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Can you be charged for having sex on an airplane?

Many people have heard about the “mile high club”, a term coined for couples having sex on an airplane during a flight.

While it may sound glamorous, there are repercussions for being caught entering this exclusive club.

What charges could I face in Canada if I’m caught in the act?

Believe it or not, you can be charged with a criminal offence for having sex on an airplane.

In Canada, you could be charged with committing an indecent act. The Criminal Code states that “Everyone who wilfully does an indecent act in a public place in the presence of one or more persons, or in any place with intent to insult or offend any person. . .”

What is defined as an indecent act in Canada?

An act performed in public of a sexual nature is considered an indecent act and a person can face charges for it. That means sex on an airplane can be considered under the definition of indecent acts but so can a lot of other sexual behaviour in various public places.

Whether the act itself is illegal still remains questionable, because usually such an act has to “insult or offend” someone. It’s important to remember though that not just criminal law comes into play but also rules and regulations of the air carrier as well as federal aviation regulations.

What is the punishment?

If you are charged of committing an indecent act in Canada, you could be charged either with a serious crime or a minor crime. The punishment could be up to two years in prison if you charged with a serious offence or up to six months in prison if it’s a minor offence.

What if I am caught joining the mile high club on an international flight?

Every country has their own laws when it comes to catching people doing something of a sexual nature on an air carrier.

You need to be aware that in most countries this will be considered an indecent act and if you’re caught you could face penalties. What those penalties are depend on the country in which you are charged.

For example, in Great Britain, it is strictly illegal to have sex on a British airplane, it’s actual an offence under the Sexual Offences Act of the UK with a maximum penalty of six months in prison.

Also be aware that if you are charged in another country, the penalties can often be harsher - often a lot harsher - than they are in Canada, especially if you land in a country which is ruled by religious law.

If you have been charged with an act relating to a sexual offence on an airplane you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Read more:

Criminal Code of Canada Indecent Acts

Sex acts on airplanes not uncommon, experts say