I "think" I clearly heard the word, “Fortunity” in the following statement of the Wall Street Journal Report of this week (November 5th), introducing the unique service of Sanchez Delta Airline via Far East Network Radio broadcast.

"Airlines Sanchez Delta, a charter company caters to teams with tricked-out jets, hand-picked flight attendants, meals from some players’ favorite restaurants. Team charters often used to amount a fortunity party - beer, pizza and junk food. But the airlines say the days of raucous party flying have gone. Many teams ban alcohol, have nutritionist’s select menus, and set up plane chairs so coaches can study games when some players can sleep.”

As I’ve never heard the word, “Fortunity,” I checked both Cambrigde and Oxford online dictionaries, neither of which carries “Fortunity.”

Spell checker keeps recommending me to correct “Fortunity” into “Fortuity” or “Fortunate” while I’m typing this question.

On the other hand, I see a lot of captions including the word, “Fortunity” on Google Search, though none of them provides its definition.

Is “Fortunity” a current English word? If it is, what does it mean?

  • 4
    I imagine this may be related somehow to Fraternity, infamous college frat parties.
    – SF.
    Nov 7, 2012 at 11:28
  • 3
    It's possible that fraternity was pronounced ferternity, and this confused a reporter, who heard fortunity. Nov 7, 2012 at 12:17

2 Answers 2


SF's conjecture, fraternity, appears to be correct. I couldn't find the audio, but what I take to be either the transcript or the original from which the read story was adapted is here. Below is the portion corresponding to your transcript, with departures bolded and unincluded matter italicized:

Instead, airlines—particularly Delta—and charter companies cater to teams with tricked-out jets, handpicked flight attendants and meals from players' favorite restaurants, sometimes served on silver trays.

Team charters often used to amount to a fraternity party of beer, pizza and junk food, sometimes with guitar playing and rookie hazing, but airlines say the days of raucous party flights are gone. Many teams ban alcohol, have nutritionists select menus and set up plane interiors so coaches can study game films and players can sleep.

I conjecture that what you heard as “Sanchez” was probably “such as”.

For those whose cultural awareness does not extend to the ‘frat party’: this is a convivial assembly hosted by a 'fraternity', a university-based social club of sub-adult US males, and characterized principally by participants’ indulgence of their libidinal and appetitive impulses with as little restraint as circumstances permit.

  • I reheard the report following your clip. It exactly sounded as you wrote. Airline ‘Sanchez’ Delta was Airline ‘such as’ Delta. ‘Fortunity’ party was ‘fraternity’ party. ‘Flyings have gone’ was ‘flights’ are gone. Plane ‘chair’ was plane ‘interior’. I’m very much ashamed of the massive errors and my aging audio complehension as well as poor understanding of English language writings. Nov 7, 2012 at 21:45
  • By the way, this news starts from the line, “This is the WSJ Report. I’m Jenifer (Kishenker?) Grilled xxx with mashed potatos, large fold-out card table, giant (bench and?) flat screen TVs.’ Could you kindly teach me what ‘xxx’ of “Grilled xxx with mashed potatos’ is in the quote you elaborately located for my question? Nov 7, 2012 at 21:46
  • @YoichiOishi The source I quote (a link, by the way, is at the end of my first sentence) reads"grilled halibut with smashed potatoes and Dove ice cream bars. On Flight 8942, passengers had large fold-out tables for card games and beds big enough to accommodate 7-footers." Clearly this story (bylined Scott McCartney) was merely a starting point for the broadcast. There's no call for apologies; I was a transcriptionist for some years and made many such mistakes - and (no doubt) worse ones! Nov 7, 2012 at 22:13

The Oxford English Dictionary online has citations for fortunity from the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the meaning is given as ‘fortune, hap’. If the word is making a comeback, it seems to be doing so with a rather different meaning. Is a fortunity party perhaps what used to be called a 'surprise party'?

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