On the 39 Dollar Virgin Flight

This week’s book learning is from ‘Screw it, Let’s do it’ by Sir Richard Branson.

28 year old Richard Branson and to-be wife Joan were heading to Puerto Rico from holiday in the Carribean. But, when they reached the airport, they were told their flight was cancelled. All the passengers were roaming about looking lost.

As no one was doing anything about it, he decided to show some initiative even though he had no clue about what he was doing. He soon found out that he could charter a plane for $2,000. Divided by the number of passengers, that was $39/head.

So, he borrowed a blackboard and wrote ‘Virgin Airways – $39 – Single flight to Puerto Rico’. All the tickets were snapped up by grateful passengers. He even managed to get 2 free tickets and make a small profit. The idea for Virgin Airways was born right in the middle of a holiday!

Although the actual airline only took off a few years later, Virgin now flies to 300 destinations and have moved from renting a plane to Puerto Rico to space travel (Virgin Galactic) in 24 years.


I’m really enjoying reading Richard Branson’s autobiography ‘Screw it, let’s do it’. Every anecdote gives ample evidence of why he is so successful. He embodies action, initiative, guts, proactivity and persistence. A true entrepreneur!

Here’s to showing initiative and taking action when we face trouble this week!