"Now that they have 747s, traveling on the commercial airlines is more luxurious than ever," says November Playmate Avis Miller. "But as far as I'm concerned, the Big Bunny is the only way to fly." The Big Bunny, if you don't already know, is Hugh M. Hefner's $5,500,000 custom built DC9-32, the most opulent private aircraft in the world. And Ohio-born Avis is one of 15 Playboy Jet Bunnies Hefner personally selected from among the 850 cottontails serving in Playboy Clubs around the globe. "I was working as a Cocktail Bunny in the San Francisco Club," the rangy (5'9") ash-blonde beauty recalls, "when I was told I'd been chosen as a Jet Bunny. To say I was excited is putting it mildly." Avis' first order of business was moving. She hated to leave her parents' home in Union City, California - "I was out of the urban scene almost entirely, which was fine with me," - but Jet Bunnydom requires the girls to be on call out of either the Los Angeles or Chicago Club. Avis chose L.A. and now lives in Inglewood, a 25-minute drive from the hutch and minutes away from the beaches at Hermosa, Redondo and Santa Monica. "I don't like living in the heart of a city," says Avis, "because I get uptight about things like crowds, noise and smog. When I was a kid, my father, a salesman, kept getting transferred - Pittsburgh, Boston, Richmond, Houston. I grew up disliking city life, I'm afraid." After accompanying the plane on observation flights, including the Big Bunny's maiden trip from Chicago to Los Angeles, Avis was scheduled to attend stewardess school in April. A week before her training began, she paid a surprise visit to her brother John, an oil analyst then assaying for possible petroleum deposits near Denver. After acquainting herself with the fundamentals of oil exploration, Avis spent her time loafing, her closest companions the historical best sellers she'd taken with her - Jenny and Mary, Queen of Scots. A graduate of Arizona State University, Avis majored in history and still finds the subject fascinating. At the end of her visit, she flew to Purdue Airlines in Lafayette, Indiana, for her flight training. The 15 Jet Bunnies were divided into two classes; Avis, in the first group, took two and a half weeks of instruction from Purdue and Continental Airlines. "Stewardesses usually have to train for six weeks," says Avis, " but that's because they have to learn about five different aircraft - we only had to learn about one - and their teaching is slower because the classes usually have at least 50 girls in them. The big airlines also spend a week on grooming, which the Bunnies already know, plus a week for photo shooting and uniform fittings, which we did on Playboy time." After learning about the DC9-32, Avis took courses in first aid, ocean survival, handling general emergencies and food preparation, then was sent to the Lake Geneva Playboy Club-Hotel for special instruction in wine selection and gourmet dining service. Miss Miller reports that work aboard the Playboy plane is a lot less hectic than on a commercial airliner. "We always have at least three Jet Bunnies on board," she says, "and since there's a maximum of 38 passengers, we're able to go about our duties without rushing." When Avis was finally flight-qualified, she got a chance to go on what she describes as "an unbelievable trip": She was one of five jet Bunnies who accompanied Hefner and a private party of close friends on a 31-day jaunt through Africa and Europe. Being based in Los Angeles, and with the mounds of publicity she's received as a Jet Bunny (and will undoubtedly receive as Playmate), Avis has thought about a screen career - but she says she really has no desire to become a serious actress: "The Hollywood scene turns me off completely. To get famous, you have to do a lot of dumb, embarrassing things. Who needs it? Besides, I want to have kids, and the lousiest mothers are usually working actresses; they never have time for their children." Instead, Avis has opted for the uncomplicated life: "I'll be happy if I can wind up with a guy who's carefree and isn't a slave to business. I'll admit that that type isn't easy to find, but I haven't even started looking yet." We feel certain that November's rara Avis is one bird who won't have any difficulties when she finally starts searching for a permanent nestmate.
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