People Who Buy First-Class Tickets On Discount Airlines Are Like…

benpopken: So let me bounce this off you
benpopken: A guy buys a first-class ticket on discount airliner AirTran, is he an asshole?
consumeristcarey: Only if he expects a sundae.
consumeristcarey: I can see why someone’s secretary might book the ticket.
consumeristcarey: But yeah, it’s a weird thing for anyone to do on their own.
benpopken: Well let’s kick it up a notch. Let’s say that a guy buys a first-class ticket on AirTran, and then when the steward is asking all the first-class passengers what they want to drink before take-off, he asks for a Grey Goose and cran…

benpopken: Does he now qualify as an asshole?
consumeristcarey: Getting warmer. How did he react when the steward told him that they appeared to be all out?
benpopken: Confused.
consumeristcarey: Asshole.
benpopken: Wonderful, I had that instinct when I saw it on the plane last night and wanted to make sure I wasn’t off-base.
benpopken: I guess that makes him a first-class asshole.

(Photo: mandolux)


Edit Your Comment

  1. form3hide says:

    …slow news day, huh

  2. hapless says:

    If first class is offered, I expect first class service. Seems straightforward to me, shit.

  3. fredmertz says:

    Why wouldn’t you buy a first class ticket on a discount airline? The upgrade is usually nominal and the seats are much more comfortable than even the best domestic coach ticket. The better question is why would you buy a coach ticket on a discount airline. Hope your flight was a short one.

    And you guys really have a low threshhold of “asshole-ness”. Did they guy yell at the stewardess or just look confused. Hell, I look confused almost all the time, and I’m only an asshole about 50%.

  4. STrRedWolf says:

    Okay… buying a first class seat (wow, comfy seats and a stocked liquor cabinet)…

    On a discount airline (down a notch on the liquor, gotta cut costs somewhere)…

    Then getting on, asking for a liquor that’s not on the plane, and looking confused like he thinks he’s on Virgin America instead of Airtran.

    Yeah. First class asshole, but just inside the mark. More moronic than idiotic. A few more flights and he’ll get the idea.

  5. @form3hide: No way, on the day before Christmas? I mean, how dare Ben and Carey try to put a smile on our faces with a little anecdote. They should forget their families and hunt down those uber-consumer stories!


  6. sleze69 says:

    There’s no such thing as first class on a low-cost carrier (or pretty much any domestic flight). What they call first class is actually business class to the rest of the world.

    Hell…US Airways upgrades you for free on their cheapo domestic airplanes.

  7. shaunirving says:

    I have a feeling many of the first-classers on Airtran are people who, like myself, had flight credits they couldn’t use for free coach flights. So instead of one unusable round-trip ticket in coach, they got a free one-way ticket in first class.

    Since it was from one coast to the other, I did get my money’s worth.

  8. weave says:

    AirTran doesn’t even call it First Class, it’s called Business Class.

  9. DrGirlfriend says:

    I’d rather he look confused, rather than start a fight with the flight attendant, as I saw happen on a particular flight — the passenger behind be in the ass-end of coach was asking for Courvoiser (!), but it was only available in first class.

    He shouted “Discrimation!!!!!” After the flight attendant told it wasn’t discrimation, it was called “getting what you pay for”, he settled for a Sprite. But then he rejected it because it wasn’t chilled. Now *that’s* an asshole!

  10. SteveBMD says:

    Why was he “confused” when they were out of Grey Goose?

    And why does this make him an “asshole”?

    Like someone wrote above, it sure must be a slow news day. Yikes.

  11. bohemian says:

    I thought it was funny.
    Also so glad I have not needed to fly anywhere for almost a decade. Being jammed in like sardines with old ladies covered in rose perfume for 5 hours is not my idea of a good time.

  12. edbro says:

    Okay, that was me. The only reason I asked for it is because I was hired as a secret shopper and that was my assignment. I’d rather had the diet coke like those bums in coach!
    (just kiddin’)

  13. KJones says:

    What’s wrong with expecting to get what you pay for?

  14. Meg Marco says:

    If someone types “slow news day” on Christmas Eve… on a blog… what does that make them?

  15. chili_dog says:

    Grey Goose isn;t even offered. []

    But I will never fly Air Tran EVER. If they won;t stock even Glenfiddich 18 ([]) then my money isn;t welcome.

  16. homerjay says:

    @Meg Marco: What is “Slow,” Alex?

  17. missdona says:

    I used to upgrade into business class on ATA all the time. $20 was worth it to me not to have some kid coughing on my hair.

  18. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Buying a first-class ticket entitles you to whatever perks that entails…bigger seat, priority boarding, drinks…whatever…but it doesn’t elevate you to King-of-the-World.

    Out of Grey Goose? Order something else, shut up, and don’t have a temper-tantrum.

    Buy a first-class ticket on AirTran? Of course I would. And when I get to where I’m going, I’ll eat in style in my own private reserved booth at Taco Bell.

  19. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Say, Ben…can we buy “First Class” commenter upgrades? I’d really like my comments to be posted first, and just between you and me..they people making comments above and below me are kind of irritating and I’d like a little bit of extra room between their comments and mine.


  20. humorbot says:

    @Meg Marco: Stating the obvious maybe… Certainly not an asshole. You (meaning the Consumerist you, not the Meg you) posts the meandering, self-indulgent, hey-we-know-how-to-use-AIM posts, you takes your lumps, no?

  21. humorbot says:

    I tried to close that tag. =( I really really did.

  22. SOhp101 says:

    @DrGirlfriend: Yes, definitely a first class a-hole.

    BTW, I don’t think I’ve ever told you this but I love your avatar.

  23. themediatrix says:

    Hmmm. First class on a discount airline. Never thought of that…

  24. goodkitty says:

    I dunno… it sounds to me like Ben was just jealous that he didn’t do the $5 upgrade too… :)

  25. camman68 says:

    On AirTran with a 3 week advanced purchase, Wichita to Atlanta is $210.80 round trip for a discounted rate. The same trip in “Business Class” is $730.80.

    What exactly would I get for the extra 500 bucks?

  26. MYarms says:

    I guess I’m not elite enough because I don’t understand the point of all this.

  27. drink as much as you can in shooters and at the sky bar before passing through TSA, and hope to god you flight is on time/less than 15 minutes late

    well, that’s my strategy at least. worked for me the past 5 times; YMMV

  28. Womblebug says:

    @camman: Honestly, you’d get laughed at. You can upgrade a full-fare coach seat to business class for $25. Will cost more than a sale fare, but far less than $730.

    I like business class for the room, not the booze. For that, discounters fit my needs just fine.

  29. Preppy6917 says:

    @womblebug: @womblebug:
    Especially for those long-haul flights, where the upgrade is $50. I’ll gladly pay it if I can be comfortable for 4 hours.

    Also, BuddyPass/NonRev tickets are usually upgraded if Biz Class isn’t full. Makes having flight attendant friends extra sweet!

  30. banmojo says:

    don’t know don’t care never gonna fly again ’til TSA is disbanded or severely spanked. if consumers everywhere united we could get this trainwreck turned around right quick methinks….

  31. MooYork says:

    Consumerist – you missed the MAXjet bankruptcy story, stranding all those only-affordable-business-class passengers the day before xmas.

  32. GearheadGeek says:

    re: Grey Goose… Vodka is basically only good for cleaning a cut or mixing with something that provides all the flavor in the drink… (funny how grey goose and cranberry tastes much like Jim Bob’s plastic-bottle vodka with cranberry)

    Whisky. splash of water, no ice. mmmmmm

  33. esqdork says:

    Ben, were you also sitting in First Class? Is that allowed for you?

  34. theblackdog says:

    Wait, AirTran has first-class seating? What the French Toast?

  35. number9ine says:

    Who flies AirTran?

  36. JeffM says:

    @number9ine: Better yet, where can you fly AirTran… never even heard of it…

  37. Tallanvor says:

    Reading this, I sense a couple of assholes… But not the guy they’re talking about.

    Air Tran’s business class is, while not first class, still much nicer than coach. And their prices are fairly reasonable, compared to the legacy carriers. I used to pay for the $35 upgrades if the flight was longer than an hour.

  38. Pop Socket says:

    My company is a A2B member of AirTran and we get free business class upgrades. Nice perk if you can get it and I’m not about to turn it down.

  39. B says:

    @Meg Marco: Pissed about being stuck at work on christmas day. And possibly an asshole.

  40. B says:

    @B: I mean Christmas Eve, obviously.

  41. JerseyJarhead says:

    It’s interesting that we are so used to being abused by the airlines, we think it’s absurd to ask for first-class service in…first class!