U.S. Senator Harassed For ‘Selling Out’ And Flying In Extra Legroom Coach

Members of Congress usually fly coach. The government doesn’t pay for first class for them to travel between their home and D.C. They may get upgrades as frequent flyers, and some do buy up to first.

In the Before Times, pre-pandemic, I’d regularly see Members of Congress walking to the back of my regular Thursday afternoon American Airlines DC – Dallas flights.

Members, though, do receive special services on the ground and other perks. Delta for instance regularly hands out elite status to Georgia politicians. And there are special reservations desks that allow them to book several flights and only pay for the ones they actually take. (Government fares are refundable in any case.)

But if you’re going to take a Senator to task for flying in luxury, please please don’t make it one who is flying extra legroom coach. Currently Delta’s “Comfort+” seats no longer even come with complimentary booze (beer and wine only, and not on the shortest flights).

It was a crazy week in D.C. so I’ll chalk it up to that, I suppose, when a woman harasses Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), pointing out he’s in “Delta-Plus, that’s what you get for selling out to the [Chinese Communist Party].”

You really would think that those bought off by a major world power would be flying first class. Unless, of course, they’re trying to hide their new wealth. What would QAnon say?

Certainly when Chinese Community Party members travel to the upcoming Twentieth Party Congress they’ll be flying up front! Even top North Korean officials do – in communism everyone is equal, but Air Koryo has business class.

Although oddly for someone supposedly on China’s payroll, he co-sponsored a bill in the Senate that would increase the power of the federal government to prevent China from purchasing U.S. companies.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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’m surprised they aren’t upgraded most of the time. Wouldn’t most of them achieve a high level of elite status?

  2. When did Delta stop serving free booze in comfort Plus? I flew them to LAX from DCA a few months ago and the free booze definitely flowed during the whole flight. Well, beer and wine anyway.

  3. How dare he fly in Comfort+??? Who does he think he is?

    I’m no Senator and yet when I fly I buy into the extra legroom seating. Why should this guy get heckled for doing the same thing. The heckler was probably jealous that she wasn’t sitting in a little more comfort.

  4. Is it me or are all of these trashy Trumpers that have been harassing people on flights women? My god, the anger and vitriol of these “Karen’s” is breathtaking. The type that “demands to see the supervisor at Wal-Mart and threatens to complain to the BBB because the pork rinds were stale.”

  5. You can tell the woman filming comes from the lower rungs of society. She has that uneducated tone of voice.

    As a reminder, the Founding Fathers set up a system to curtail the right to vote. In addition to a restricted franchise and indirect election of senators, the Electoral College was meant to serve as an additional check to ensure that the elite of the day could control the final outcome of elections. It wasn’t a terrible idea – we just need to ensure that we are defining who is elite based on educational attainment and social status and not on factors such as race, gender, etc.

  6. I don’t get it. YOLO. His net worth is like $200 million dollars. I’m cheap as hell, but why wouldn’t you splurge for a private flight? How much is that? Just checked, like $20k
    I mean, you can’t take it with you. Why put up with all that shit, especially in these times.

  7. If Delta Plus were the only thing you’d get for selling out to the Chinese Communist Party, our country would be a lot better off today.

  8. @Stuart +1

    These trumpers are getting their due. Companies are now terminating employees identified in videos from the last 48 hours.

  9. What’s the big deal now? People are just imitating Antifa and BLM. In the words of a great man: “I want you to argue with them and get in their face.”

  10. Chuck Grassley sits in AA 1st row in coach. I sat next to him in 2016 on the nonstop DSM-DCA. I don’t think he recognized me (I’ve know and fought against him since the earl 1970s :-). ). When he greeted me & asked how I was, I replied, “I could use more judges! 😉 ” He quickly put his phone to ear and turned away. No further interaction

    Last fall on DCA-DSM we got to question him in the aisle as he made his way back. We were all upgraded to 1st 🙂

    Peaceful protest!

  11. In 2015, before he was a known Congressional name, I sat next to Devin Nunes DCA-DFW-FAT. We were both upgraded due to being EP. We talked for hours, even though it was clear that we didn’t agree politically. Since he’s became (in)famous, my friends always let me know whenever they see him on the news. LOL.

  12. @Boston

    The GSA-negotiated government fares members of congress book are typically quite low and certainly do not help with earning meaningful status in any program that has a spend requirement.

  13. I worked for the DOJ and spent my life on the road and in planes every week. You buy your ticket using either a govt. credit card or you can use your own card as well. No matter what, you will get reimbursed for the special fully refundable and changeable Govt. Rate Coach ticket.

    The funny thing is that these tickets are often times way the heck more expensive that a cheap ticket you can just buy on your own, using your own credit card. So, I often did this just to save the Govt. money. Why not? I never got burned on a ticket because it was not refundable.

    If you fly a lot, you should have tons of upgrades you earn. Plus, you can pay the difference out of your own pocket, if you wanted to. These Senators are usually wealthy people and they can well afford to pay the difference.

    Frankly, if I was a Senator or Congressman now, and a person of wealth, I would simply fly private jet and avoid Covid and hecklers.

  14. Gary,

    Please consider NOT giving more bandwidth to idiots like this one.

    Thank you.

  15. Jcil you are correct words above said by Obama and Maxine waters was to fight them!!! nuts .This woman is right on with those Dems in bed with the CCP including the new demented Prez tho she should have waited till take-off so she would not be removed from the flight!!!

  16. The rhetoric is simple: blame Chyna!
    Meanwhile the top brass in Chinese government must be laughing hard at what’s going on in US capital.

  17. If you could bottle and sells that woman’s degree of crazy, the bath salts crowd would pay a fortune for it.

  18. Ugh. I get upset and I follow politics too but can we please not harass each other at the airport or on a plane? I once watched a Senator that ran for president (that I did not vote for that position) get passively harassed randomly by this person that started talking to me loudly behind him about “He didn’t write a letter of recommendation for my son for the Air Force academy, but Senator X did. I don’t like him. I won’t vote for him.” This poor man, like him or not, is just trying to get to his plane like the rest of us. With all that sucks with air travel and airports, can’t we just STFU at an airport? Also side note, if this woman’s takes issue with this politician is that he fly’s in Comfort +, I truly wonder what her priorities are. Something tells me his mere existence offends her, not his location.

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