Guess who flies economy on Emirates? The chairman…
He is one of the most successful airline bosses in history, and the man whose vision brought the incredible A380 planes to Dubai. Usually, if you are very lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of Sheikh Ahmed in First Class. That’s where he normally sits – and wouldn’t anyone if they ran the company?
But not last week…Sheikh Ahmed has revealed that he boarded a flight between Dubai and Auckland in New Zealand recently, and took the entire 17 hour journey at the very back of the plane, in economy.
Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, he said: “"I have tried it [the new route] - 17-18 hours in economy." He added that he "likes to be close to the people".
Well he will have plenty more chances as full commercial flights, direct to New Zealand, start in two weeks’ time. And in late March, Emirates will launch direct flights to Panama, making it – at close to 18 hours – the longest flight in the world.
He’s not the only famous economy fan out there. The founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamorad, who is worth around $25bn, only ever flies economy. Other mega billionaires seen in economy include Warren Buffett and Carlos Slim, two of the richest men in history.
On the celebrity front, Sean P.Diddy Combs, Katie Holmes (Tom Cruise’s ex wife), Nicky Hilton have all done it. Last June, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt flew with their six children between Paris and Nice on economy.
On the other end of the scale, the world’s richest Arab Prince Alwaleed prefers to travel in style, having custom built his own private jumbo jet to fly him around the globe.