The Daily Mail, in conjunction with the New York Post, which, in my opinion, are two ridiculous outlets, just wrote another joke of a post with the title: “AOC books luxury front row seat for flight from Austin to JFK“.

The story is about New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC) flying between Texas and New York on American Airlines. The Daily Mail writes: “AOC ditched the socialist act last week to bask in the luxury of a first class seat on an American Airlines flight from Austin to JFK. The Congresswoman was photographed aboard flight AA1405 on a Boeing 737-800 from Austin to John F. Kennedy International Airport last Sunday.”

If you ask me, AOC made the safest and most economic choice. First of all, there is nothing luxurious about a first-class seat on an American Airlines 737-800. I’ve flown in this seat dozens, if not hundreds, of times and according to SeatGuru, first class on this plane has 40-42 inches of pitch (legroom) and the seats are 20.4 inches wide. Main Cabin Extra, which is coach with extra legroom, has 34-40 inches of pitch and those seats are 17.1 – 17.3   wide. Not a huge difference.

Meanwhile, first class on an American Airlines A321T, which flies between New York’s JFK and California (LAX, SFO, SNA and BOS), is luxurious as it has 62 inches of pitch and a 82.5 inch lie-flat bed. The seat width is 21 inches.

But the real beef I have with this article is this paragraph: “Ocasio- Cortez would have coughed up between $400 to $600 for a one-way first-class American Airlines flight from Austin to New York City on Sunday, while economy flights would have cost her between $300 to $400, the Post reported.” An additional $100 to $200 is a bargain to fly first class and not because of the seat but because of what’s included.

The Post went on to admit that first class passengers would have had a full dinner service and alcohol available complimentary. I’m not saying that AOC was going to take advantage of the free booze but a meal and drinks is a significant savings.

But the real value of booking first class is that you get two free checked bags ($70) and you don’t have to pay for an assigned seat (up to $64; see photo above). On top of that, you get to check in at a shorter line, board first so you’re guaranteed overhead bin space, get more legroom and deplane first so you don’t have to wait what seems like an eternity on a cramped plane to get off. And let’s not forget what many people appreciate most during a pandemic … fewer people around you, which minimizes your chances of getting infected with the virus.

Most importantly, I’m betting she didn’t even pay for the upgrade since she probably has elite status with American so they upgrade their best customers for free when there’s space available.

So, I know the Daily Mail and NY Post love to slam Democratic politicians. And listen, there’s plenty I disagree with AOC about but this is petty. They should actually have complimented AOC and pointed out that if you have the choice to spend an extra $100 to $200 for first class, you’re probably saving money. And if the upgrade was free, like I suspect, would YOU have turned it down?

23 Comments On "Don’t Drag AOC For Flying First Class. She Made the Smart Choice and Maybe You Could Learn Something From Her"
  1. New york|

    Not everyone can afford first class. Does that mean those people are not “smart enough”? Enjoy your free “Abolish ICE” T shirt from AOC.

  2. Ron|

    You are really reaching here…

    Even if you, and your assumptions, are correct, it’s still bad optics. Much like Ted Cruz going to Mexico during last year’s winter storm in Texas… or John Kerry flying a private jet while lecturing everyone about the perils of man made climate change.

    Plus, if you ever find a meal on a domestic flight, with alcohol included, worth even $100, please let us know.

  3. Ben|

    These comments are as dumb as I was expecting. Thanks “New York” and Ron.

  4. David R. Miller|

    Anytime I read anyone defending that lying socialist aoc does, I wonder about their mental state. She and all of those who think as she does are ruining America.

  5. Max Weber|

    One far left Democrat spinning for another far left Democrat.

  6. Anthony Bober|

    I guess what I’m really wondering is did she pay for the ticket / upgrade? Who’s money? She was on a political speaking junket in Texas (widely promoted as a Dem fundraiser to “turn the tide of Texas becoming a “ Blue” v “Red” State.) Maybe AA needed to kiss up to her a bit. I actually think for work purposes it is better to fly first / business class – I used to do it and it allowed me to be more productive.

  7. Paul A Mccarthy|

    Hey JJ..stick to your travel ideas and suggestions not political commentary..Daily Mail story was a hack job? Since it pointed out her hypocrisy?

  8. Diane Dompka|

    Have Apples to Apples ever occurred to a Republican when attempting to make
    a point in any argument. Don’t always believe what you think…

  9. Sherrie|

    You are so reaching on this article. Trying to defend AOC sitting in first class is pathetic, even for you! She is always preaching for the little people but yet acts like an elitist. Sitting in first class is not where everyone can afford to sit and you know it. Even if she got a free upgrade from American the optics are wrong, especially for her! Why do you even comment on these types of things when you know it will tick half your audience off with your ludicrous theory.

  10. Jane Long|

    I am no particular fan of AOC, but I think it is petty to complain and denigrate anyone who has the opportunity to sit in 1st class rather than coach. I usually fly coach but I see no reason to begrudge anyone who has the opportunity to upgrade.

  11. Newyork|

    Lets assume AOC did not pay extra $600 and assume she paid $100. Again Ben, not everyone can afford to cough up $100. Paying extra $100 will not going to make much financial dent on a person making 175K a year like AOC vs a person making 20K, 40K, or even 60K. Ben these people are not dumb they are just being practical. So from a financial standpoint, “NO” there is no lesson to be learned from your article and definitely anything from AOC.

    “And let’s not forget what many people appreciate most during a pandemic … fewer people around you, which minimizes your chances of getting infected with the virus.”
    Unlike you, I am not going to call your argument as “dumb”. Clearly, you do not work in the medical field and do not know how this type of virus spread (droplet). EVERYONE who will board the plane will go through the First class section so having 2 less people in a first class row will not make a difference….wearing the correct type of mask and washing/sanitizing your hands frequently does.

  12. New Jersey|

    Thanks in advance Ben for advising your readers to make an assumption that upgrading to first class is always a much better deal.

    Johnny jet reader:
    “Heres $200, I would like to request for an upgrade for a free checked bag(s) even though I only have a carry on. Oh, and I enjoy first class meal I heard its worth the extra 200 bucks.”

    You call your reader’s opinions/feedback dumb and yet you make these dumb justifications on spending extra $200 to have FREE checked in bags when an average fee for 1st baggage is $30(even paying for a 2nd bag which is $40 will be cheaper).

  13. Douglas Lock|

    Johnny, You really stirred up a hornets nest with this article. In my case I found your article very interesting. It tells your readers to dig deeper into the fares. Keep up the good work. I love your stuff.

  14. Marlin Yoder|

    I don’t care what AOC spent to fly, that’s here business, but she is so dumb. But Google her being freaked out by a garbage disposal because she didn’t know what it was. How is this even possible?

  15. Lisa Baker|

    Great Thanks

  16. Marlin|

    I personally don’t care what she pays for a flight, but has some pretty dumb ways. Search the internet for when was scared by a garbage disposal and didn’t know what that “noise” was from it, really?
    About every other comment I hear from her just make me cringe (granted maybe her intelligent remarks never make it to the internet)? Or aren’t there any?

  17. Fred Douglas|

    I can tell that at least a third of the commenters have difficulties in reading comprehension.
    Johnny Jet took the time to state his views and thought process clearly, such that anyone running away with a grand universal conclusion (that magically fits their own views from before reading this article) are cranks who cannot accept what they supposedly read in plain, simple English.

  18. Ronald Kostas|

    Great article, thanks.

  19. Paul Benke|

    Those who are most critical of AOC’s cabin choice, and who ignore JJ’s logic,
    wouldn’t so much as squeak if a politician of their persuasion were to do the same… as undoubtedly is the case frequently.

  20. Elliott W|

    People in glass houses?

    “Climate change: Flying is ‘twice as damaging to the climate’ as previously thought”

    Flying contributes about twice as much to global warming as previously thought, a study finds.

    It is because, scientists found, planes not only produce vast quantities of CO2, they also alter the chemical balance of the atmosphere around them.

    Aviation is responsible for about 4 per cent of manmade climate change, compared to previous estimates of about 2 per cent, according to Oxford University researchers.

    Furthermore, that percentage is set to increase in coming years as flight numbers continue to increase while other sectors of the economy reduce their carbon footprints, the report warns.

    Using new techniques, the researchers found that, in addition to CO2 emissions, flights contribute to global warming by producing nitrogen oxides, water vapour and tiny particles, that alter the chemical balance of the atmosphere and affect cloudiness, which can increase the ‘net warming signal’ from aviation.”

  21. Tim G|

    Keep your comments coming (I know you will)…..things really got ugly when Trump reared his head.

  22. Gayle|

    Someone must have booked that for her because she’s not smart enough to get out of her own way. What a joke

  23. Julie Arizona|

    I appreciate this article because it would not have occurred to me that the combo of baggage fees + meal/drinks + seat choice could add up to more $ than a First Class upgrade. I would have just assumed I couldn’t afford First and grudgingly let the fees add up to buy a miserable trip in coach. Thanks for the pro tip!
    And ignore all the negative Nancies. I think they all must have news alerts set up for Democratic Congress people so they don’t miss any chance to whine about them, which means they spend more time thinking about them than you or I do. Lol. AOC is living rent-free in their heads.

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