No, There’s Nothing Wrong With AOC Flying First Class. Why Do You Ask?

A minor social media firestorm erupted on The Right when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was spotted flying first class on American Airlines last Sunday from Austin to New York JFK. I linked to the story and scoffed at the notion that this was scandalous.

One Mile at a Time doesn’t think the optics are good though also acknowledges American Airlines first class isn’t luxury, so this is being completely overblown.

Personally I agree that the optics here aren’t good. I think they’re a lot less bad than when AOC attended the Met Gala, but I can appreciate that someone who is staunchly a person “of the people” might not want to sit in first class from an optics standpoint on principle.

If I’m AOC I’m flying first class when possible for the extra space to work. Socialism in our time doesn’t just happen on its own, it’s hard work, and she needs to self-exploit her labor value to the maximum extent possible. Bear in mind that:

  • If this was paid and not an upgrade, she wouldn’t have been using taxpayer funds. She was in Austin campaigning. If anything it’s DCCC or PAC donor dollars at issue, so it’s a matter for donors to decide whether they’re getting value for their investment or not.

  • People think she’s being hypocritical because first class is what she’s against but that’s not true, she just wants corporations to give first class away to everyone free.

  • 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. And since the trip occurred prior to the return of hot meals to sub-1500 mile flights, she’d have been offered something like this to eat:

  • Even Air Koryo has business class. In socialist paradise “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

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 AOC’s popularity one bit – nor should it.

Besides if she manages to stop the New York LaGuardia ‘train to nowhere’ and it winds up replaced by something more sane, what traveler would begrudge her a bit of time in American Airlines first class? Plus she had to fly into JFK thanks to LaGuardia’s perimeter rule. Maybe she’ll support rescinding it.

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. I think it’s great that there are folks in this thread writing that I’m a devotee of Ayn Rand, and others saying I’m a flak for the Democratic Party. Which is it, people? You can only choose one!

  2. I’m calling total BS on ‘she just wants corporations to give first class away to everyone free’. She wants a safety net and health insurance for everyone, not first class on American. As part of her JOB she probably flies a lot and gets upgraded sometimes- big deal.

  3. She’s braindead like most of the people that support her. Remember her entire accomplishment in live was being a bar tender

  4. Normally she would fly private air Give the gal a break since her broom is still in the shop getting repaired. Seems AOC was involved in a multi-broom collision over Washington with Hillary and Nancy.

  5. Haha, well said. She’s a hypocritical politician who uses real issues for her personal advancement and populism. It’s good that her hypocrisy is highlighted from time to time

  6. I wonder if most people even know that the airlines GIVE members of Congress FF status? That has been true for years!

  7. BFD. So she flew first class. I am not in love with her politics, but if she got upgraded or paid for the upgrade, I don’t really care. Enjoy the extra comfort when you can.

  8. Kogger J.
    accomplishment in live was being a bar tender

    Read what you wrote. A bit brain dead I would say. You really should read your posts out loud so you can catch your errors when you want to ding someone you love to hate.

  9. Gary, you unleashed a hornet’s nest with your comments about AOC. I read your blog for news on the travel industry not AOC’s travel habits. The intensity of the hatred from many of the comments is appalling.

  10. American is generous with their upgrades, I should know. If she has American status because she flies a lot, good for her. People just love to hate, they are so blinded by their politics. Sadly, it always has been like this in this country, social media now makes more people aware of it.

  11. Nothing like some red meat for the MAGA mouth breathers!

    And for chumps like David Miller – you know the Blue states are the net makers and the Red states the red takers, right? Too bad you’re just another dumb uneducated cuck.

  12. @UA-NYC New York City would last about three days after red New York decided to cut off your food, electricity, fuel, and water supply and would be perfectly content without you, so don’t be so smug. You can’t eat derivatives, REITs, or swaps and that slog up 80 flights to your palatial penthouse in the sky is going to get really old once the elevators stop working.

  13. AOC flying first class doesn’t compare to the multiple times Trump used to take Airforce 1 down to Florida at tax payers expense, then I hear we used to have to pay for crew and secret service accommodations at his resort ,

  14. I chose one, amigo: you’re an Ayn Rand fan who happens to be among the mix of Republicans who have principles such that Trump has not become your worshiped Lord.

  15. Gerrit – Really??? I guess brain dead Biden flying to Delaware 25 times his first year on Air Force One at taxpayers expense is OK with you? At just that rate, if he lasts 4 years, the United States can look forward to this traitor flying to Delaware 100 or more times.

  16. Kogger J,

    It’s quite an accomplishment to run for public office so as to get elected as a US Congressperson from NYC. When you manage to run for US Congress and get sworn in as a federal legislator, then I’ll make sure to remember to come back and ask what you accomplished. She grew up between the Bronx and Westchester and didn’t end up going to my idea of a great college/university, but she also seemed to have done reasonably well in her STEM-related classes up to that point. To your future chagrin, her focus in and after high school shifted to economics and politics. And now she’s in an accomplished position to have her mere existence set you off even over trivial things like her flying enough to have airline frequent flyer status and the perks that come from it.

  17. I thought Biden took Amtrak to Delaware? Why would he fly AF1 – that would take longer? Maybe Marine One to Rehobeth.

    I guess AOC couldn’t catch a lift on Al Gore’s private jet.

  18. @UA_NYC – Those numbers don’t say what you think they say. And you haven’t refuted my argument – upstate New York could own you in three days. The only question is, did you earn your money, or are you like Trump – you inherited a pile from Daddy and like people to think you did it all by yourself?

  19. I feel badly for you guys who get so riled up about politics. A politician at any level is an emotional cripple. They have no interest in the people of the US, they just want attention, recognition and power. They accomplish nothing but they’re good at throwing our money at projects … it’s all a sideshow for the chumps that believe a politician has some interest in the job. Find something to get excited about that actually matters … like education, or non-gov’t programs to feed hungry children or 501c3s who help disabled veterans get their lives back.

  20. Would you please, please, please stay out of politics? Your comments are disgusting and are not why I read your blog. You clearly have very little understanding of what the democratic party’s actual goals are. Of course, accuracy doesn’t spark teaser headlines. Knock it off and stay in your lane.

  21. AOC, like most politicians, revels in her “specialness.” There is very little about her that cares for the little people. It is great to be at the top looking down. Who wouldn’t want to be there?

  22. AOC received 10,000 bonus miles as compensation through Loyalty Lobby because they didn’t serve her fresh oats in first class

  23. AOC should get that pecker wrecker of a set of teef’s fixed. Free dental for all! lol

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