back the silver shakers. Only this time they had the words “pinched from Virgin Atlantic” printed on the bottom to deter thiefs.
The plan didn’t work. The shakers kept disappearing. Some even ended up on eBay, selling for upwards of $20.
“When we launched Wilbur and Orville over 15 years ago we had no idea they’d become so iconic and loved by our customers,” Mark Anderson, an executive vice president at Virgin, said in a statement. “Although our cabin crew keep a close eye on them, thousands have been pinched over the years as customers like to take home a special memento of their Virgin Atlantic flight.”