In the early 1980s I was flying as a first officer on a Learjet 25 for a charter company. Many of our flights we used to call, “Friday Drunk runs to Vegas”. During the early 1980s the oil industry was booming and small groups of oil executives would go to bars or clubs and pick up a group of woman and tell them that they will take them to Las Vegas on the company airplane. And, they would return after the last show. Of course there was no corporate airplane and they would call us. We always carried an overnight bag because they always spent the night and returned the next day. These guys were high rollers at the tables and the hotel would comp their rooms as well as our rooms.
Another passenger on the way to Las Vegas asked to use the flight phone. In those days the copilot had to get the flight phone operator to dial the number. This guy was on the phone with his illegal bookie making bets on football games enroute to Las Vegas. On the trip home the next day I dialed the same number. When he found out his losses he started cursing on the phone. The operator broke in on his call and asked him not to curse on the flight phone. He said to me, “Why is the operator listening in on my call”. I replied that it’s a radio and anyone can listen in on a call. He became angry and I asked him what did he think a flight phone was? He replied that he thought we lowered a 30,000 ft. wire down to the ground.