Virgin Atlantic Says, Fine, You Can Just Have This Service Item You Were Planning to Steal Anyway

Brilliant, as they say across the pond.

Do you know the most common item stolen from airplanes? Well, for multiple airlines, that item has historically been the salt and pepper shakers. And they were stolen so often that some carriers just ended up kiboshing them altogether.

Virgin Atlantic bid adieu to its iconic salt and pepper shakers, known as Wilber and Orville, because passengers so commonly pocketed them on their way out of the aircraft. Thankfully, the airline brought them back in 2011 with a cheeky "Pinched From Virgin Atlantic" message on the bottom.

But guess what? This holiday season Virgin Atlantic is encouraging thievery and just giving away its coveted salt and pepper shakers. (Kind of.)

Here's what we know about Virgin's glorious five-day Christmas promotion, announced via Instagram.

People flying business class between December 21 and December 26 will receive shiny red holiday versions Wilber and Orville. They'll only be available "while stocks last," but the airline's social media manager included the hashtag we needed: #DontForgetToPinch. (Translation: They are definitely expecting everyone to steal these.)

If subtle hashtags aren't convincing enough for you, fear not! Virgin's executive vice president, Mark Anderson, sort of confirmed in a statement that customers should feel free to "pinch" the limited-edition festive shakers.

"When we launched Wilbur and Orville over 15 years ago we had no idea they'd become so iconic and loved by our customers," Anderson said. "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. This Christmas, we're shaking things up by introducing limited-edition red sets of Wilbur and Orville on all flights and expect to see them fly off the planes."

You don't have to tell us twice, Mr. Anderson.

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