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Do Any Billionaires Ever Fly Commercial?  
User currently offlineBOEING747400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 319 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 28174 times:

I'm wondering if any billionaires ever fly commercial?

If so, what airlines and class of service do they most frequently choose?

102 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12250 posts, RR: 35
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 28156 times:
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I'm sure they do, and I'd assume they buy a F/J ticket just because they can...then again...most billionaires are billionaires because they don't waste money on things like a private jet, so who knows, maybe they fly coach  


911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlinedelimit From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1512 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 28065 times:

Most billionaires are business people whose work time is considered valuable enough that their company pays for them to fly private. For instance, Steve Jobs gets paid $1.00 by Apple (and a huge amount of stock options), but they bought him a jet.

What they fly on vacation is anyone's guess. That said, I'd be willing to bet a good chunk of them fly private.


User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2885 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 28057 times:

Rich people don't always fly in private aircraft "because they can" financially, but because of security. I know this thread is popping up because of the entire "how did Oprah fly" thread so I'll use her as an example.

Can you imagine the chaos it would cause for her to pull up in front of a terminal, go through check-in, security, waiting at the gate, and boarding in plain sight of hundreds, if not thousands, of people? Then, on the flight the same thing. And if she wanted to do fairly secretive/important work for her new network (OWN) while on that flight, with people peeking over her seat? It's just not safe.

This is also why many companies have their own corporate fleet or have contracts with firms to fly private jets...security for the folks they are flying and the information that they are carrying.

So, while I know that my airline has seen its fair share of famous people regularly traveling on flights, I am sure some billionaires do fly commercial, but it isn't always safe...



"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 941 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 27993 times:

I know of at least one. One day he was flying his large family to Europe not just commercial, but economy. When he got to the airport the check-in agent told him he was a day late. His tickets were now worthless. The only seats left were in F. He pulled out a credit card and bought 7 round trip F tickets from SFO to Europe. No problem.

User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11655 posts, RR: 60
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 27935 times:

Although it's down a notch in the scale of things, I will always remember seeing an old man riding around on his ancient bike near to where I used to live. It had no gears, his clothes were worn, and his house was ramshackled - but he never accepted charity. When he died it turned out that he had an eight figure fortune, which just goes to show that no matter how much money some people have, they won't spend it if they don't have to. So yes I would imagine some people with huge fortunes either sit down the back in coach, or take a bus or train instead.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinefbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 27878 times:

1) Depends on which currency you're basing your billionaire assumption

2) There are the old urban legends of Bill Gates only flying economy, (hence MSFT's stingy travel policy) and Ingvar Kamprand (founder of Ikea) only flying economy too. Personally I don't buy into them...

3) It's hard to judge but I suspect most billionaires could comfortably afford private jet travel on longhaul, although owning a 550 or Global Express is a quite expensive proposition. I do know someone who met Michael Bloomberg on BA in F a few years back. When the conversation turned to flying private he said, "I don't need to be in the US urgently. Why spend 100K when I can spend 10K and be just as comfortable ? I didn't get rich by wasting money."

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 3):
I know this thread is popping up because of the entire "how did Oprah fly" thread so I'll use her as an example.

And she has been spotted flying BA First and at LHR's Concorde Room on multiple occasions!

[Edited 2011-01-20 16:08:32]


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2114 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 27881 times:

I do. And I fly WN.
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  j/k...unfortunately.

I have seen several movie stars on my flights over the years. Also flew with a Sr. VP of Chevron on a LAX-OAK flight a couple years back. It's not as common as you might think for CEOs of large companies to fly private, especially on non-work related travel. Remember, a lot of large companies have really cut their private jet fleet or the amount spent on them, especially in the wake of the auto industry congressional hearings.

[Edited 2011-01-20 16:07:19]

User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3030 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 27881 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 1):
I'm sure they do, and I'd assume they buy a F/J ticket just because they can...then again...most billionaires are billionaires because they don't waste money on things


I do not know about billionaires but I have known several multi-millionaires and they always flew economy, maybe that is why they were multi-millionaires. Now let me stipulate that they did not fly much on business but did for vacations.
Okie


User currently offlineRogerThat From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 566 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 27863 times:

I sat in the same row as a billionaire on a 2004 AA flight MSY-LGA - Economy class.

I was in the window seat, he was on the aisle. As he was deplaning, he tried to help a girl get her bag down out of the overhead, but she refused his help.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30974 posts, RR: 86
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 27792 times:
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Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 6):
2) There are the old urban legends of Bill Gates only flying economy, (hence MSFT's stingy travel policy) and Ingvar Kamprand (founder of Ikea) only flying economy too. Personally I don't buy into them...

I have sat in an Exit Row on UA with Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer on one occasion and know of one other person who has done so, as well.


User currently offlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5162 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 27637 times:

David Koch. He was in the 737 that landed on the commuter prop at LAX, and recites a harrowing tale of almost dying from fumes following the flashover b/c the exit door wouldn't open. He finally got it open a crack as he was passing out, and the fresh air revived him enough to stay conscious. An article I read says that he now carries a smoke hood. Bottom line, BTW, is that flying commercial is a heck of a lot safer.

User currently offlineEI2KSEA From Ireland, joined Jul 2004, 578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 27599 times:

I know of one as I was lucky enough to overhear the hilarious conversation between her PA and a travel agent when it was realized that the executive in question was booked in Y for the SLC-JAC section of a BOS-SLC business trip which had a weekender to Jackson Hole added on. The problem of course was that the flight to JAC was presumably on a Skywest CRJ and there simply wasn't any F however the personal assistant just wasn't getting it. The person in question is one of the wealthier females in the USA but it seems her Dad had the family business jet over the week in question! I have also seen the same person using public transit on occasion in Boston so it's not all that surprising I guess!


Next Flight: DUB-BOS (EI), BOS-DEN-PDX (SWA), SEA-BOS (AS)
User currently offlinen92r03 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 344 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 27539 times:

Rumors are abound re Warren Buffet flying only economy. Not true. He owns NetJets, so why would he? As many have said, it is about security and productivity. Executives simply can't be bothered with delays, hassles at the airport.

A friend is a multi millionaire and has a Lear 31, I've been on it once. He is a generous person, but not wasteful. He and his family fly commercial on any trips over 1500 miles or so. He could certainly charter a G-IV but simply does not see the value in it.

As they say, there is a reason millionaires are millionaires, they save their money.

As long as we're mentioning who we sat next to...I sat next to Sen Joe Lieberman on a Delta Shuttle flight back in '03. Very nice man.


User currently offlinegr8circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3104 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 27539 times:

Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 6):
There are the old urban legends of Bill Gates only flying economy, (hence MSFT's stingy travel policy) and Ingvar Kamprand (founder of Ikea) only flying economy too. Personally I don't buy into them...

Azim Premji, CEO and majority shareholder of Indian software giant Wipro, is famous for flying Economy class......I have actually seen one of his employees, who became an employee of Wipro after his own company was brought out by Wipro for millions, flying economy class from BOM to BLR.....

As for Bill Gates, the story is true....a picture of him sleeping in an economy seat on a plane was published about 10 years ago, when he was very much a billionnaire.....


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25291 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 27504 times:

Around 20 years ago I was on a flight from FRA somewhere (forget where, probably GVA) with Donald Trump. Not sure whether he was a billionaire then or not.

Around the same time I was on a Swissair flight ZRH-GVA with Saudi billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi who later lost much of his fortune in various bankruptcies and legal issues related to the Iran-Contra affair. He was arrested in Switzerland and extradited to he U.S. over that affair but was eventually acquitted. He once had a VIP DC-8-73 (an ex-Eastern DC-8-63, acquired by CP Air in 1972 and sold around 1981; after its VIP service it was converted to a freighter.) Photos of that aircraft below (the 2nd while owned by Khashoggi.) He also once owned one of the world's biggest private yachts.


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Fairly recent (2009) NY Times article on Khashoggi. He was certainly flying on scheduled flights then (note the 6th paragraph and 2nd last.)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/14/world/middleeast/14khashoggi.html

[Edited 2011-01-20 16:59:18]

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 16, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 27419 times:

Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 6):
I suspect most billionaires could comfortably afford private jet travel on longhaul, although owning a 550 or Global Express is a quite expensive proposition

I think it is the other way around often. They fly private jets for short haul, and go commercial for long haul - especially overseas trips.

This of course depends upon what business they are in. For someone in real estate, or who has to travel a lot - they are going to fly in a private aircraft - just to save time. Two or three hours spent waiting in an airport, and time on a plane without live data and phone connections - are very expensive waste of productive hours.

But for long haul - such as across the oceans - they are going to enjoy the additional space and comfort of J or F. Those who earned their own money are likely to balk at a full-price F ticket, but J on a restricted fare - sure.

Those traveling with their families will probably fly a bit better than they might fly alone. Unless the private aircraft is BBJ size, most families would prefer F or J in a wide-body. Often better ammentities and service.

People who seldom fly would be more likely to fly economy - because again, if they made their money - they cannot see wasting it on a short flight for a little legroom. Unless it they are 6'e"

But there is a relatively small group of extermely rich people which most people would recognize. They cannot fly commercial because of the commotion their presence causes. People just will not leave them alone. I once flew AA from DFW-ATL and in first class was a recognizable celebrity, with a huge body guard. The pilot finally came on the PA and told people to quit using the front toilet and an excuse to try to talk to her.

I'm sure the same would happen to Bill Gates, or Buffet.


User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1243 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 27268 times:

Ingvar Kamprad, founder and owner of IKEA, and usually on the worlds ten richest men list always fly economy class.
he should be good for around 25 billion.

He even mandated his employees to only fly economy and stay in 3 star hotels. Compliance was pretty high at least when I worked there.



No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
User currently offlinefbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 27165 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 16):
I think it is the other way around often. They fly private jets for short haul, and go commercial for long haul - especially overseas trips.

Maybe it was just my wording...If a billionaire genuinely couldn't afford to fly private shorthaul I'd be very surprised, unless of course the assets are all tied up in non-liquid form.

Longhaul whilst exponentially more expensive chartering is certainly affordable. Making the step between fractional ownership for a G-550, GEx or the ilk and actually owning one outright as an individual is hugely difficult to justify for all but the very wealthiest.

Just like with cars I bet there are some people out there who are the ghetto fabulous of the private jet world!   



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13113 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 27180 times:

Bill Gates did fly commercial until a number of years ago and bought with his own money his own bizjet. His personal schedule needs had reached a point where scheduled flights were not practical or wasted too much of his time.

About 7 years ago, I worked on a case involving a former and well know big USA corp CEO. Corporate rules forbade him or his immediate family to fly commercial, only on the company or authorized chartered a/c. Mainly this was done for security, possibly at the direction of the company's security advisors and insurers as to kidnap, ransom and other insurance for top executives.

For some well know executives, being in a public place like an airport or on a commercial flight could make them a target of terrorism, kidnap and ransom, personal attack by a nutcase, a disgruntled ex-employee or lawsuit plaintiff and so on. Of course, there is the time factor even with no-waits for check in or security. Go to get the corp jet at Teterboro and be on the corp or chartered a/c in less than an hour from leaving your office or home or 2 or more hours if go to JFK or EWR. You also don't have to be with the 'riff-raff'.


User currently offline777ORD From United States of America, joined May 2010, 498 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 26962 times:

When I worked for AA, I was flying F from LHR-MIA and sitting next to me was Leonna Lewis(She in 3A, me in 3D), the British Pop star. Granted she had several of her assistants with her, but I acted as if nothing was special bout her. And yes, she is gorgeous in real life. Can I technically say I've "slept with her"as she had her seat in bed mode, next to mine? LOL. Ok, I'll keep dreaming

I've had the pleasure of "Jared the Subway guy" come to my counter to get checked in for a trip to IND via ORD. But, he was not bothered and even took the time to talk to people and discuss healthy eating.

One of my old classmates was non-reving back after a 3 day trip to his base, DFW, and sat next to Chipper Jones formerly of the Atlanta Braves (Baseball), and he had NO CLUE.

As awesome as it is to see a famous person come thru, I give them no special liberties. I treat them as any other human being by way of the "golden rule".

But, to answer the question originally asked. I worked for a (now defunct) charter company @ KDPA while in high school, and every week we had the top exec's of many major engineering, pharmasutical companies come thru. And, the owner of Dale Earnhart racing kept a jet of his there.

Lance Armstrong came thru twice. Real friendly down to earth guy.


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3994 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 26897 times:
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I've been told the Bass brothers were flying commercial until an unsuccessful kidnap attempt was made on one of the brothers' wife (can't remember which). They now have private security wherever they go and fly biz jets. Whether the decision was theirs or imposed by their k&r carrier I do not know.


I've got $h*t to do
User currently onlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1654 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 26709 times:

Quoting 777ORD (Reply 20):
One of my old classmates was non-reving back after a 3 day trip to his base, DFW, and sat next to Chipper Jones formerly of the Atlanta Braves (Baseball), and he had NO CLUE.

Chipper Jones would be very disappointed to find out he is only FORMERLY of the Atlanta Braves! He is heading into 2011 as their starting third baseman!


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15739 posts, RR: 27
Reply 23, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 26567 times:

Quoting BOEING747400 (Thread starter):
I'm wondering if any billionaires ever fly commercial?

Richard Branson has found himself on a few commercial flights. But then, he does own the airline.  
Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 3):

Rich people don't always fly in private aircraft "because they can" financially, but because of security.

And for business people, time really is money.

Quoting n92r03 (Reply 13):
He owns NetJets, so why would he?

Because that's just the way he is. He did buy a private jet, however, and then made jokes about how excessive it was.

Quoting 777ORD (Reply 20):
Lance Armstrong came thru twice. Real friendly down to earth guy.

Nice to know that being possibly the biggest fraud in sports hasn't gone to his head.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinefbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 24, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 26277 times:

Quoting 777ORD (Reply 20):
When I worked for AA, I was flying F from LHR-MIA and sitting next to me was Leonna Lewis(She in 3A, me in 3D), the British Pop star. Granted she had several of her assistants with her, but I acted as if nothing was special bout her. And yes, she is gorgeous in real life. Can I technically say I've "slept with her"as she had her seat in bed mode, next to mine? LOL. Ok, I'll keep dreaming

I've had the pleasure of "Jared the Subway guy" come to my counter to get checked in for a trip to IND via ORD. But, he was not bothered and even took the time to talk to people and discuss healthy eating.

One of my old classmates was non-reving back after a 3 day trip to his base, DFW, and sat next to Chipper Jones formerly of the Atlanta Braves (Baseball), and he had NO CLUE.

As awesome as it is to see a famous person come thru, I give them no special liberties. I treat them as any other human being by way of the "golden rule".

But, to answer the question originally asked. I worked for a (now defunct) charter company @ KDPA while in high school, and every week we had the top exec's of many major engineering, pharmasutical companies come thru. And, the owner of Dale Earnhart racing kept a jet of his there.

Lance Armstrong came thru twice. Real friendly down to earth guy.
Quoting blueflyer (Reply 21):
I've been told the Bass brothers were flying commercial until an unsuccessful kidnap attempt was made on one of the brothers' wife (can't remember which). They now have private security wherever they go and fly biz jets. Whether the decision was theirs or imposed by their k&r carrier I do not know.

None of these people are billionaires. Not by a long way....

I guess it was inevitable it would turn into a 'sort of famous people I saw thread'...



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
25 WhatUsaid : Trump was on a OGG-LAX flight, a couple rows ahead of me once.... So, yes....
26 cpd : Ingvar Kamprad is probably the single most famous example. He also drives (or drove) an old Volvo 240 station wagon, and uses public transport frequen
27 Post contains links Airportugal310 : Thats interesting, considering some of the advertising he does for NBAA... http://www.nbaa.org/events/amc/2010/...videos/20101020-warren-buffett.php[
28 Mudboy : Not a Billionaire, but Tom Cruise in one that has his own jet. Since I frequently travel through Dubai, it is know that he has been there filming MI 4
29 Post contains images 777ORD : Of course not! lol. Fraud? Naw.... Well, shows how much I care about baseball.
30 Pellegrine : Even if I was a billionaire with a jet I'd get tired of flying my own jet. I mean....who wouldn't want to at least try new SQ R, CX F, BA F, KE F, etc
31 peh : Rupert Murdoch is rennowned for his relative frugalness. It's been reported in a variety of sources that he would always fly commercially between cont
32 Post contains links thediplomat : Another great example was the founder of the DFS duty free empire. Chuck Feeney. He was a billionaire who only flew economy, and gave all his money aw
33 JFKPurser : I had George Soros on a CUN-JFK last month after the climate conference. His companion explained he flies commercial to keep his carbon footprint low.
34 cptspeaking : Exactly. I fly one such businessman in his Beech Premier. It's a great airplane for flights around the east coast to his several residences, but when
35 DocLightning : Richard Branson flies Virgin's Y-class when he travels with his family. He said so. "If it's good enough for our customers..."
36 keuleatr72 : I know you´re talking about billionaires but how do former heads of state travel? E.g. Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Jaques Chirac, George H. & Georg
37 DocLightning : I don't know about the foreign heads of state but I do know that US Presidents get lifetime Secret Service protection. I would be surprised if any fo
38 A380900 : I think that first class service is an alternative to jet. Hence the crazy pricing. I saw how Air France deals with first class passenger in the A380
39 Post contains links YYZRWY23 : There was once a link posted on a.net of former President Jimmy Carter boarding a commercial flight, and saying hi to people as he walked to his seat
40 Post contains images oldeuropean : Howard Hughes flew the goose.
41 Lufthansa411 : Actually, Bill Clinton does fly commercial-and not always on US carriers. A few years ago I was flying LH from JFK-FRA and he was on the flight, alth
42 keuleatr72 : Thanks DocLightning Last night I watched NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and he had the 41st President, George H. Bush, former VP Dick Cheney (a
43 Mudboy : I had a Delta FA tell me that once everyone is seated, he walks up and down the aisles, shaking everyones hand.
44 AirPacific747 : I once sat right behind the Danish prince Joachim on a flight with SK from CPH to NCE back in 2006 or so. Although not a billionaire, he is considered
45 blueflyer : My bad, in my corner of the world, the Bass brothers are the four nephews of Texas oilman Sid Richardson. The poorest of the four is worth $1.5 billi
46 Post contains links and images Coal : I few months ago I was flying CAN - SHA on a CZ 777 in domestic F. The flight was held back for about 30mins and in came a senior ethnic Chinese guy a
47 bthebest : Without getting off topic too much - the issue came up about security being an issue. David Cameron (British PM) and entourage flew on a scheduled VS
48 slcdeltarumd11 : Most billionaires are not recognizable famous people so i think they could get thru security and stuff easily. Like anything it depends on the person.
49 hal9213 : Thats also what Tony Fernandes, CEO of Air Asia does, obviously for promotion reasons. I was once on a flight DPS-KUL, where he started greeting ever
50 AirNZ : You would actually be wrong for the most part. The majority of billionaires are certainly not 'business' people in the ordinary sense of the word, an
51 bjorn14 : He did fly commercial and then was persuaded to by a jet that he named 'Indefensible' He then bought NetJets. Like Charles Winchecher said on M*A*S*H
52 Max777geek : I wouldn't wonder. Then for holidays with families, rent a whole island which they reach very comfortably.
53 jfk777 : The one true bollionmaire who thought private jets were a waste of money and always flew coach was one of the Texas Hunt Brothers. Lamar Hunt I think
54 dw9115 : T. Denny Sanford (South Dakota's only billionaire) fly's commercial once and a while even though he has a private jet of his own as well as First Prem
55 26point2 : Lance Armstrong owns a G IV. I work for a billionaire. He owns a GLEX and uses it in all but the longest hauls such as US to China which he then flie
56 rfields5421 : If a person is rich enough, a personal jet vice a corporate jet is much more flexible. IRS rules about travel justifications for corporate jets can b
57 vegas005 : More than likely because he is senile and was lost. Flew many times with my friend who stars in a hit TV show and it is always in first class. Don't
58 ordjoe : Will fly a mix of private and commercial, it just depends on their schedules and destination, I have seen CEO's from major Chicago based companies a f
59 bongo : I Saw Joe DiMaggio back in 1987 in a coach in a flight from Buffalo to Miami. (Not sure how billionaire He was...I guess He was).
60 Post contains images LifelinerOne : True. He's even driving an old Volvo 740 and the two times I met him while working for IKEA, he was always wearing the same grey sweater. I once join
61 Flighty : Self-made billionaires tend to be very good at calculating financial alternatives. Bloomberg knew that flying to London is $10k vs $100k in a private
62 MI5Flyer : As stated above the SS protection has been changed to 10 years. That being said I know that former President Ford used to be a regular on AA out of P
63 Mortyman : I beleave Bill Clinton travelled to Oslo ( after his period as president ) with SAS.
64 rfields5421 : President Carter and President Clinton frequently travel by commercial air. President G.H.W. Bush also flies commerical at times. I don't think Presid
65 Post contains images planesmith : I suppose there are one or two senior executives who have benefited greatly from the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan who would feel rather vulnera
66 Post contains links and images YYZYYT : Ah, a billionare a.netter... A different story altogether I think many of us would do as you suggest, just because we could ( I certainly would)... o
67 shankly : Phillip Green (UK retailer) was on my EK flight from Cape Town to Dubai last Jan. Assume he was in a 1st suite whilst I slummed it in Business
68 330Guy : Micheal O'Leary once flew on Easy Jet from somewhere in France to STN (And Ryanair apparently had a flight the same hour to the same place too)
69 DLSLC : I have had that supposed rumor confirmed a few times, regarding Bill Gates. He used to fly commercially until executives urged him to fly privately f
70 rfields5421 : I heard John Travolta tell that story about his daughter on Leno a few years ago.
71 Goblin211 : I always thought they had to fly commercial for business reasons. for instance, if they have business in Tokyo let's say, there's no private jet that
72 AirStairs : I personally know at least one that has a small private jet for work-related travel but he and family almost always fly commercial, in F domestic and
73 NYCFlyer : Who was the celeb?? This past August my wife flew PDX-JFK on DL, and Lady Gaga was in F with her manager. The flight left at 6am, and Gaga had just d
74 n234nw : When I was working Microsoft I supported Steve Ballmer on one of his Asia trips (2004, IIRC), He flew with us on NW from NRT to SEA (in World Busines
75 yellowtail : Well Arpey (not a billionaire, but famous nonetheless) was on my PM Cessna Caravan (co-pilots) seat BZE-SPR couple of weeks ago....hardly F class, bu
76 abibus : even the royal family of sweden flew on lh to the usa 2 years ago with lufthansa in F.
77 BMI727 : I believe on at least one occasion Queen Elizabeth flew commercial on an Air New Zealand 747, with her and her entourage taking up the entire premium
78 LV : I know a guy worth about a half a billion and his first choice when flying is WN. His second choice is F9.
79 Chapavaeaa : A friend that I used to work with was the VP of Maintenance for one of the Forbes 500 richest people. The billionaire he worked for was had a net wort
80 migair54 : The Queen of Spain was once in Santander and her brother was sick at London, She took a RYANAIR flight to go there.... I have seen many ex-presidents
81 GBRandSYCguy : Although she is not a Billionaire the Princess Royal HRH Princess Anne flew Air Seychelles Pearl Class on a recent official visit to the Seychelles, t
82 b52murph : For someone with that much $$$--is there any way for them to buy status on the airline for cash up front? All things being equal--I've noticed some ca
83 KingFriday013 : My father once took a US Airways flight from somewhere to LGA, and I recall him telling my brother and I that they actually were given priority for ta
84 wjcandee : FWIW, an enormous number of wealthy/powerful people take the Acela high-speed train between New York and Washington. It is interesting to be in Penn S
85 FlyingColours : I've heard of this too. I believe Nelson Mandela used to fly SAA commercially too after his presidency, I remember stories of him wandering around th
86 Post contains images Wnbob : Of course they do! It took Warren Buffett a long time before he bought his own jet (is it even his own, or is it part of his NET-JET(?) business). The
87 KiwiRob : One of my colleagues has a summer cottage near where Kamprad has his in Southern Sweden, he has said Kampard charters a plane to fly him and his fami
88 Post contains links exFATboy : I believe Sam Walton used to fly commercially for longer trips, although he frequently used private planes for store visit trips to make them more eff
89 Post contains links and images fbgdavidson : Seems like I should be the one apologising! I hadn't heard of the Bass Brothers and Wikipedia directed me to these guys http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
90 malioil : An old family friend that grew up with my father is now worth in excess of $900 million- not a billionaire but pretty damn close- I once asked him why
91 Post contains images CXfirst : My father told me once about a story regarding a friend, or at least an acquaintance working for one of the major multinational corporations, I forget
92 Post contains images leezyjet : No he didn't it was a charter. Believe me it is very rare for any of them to be found any further back than Upper when on VS, although I'm sure at on
93 jetblueguy22 : The man who owns the company I work for is a billionaire and he only flew coach through the rough part of the recession. When the economy tanked they
94 RogerThat : Wrong Hunt brother. Nelson Bunker Hunt and his brother Herbert attempted to corner the silver market during the commodity boom of 1979 - 1980. Lamar
95 Indy : I personally enjoy flying (despite all the post 9/11 nonsense) and if I had the money I would have a private jet. I would do it simply for the experie
96 Post contains images olle : The founder of Ikea Ingvar kamprad I am shure flies turist class... He still drives an old Volvo 240 around 1985 years model Does not Mr Gates has thi
97 rfields5421 : I would say it was pre-emptive. Meeting a President or former President is a big deal to most people. Walking down the aisle and shaking hands with e
98 LV : Bill Gates flies private for security reasons. You can't work on proprietary development projects on your computer while sitting on a packed 737 and
99 Post contains images MadameConcorde : I can give you a fact here. Both Monaco Princesses, Caroline and Stephanie fly on Air France commercial flights most regularly. They fly from NIce to
100 26point2 : Bill Gates owns 2 Global Express types. His and hers?
101 Post contains images FFlyerCDG : On november 1st 1995, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II landed in Auckland aboard Air New Zealand flight NZ1 from London via Los Angeles to attend the C
102 Post contains images MadameConcorde : Now that he has the presidential plane (the SarkoBus) he and his former model wife will not need to fly commercial anymore - at least not until he re
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