The Internet Is Dunking On Marvel Comics “Thor” Actor Flying Emirates First Class With His Daughter

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, best known for portraying Thor in Marvel films, is getting roasted online for posting video traveling with his daughter in Emirates first class.

Hemsworth is one of the top paid actors in the world. He’s not flying private. And he’s sharing the joy of travel with his daughter.

  • It’s one thing to criticize private jet travel enroute to an environmental conference
  • Or to criticize ostentatious travel using taxpayer money (although it should happen more often, to be honest)
  • Or for a socialist to fly first class (North Korea’s Air Koryo has a business class even)

He’s being criticized for spending his own money on his own family’s experiences, and there’s no sense of hypocrisy where he’s a critic of conspicuous consumption conspicuously consuming. He’s not asking for donations from parishioners to fund luxury travel, either.

All the transferable points currencies offer the option to move their currencies to Emirates and while Emirates first class awards have been tough coming out of the pandemic, upgrades from business to first are much easier and a better value. Which means that simply being in Emirates first isn’t maybe such a huge ostentatious show of wealth, even if the product itself is over the top blinged out, albeit on most of their planes a couple generations behind the best first class offerings.

Regardless, Hemsworth makes studios a lot of money, because people go to see him in films they enjoy, and he’s paid a lot of money for that. He almost certainly pays a disproportionately large share of taxes. He’s made significant donations to charity as well. I’m not sure what he has to be ashamed of flying commercial in a premium cabin?

In 2014, when Etihad introduced “The Residence” as the most ostentatious premium airline product in the world (a separate bedroom and private bath with shower), blogger Ben Schlappig ran a ‘Go Fund Me’ to try it. A corporate communications executive for one of Etihad’s partners roasted Schlappig online over it, calling Ben an “idiot” and suggesting giving to charity instead, because $20,000 airline tickets (which her airline sold as well) were “dumb and wasteful.” She worked for an airline yet said “it’s actually making me angry” and that the people “contributing to this are gross.” There’s something that sets people off about seeing others spend a lot on luxuries. Even airline people, when it’s their own customers.

If you want to dunk on Hemsworth, it should be for the travesty of participating in remakes of such classics as Red Dawn and Ghostbusters.

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. Haters are going to hate. I am not rich but with every opportunity I get, my 2 and 4-year-old will be flying first class. It makes for a much more pleasant experience for both parents and kids alike.

  2. Cartoons and Super Heroes, too many folks living in Fantasyland.
    Different Strokes for Different Folks.

  3. Anyone can spend their money however they want, none of anyone else’s business.

    Unless you post it publicly.

    That kinda ruins the “your own business” aspect of it.

    Not to say the negative reactions are appropriate, but why post at all?

  4. It’s amazing the level the hater/conspiracy theory folks seem to be sinking to these days…..A little scary how they’ll be using AI in the future to justify their twisted existence

  5. I find it rather disheartening that people are so quick to criticize Chris Hemsworth for his choice to fly commercial and share experiences with his daughter. It’s baffling to witness the lengths some individuals will go to find fault in even the most benign actions.

    First and foremost, Hemsworth’s status as one of the top-paid actors in the world is a testament to his talent and hard work. He has rightfully earned his success and the perks that come with it, including the ability to afford luxurious travel experiences. It’s absurd to vilify him for choosing to share these experiences with his own family, especially his daughter. Last time I checked, being a loving parent was not a crime.

    The comparison to private jet travel en route to an environmental conference is utterly misplaced. Hemsworth’s choice to fly commercial in no way contributes to environmental harm on the same scale as private jets. Additionally, criticizing someone for spending their hard-earned money on personal experiences is a futile exercise in envy.

    The notion that Hemsworth should be ashamed for flying commercial in a premium cabin is both baseless and absurd. He is not advocating for conspicuous consumption nor is he asking for handouts from anyone to fund his travel. Hemsworth has worked tirelessly to reach his current status, and he is entitled to enjoy the fruits of his labor as he sees fit.

    Furthermore, it’s worth noting that Hemsworth’s contributions to the film industry are substantial. He entertains millions of people worldwide, and his success translates into economic benefits for the entire industry. Additionally, his substantial tax payments contribute significantly to public funds. Hemsworth has also been known for his philanthropic efforts, which further highlight his commitment to making a positive impact.

    It’s high time we stop nitpicking the choices of successful individuals and instead appreciate their contributions to society. Chris Hemsworth is an actor who has worked hard and achieved great success, and he should not be criticized for how he chooses to travel with his family or spend his earnings. Let’s focus on more important matters and recognize the positive aspects of his career and life.

  6. I never knew Ben did a Go Fund me to fly Etihad Residence. Or that anyone was stupid enough to actually pay into it. That’s hilarious.

  7. Gary, the reason Ben got so much blowback wasn’t b/c he was willing to pay $20K for the Ethihad residence. It was actually b/c he WASN’T (personally) willing to pay the $20K fare, and instead set up a gofundme for his readers to donate $$$ to him in order for him to buy the fare.

    At that time, IIRC, Ben was making a lot of money from his blog, but wasn’t yet willing to publicly acknowledge how much money he was really making from it. The criticism was that he was asking for donations from blog readers who didn’t realize how much money he was making from the blog, and genuinely thought he could not pay the price vs just not thinking it worthwhile and/or not wanting to publicly acknowledge that he earned enough from his blog so a $20K ticket wasn’t a big deal. In a way, this was similar to the church leader asking for donations to fund a private plane (minus the “pious” hypocrisy) in terms of asking for donations to purchase a luxury item from people who probably make less than he did.

    This was a few years before he posted about taking his dad on an African Safari trip, staying in tented cabins that cost $3-4K a night (for a week long trip) so it was still a somewhat doable pretense. Obviously, with the plethora of non-points luxury hotel reviews on the blog in recent years, Ben has given up all attempt to hide his current financial status.

  8. Grown men and women watching cartoon-like movies inspired by comic strips and originally intended for kids and teenagers…another sign of societal decay for sure.

  9. The real question here is why we give people that pretend for a living or throw a ball faster stupid money and hero worship. No wonder why Lucy Mcgillicuddy Ricardo was so desperate to break into show business.

  10. If I can afford it, I’m flying it. Screw the jealous people who are complaining because they are in Economy. I travel in Economy enough and it’s not a badge of honor…it’s a average experience at best. And not exactly an enjoyable highlight.

  11. How dare he live his best life enjoying the premium lifestyle in front of all of us trying to do the same on miles
    His buying those seats hurts our chance for mile redemption’s too!

  12. Gee, just because he was rich and successful and smart enough to get his flight on mileage tickets .

  13. We have a massive problem with wealth inequality, obviously. But attacking wealthy people for being wealthy won’t do anything to help that problem. The problem isn’t wealthy individuals, it’s the system that allows and even encourages the concentration of wealth at levels not seen for centuries.

    Attacking individuals for being wealthy reminds me of attacking union members for having higher pay, benefits, and protections. It feels very much like The Wizard of Oz, where our attentions are being directed at individuals instead of at the systems that are leading to the destruction of the middle class and the evaporation of class mobility.

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