Back in the early, heady days of the populist backlash against Wall Street (and, by extension, anyone with money), when it seemed as though it was if not a given at least a possibility that the guillotine might come back into fashion, one of the first sacrifices wealthy people made in deference to the Mood and in order to avoid becoming a Symbol was to limit their travel on private jets. Flying commercial wouldn’t be that bad, they assumed. “I did it before,” they said to themselves. “I wonder if they still have those honey-roasted peanuts!” They regretted the decision almost immediately.
According to Fred Reid of Flexjet, a company that sells fractional shares in private aircraft:
“One of the things that has happened is that people, for whatever reasons — financial distress, concern at the board level about public and employee perception — had to go to commercial aviation. And for people who hadn’t done that in a while, they’re suddenly reminded of how utterly, dreadfully inefficient that is.
It’s a good thing that the crisis didn’t get so bad that they had to go further and mask their status by doing other poor-people things like riding the subway or “working.” Then they’d have been in for a really rude awakening.