Bernie Sanders Spotted Flying First Class On Friday (And That’s Just Fine)

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was photographed flying first class on American Airlines Friday enroute to a Pittsburgh event where he campaigned for State Rep. Summer Lee who is running for Congress in Pennsylvania. Sanders was wearing a mask.

There are (5) reasons why this isn’t an issue at all.

  1. He needs to work. Socialism in our time doesn’t just happen on its own, it’s hard work, and he needs to maximize his labor value to the extent possible.

  2. Flying first class is consistent with his principles. Even North Korea’s Air Koryo has business class. A Democratic People’s Republic doesn’t, in fact, mean abolishing class. In socialist paradise “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

  3. He wants first class for all, and for the rich to pay for it. People think he’s being hypocritical because first class is what he’s against but that’s not true, he just wants corporations to give first class away to everyone free.

  4. The tab was picked up by private donors. He was speaking at a campaign event. He was either upgraded, or his first class ticket was paid for by donor dollars (e.g. DSCS or the campaign itself). So it’s more a matter for donors to decide whether they’re getting value for their investment or not, rather than being an issue of well-spent public funds.

  5. He was flying American Airlines, not luxury. And American Airlines Oasis (Kodiak) first class can hardly be considered luxury. It has less legroom than American used to offer, less comfortable seats, and no seat back entertainment.

Bernie Sanders has been spotted in American Airlines first class and flew private and insists that his suites have bath tubs. So, no, this isn’t going to undermine his popularity among his base one bit – nor should it. And his luster may just give Summer Lee, who has called Joe Biden a racist, the cover she needs to win the Democratic primary on Tuesday in what’s considered a safe district for Democrats.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Seems to me anyone who commutes to DC from VT (or TX or CA for that matter) for as long as Bernie has been doing it probably has enough AA status to get free upgrades.

  2. @ Gary — The same “Trump-loving Christians” who criticize Sanders seem perfectly fine with Donald Trump being a thrice-divorced, rapist, twice-impeached, tax fraud, treasonist, pathological liar…

  3. @Gene – at least everyone knows what Trump is and he doesn’t try to hide it (in fact is proud of many of his exploits). Bernie, on the other other hand, like AOC try to appeal to the “under class” via their socialism views and this is absolutely out of line with that. I’m ready for the old fool to retire. He, like Biden and Warren, are getting dementia and no one should be leading our government in their mid-late 70s.

  4. @AC — Fine by me, as long as Trump is included in your list of mid-late 70s…I’m all for something new. I would love to see Adam Kinzinger as President.

  5. Bernie the Fraud! What would you expect from the Senator from the state where more cows cote than people.

    A waste of human life is this turd!

  6. @ AC — The only problem with Kinzinger is that he would pick conservative Supreme Court justices, so people like myself are stuck voting for Biden as the best choice we have. I would love to see the Dems offer up someone young and more centrist.

  7. LMAO.. you guys mad because he got upgraded.. You do realize it’ll happen when you fly every other day. Lets take the politics out of this, what are the odds you get upgraded with status? Im dissapointed this made it here, maybe we can talk about how aeroflat is buying 8 planes? maybe we can talk travel places still restricted? LMAO Im mad he got upgraded, hes a socialist he shouldnt be treated like a human. see hes a liar. The company upgraded him and he should have said no, I dont want the upgrade. Thanks for the laughs guys. I voted for him, it was because he got the upgrade on the flight LMAO

  8. @AC: my water just blew out my nose I laughed so hard. You missed the delusional religious people that buy he is a Christian and loved his holding up the Bible upside down. He sold the idiot GOP he is something he isn’t on so many levels. We won’t even start on his handling of the economy. He continued to push zero interest rates on a rapidly growing economy inherited from Obama to start. I do give him credit for proving PT Barnum correct.

  9. Socialists on a plane… No more snakes on a plane….

    At least he doesn’t need an armored train to travel like Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, and the various North Korean despots named Kim did in their day and do to this day if they’re visiting Vlad Putin….

    I’m sure the Capitalists at AA knew to upgrade a US Senator to 1st class whatever his party and class delusions…. Doesn’t Bernie know the Party was over in 1991??

  10. Jesus this post and comments just show the continued decline of WFTW. Maybe post something useful instead of Covid and political clickbait? It’s been a while since travels blogged about what they know.

  11. I used to fly to and from DC on Fridays with senators and congressional representatves. I noticed the Democrats always got upgraded and the Republicans were in coach. I asked a republican why and she said “It sets a bad example” Guess the Democrats don’t care how it looks.

  12. Bernie should be thrown in a labor camp/prison. Those upgrades should be taxed and Bernie doesn’t introduce legislation to do that. If those upgrades were from frequent flyer miles, those should belong to the federal government so that’s a reason to throw Bernie in a labor camp. The rich must pay or be put in prison. Upgrades should be given to African Americans to atone for slavery.

  13. Boring topic, interesting comments. I get a charge out of people who become all hot and bothered about a politician doing anything.

  14. This is horrific. I have followed Gary Leff and View from The Wing for many years and did not know that you were a bunch of Nazis. Hey, I voted for Biden last year and was upgraded to first class last week. Wouldn’t you? What is wrong with you people?

  15. So why would anyone post this article? I hate the media so much. I REALLY miss when this was just awesome trip reports.

  16. @Derek, Gary knows what he’s doing. Fun might be part of it but this game is all about the clicks. He’s probably the cleverest travel blogger out there.
    The only thing that will stop him or anyone else from blogging Springer trash is when you and I stop clicking on the titles (or the blogger).
    But I’m not above the fray. I like to stare at traffic accidents when I go by too.

  17. Typical socialist hypocrite. Is there any country where the commie leadership is treated the same as the proletariat? Never in history.

    It would be great is he and Trump would both cardiac out. We need a new generation (read: NOT the Squad)

  18. I don’t care if he flew in cargo. Summer Lee is a joke. The political atmosphere in the city proper of Pittsburgh, and Allegheny county is a complete dumpster fire. The fact that Sanders was here endorsing Summer Lee, just saddens me. On a high note, we have many skilled nursing facilities in western PA.

  19. OMG! This rabble should get out and travel more!
    American domestic First Class doesn’t even approach Premium Economy on non-US airlines.
    It’s a joke. Bernie is not exactly travelling in luxury you idiots.

  20. The surprise is not Bernie flying in first class. The surprise is that people are are so surprised by this.

    Wake up people: all those politicians preaching these socialist values do it to get the votes and benefits. They do not live by these principles and never have.

  21. Gosh, Gary, you triggered a bunch of Bernie and Donald haters out there. I thought your piece was amusing. Keep driving up the bp of the politics obsessed!

  22. As a conservative I don’t have a problem with him or any other politician flying first class although it goes against his philosophy of being a frugal guy.

  23. Gene you are no centrist. Your posts are some of the most radical left wing garbage on this blog. You make Kamala Harris look like a conservative. Who are you trying to fool?

  24. When does the statute of limitations run out on invoking Trump? Eternity?

    Further evidence the Democrats and their stooges never had a plan of their own. Which, by the way, is on full display every day now. Pick your spot: $6/gal gas. Shortage of baby formula. Food and shelter unaffordable for all but the elites. Meanwhile, the Alzheimer’s brigade of Biden, Sanders, Pelosi marches on. Over a cliff, most likely.

  25. It’s just fine if you don’t mind hypocrisy. Stop apologizing for him. He should be held to the standard he espouses.

  26. I was on a flight from BTV to DCA in F and Bernie was sitting directly behind me in F. He was met by some staff / guard on arrival at DCA but at BTV he was alone. I suspect he always flies F.

  27. The real scandal is not that a politician flies in F. Frequent flyers know that (a) it’s not that great domestically, and (b) upgrades happen all the time for frequent flyers.

    The open scandal is that the airlines gift top-tier status (Global Services for UA) and provide special representatives to help senators and members of Congress. Free and valuable stuff, presumably provided with some expectation of return.

  28. Uh, actually it’s not OK for this hypocrite to do this and the I’ll-educated columnist to endorse it.

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