Dangleboss: We need a new gimmick for the cablecar. Are there any left? Dangleminion: We've already done blind dates, snowmen, fine dining and Thunderbirds. Dangleboss: But passenger numbers are still falling, down from 1.5m a year to 1.3m. We need a boost. Dangleminion: It's OK, I have just the plan - champagne flights!
Dangleboss: Oooh, that sounds like a winner. But how does it work? Dangleminion: Passengers prebook a return flight, and we give them a glass of champagne. Dangleboss: Brilliant, Londoners love paying over the odds for an "experience" these days. Dangleminion: And best of all, it's piss easy for us to organise. Dangleboss: Perfect, that'll help our bottom line. Read out what we're promising. Dangleminion:"You will be met on arrival at the cable car by a member of staff." Dangleboss: Excellent. We already have lots of staff standing around doing bugger all. Dangleminion:"You will then board your own private cabin..." Dangleboss: Excellent. Most of our cabins are empty most of the time anyway. Dangleminion:"...with a glass of Laurent Perrier Brut NV champagne." Dangleboss: Excellent, the posh stuff. But won't that be expensive? Dangleminion: Don't worry, we'll bulk-buy it, and the punters only get one glass. Dangleboss: OK, let's throw in a free viewing guide as well. We have stacks of those. Dangleminion: We should play some background music too, and make a feature of it. Dangleboss: I reckon it's the simplest idea we've ever had. So little effort is required. Dangleminion: No vinyl stickers, no specially commissioned animation, just an ice bucket and some plastic flutes.
Dangleboss: So, key question, what's the proposed price point for the Champagne Flight Experience? Dangleminion: We were thinking £28 per person. We reckon several people might be willing to pay that. Dangleboss: But a normal return flight on the cablecar is only £9. Our mark-up will be phenomenal. Dangleminion: Rest assured, some punters will think £19 extra for a glass of champagne is a bargain. Dangleboss: Normally we give a discount of £2 for using Oyster or contactless. Are we doing that here? Dangleminion: Hell no, everyone pays full whack, in advance. We'll be quids in. Dangleboss: I presume we're getting at least six glasses of champagne out of every bottle. Dangleminion: Absolutely. We'll buy bottles in bulk, for say £20 each, and six passengers will pay us £168. Dangleboss: I love this idea with every fibre of my being. Dangleminion: No right minded Londoner could resist a fizztastic flight over the scrapyards of Silvertown.
Dangleboss: A few practical questions. Can they take this return trip in either direction? Dangleminion: No, they have to start and end on the North Greenwich side. That way we only need one ice bucket. Dangleboss: What about underage drinking? We'll be sued if we serve this stuff up to minors. Dangleminion: Don't worry. If anyone looks under 25 we'll insist on seeing photo ID. Dangleboss: Make sure that's passport or photocard driving licence only, we don't want to make this easy. Dangleminion: Quite right. And the more pre-booked punters we turn away without proof of age, the more money we make. Dangleboss: I presume we're not allowing solo drinking. What's the minimum spend? Dangleminion: The minimum number of tickets per sale is two. And that means we'll take at least £56 every time!
Dangleboss: Hang on, there's a catch. The cablecar's byelaws prohibit consumption of alcohol, or being "in possession of an open container of alcohol." Dangleminion: It's OK, we're covered. "For certain events or for customers in possession of the relevant experience ticket, alcohol may be served and consumed." Dangleboss: Phew. Of course anyone could bring their own alcohol on board and open it in midair, and we'd never spot them. Dangleminion: True. But only a suicidal drinker would pop a champagne cork inside a confined space dangling 90m above the Thames. Dangleboss: You appear to have thought of everything. How soon can we start? Dangleminion: As soon as I've nipped down to the cash and carry. Say Thursday 3rd May, from 7pm? Dangleboss: And then every Thursday and Friday evening for the rest of the summer. Dangleminion: Better than that, throw in every Saturday and Sunday from noon as well. Dangleboss: OMG, that's 50 separate slots every week, and another 10 at bank holidays. We'll be rich. Dangleminion: None of the slots have sold out yet. But yes, I think we will, I think we will.