On “Class Struggle in the Sky”

The NYTimes published on op-ed titled “Class Struggle in the Sky“, where the author bemoans the terrible nature of coach travel while demonizing the extravagances of business class.

Ignoring the poor writing and lack of understanding and research (which Gary does a good job of deconstructing), I’m finding the comments extraordinarily entertaining.

One commenter writes:

Interesting article, but what James Atlas fails to mention is the reason why airlines increasingly cater to the “jet setter”: global demand. And how does demand continue to outpace supply for these high priced seats: airline miles and loyalty perks.

I’m a budget traveler, but airline miles afforded me these luxuries:

– Upgrade to business class for me & Mom from SF to NYC (30,000 miles)
– 1 night stay at hotel near O’Hare to catch 6am flight (17,500 miles)
– RT from NYC to Vancouver (37,500 miles)
– 7 night hotel stay in Turks & Caicos (15,000 miles + $800) **I emptied out my miles bank

How did I incur so many miles? First, the airline ponies up 30,000 miles when you sign up. Second, pay for everything I do (bills, food shopping, restaurants) on my airline credit card. Third, you get miles when you fly the airline. Fourth, accumulate miles until you get to levels when you can trade them in. It may take a while, but its worth it.

Many of the folks in the pricey seats aren’t rich at all – they just know how to take advantage of the system. Instead of complaining about the 1%, the 99% should realize how the 1% got so rich – by not paying for stuff.

Good for him finding use of his miles, and I guess in some sense, whatever you want to redeem for is the best use of your miles, but it’s clear that this guy isn’t a FTer…

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