You’d be forgiven for thinking that wealthy, world-famous celebrities would actively avoid shrinking airline seats, overpriced Sutter Home merlots, and crying babies when they fly the friendly skies. But the truth is you’re more likely to bump into a major celebrity in the main cabin at 30,000 feet than you may think.
From heiresses to actors to royals to politicians, we’ve compiled all of the major celebs who’ve been regularly spotted flying coach in recent years. (Or, at least until they bought their own private jet.) So read on, and applaud their frugality. And to learn about the more absurd side of celebrity life: see these 50 Ways That Celebs Are Definitely Not Like Us.
Blake Lively is known to regularly fly coach. As she espoused to Jimmy Fallon last year, around the time husband Ryan Reynold‘s blockbuster Deadpool was all the rage: “I was on a plane with my baby, James. It’s kind of torture these days because I’m on a plane and everywhere I look, every screen is my husband in a sex montage throughout the holidays with another woman. Everybody wants to watch Deadpool on the plane. Everyone!” We bet she wished more people spent time watching The Most Underrated Ryan Reynolds Movies Out There instead.
Kim and Kanye
In 2015, Kanye and Kim Kardashian West hopped a flight to Armenia. They’ve also been spotted flying JetBlue out of JFK—in economy class. (However, despite slumming it in cramped seats, Hollywood’s Royal Couple is granted the luxury of expedited security lines.)
From time to time, royalty steps down to mingle with the masses. For her first official solo trip abroad, last October, Duchess Kate Middleton opted to sit in coach. Still, she didn’t forgo all luxuries; per the New Zealand Herald, she was the first person to be let off the plane. But to be more like the royal family, you don’t necessarily have to fly coach: Just brush up on Our Guide to Dressing Your Child Like Prince George.
It seems both prized members of the royal family don’t mind dallying in coach. As CNN anchor Anderson Cooper noted on Twitter, “Prince William just got on my DC shuttle flight.” The Duke of Cambridge was also spotted, in 2014, flying coach, from Memphis to Dallas.
For reference, check out the previous slide.
Jessica Alba has picked up a reputation for flying coach, which is remarkable, for someone of her fame and wealth. (She’s a bona fide billionaire business queen.) But what’s even more remarkable is her commitment to her kids: She’s been known to kick it in economy while putting her kids, Honor and Haven, up in first class digs.
Yes, Paris Hilton—the same Paris Hilton who built a dog house for her pup that’s more lavish than most people’s actual houses—swears by flying economy. As she told The Mirror: “I fly commercial as well. Whatever it takes to get where you’re going. I don’t mind going commercial.” (One more time and we’ll believe you, Paris.) “I’m normal,” she said.
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee has been frequently spotted flying coach. He’s even been sandwiched in the middle seat. Talk about a far cry from Air Force One…
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
This was before the split of the century, but Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie—and Maddox, and Pax, and Zahara, and Shiloh, and Knox, and Vivienne—hopped a flight to the family’s summer home in Nice, France…in coach.
In an honorable display of flying coach, Amy Adams, having spotted a military serviceman sitting in coach, swapped her first class seat with him. She later told Inside Edition, “It was something I had always wanted to do,” which makes sense: After all, Adams grew up as a military kid.
Since the late 1980s, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been a steadfast presence on the Forbes billionaires list. But he consistently flew coach until 1997, when, according to the New York Times, he dropped $21 million on a private jet. That’s been his manner of air transit ever since.
In 2011, immediately after she picked up a Screen Actors Guild award for her role in Temple Grandin, Claire Danes had to make it back to New York for a shoot. So she hopped a flight. A commercial one. On the red-eye schedule.
Ever since her split with Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, along with daughter Suri Cruise, has opted to fly coach for certain trips—notably, only to Toledo, Ohio, where Holmes’s parents live.
Between sunglasses and hats, it seems that, when celebrities fly coach, they try their best to keep things inconspicuous. But sometimes, that backfires. In a wonderful display of the Barbara Streisand Effect, Nicolas Cage‘s feeble attempts at disguise got him spotted. On a flight to Canada, he wore some not-at-all-inconspicuous full-on noir film garb, from the trench to the fedora, the ended up getting him noticed by a couple across the aisle.
Bernie Sanders, the junior senator from Vermont, spent the first half of his presidential campaign flying coach. Once the primaries kicked off in earnest, however, he pivoted his campaign to a private Gulfstream, to deal with the overwhelming volume and haywire scheduling of campaign events.
Yes, we saved the best and most notorious celebrity coach flyer for last. Alec Baldwin has been known to regularly fly coach—and he’s even ended up in the news for it. Once, he got kicked off an American Airlines flight for refusing to put his phone away. For more on that story, and that aforementioned paparazzi-pummeling story, and a story about how he yelled obscenities at his daughter, don’t miss the 20 Craziest Hollywood Meltdowns of All Time—Ever.
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