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“Ghastly.” Prince Phillip Reviews Economy Class

“Ghastly.” Prince Phillip Reviews Economy Class
Jennifer Billock

The royal family maintains a travel budget that taxpayers in the United Kingdom cover, and it governs how the family flies—and Prince Philip, no stranger to heavy-handed opinions, had some choice words for the state of economy class on airplanes, though it seems like he’s never actually flown it himself.

The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip and his wife, The Queen, are some of the most well traveled monarchs in history—thanks to taxpayers, who foot the bill for their excursion transportation, be it official or otherwise. The family has traveled all around the globe, generally on commercial jets, sometimes on private jets, and in the case of The Queen, often on passenger trains.

Recently, though, Prince Philip made his feelings known about flying commercial planes in the lowest class, never one to shy away from a polarizing opinion.

“If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort—provided you don’t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly,” Prince Philip told the Aircraft Research Association, reported by the Express.

Both Prince Philip and The Queen have begun to slow their traveling as they age, leaving it up to their kids and grandchildren to rack up what can sometimes be extravagant travel bills; Prince Charles apparently angered much of the country when he traveled to Romania, Italy, and Austria. The trip cost nearly $200,000.


[Image: Wikimedia/Steve Punter]

View Comments (25)


  1. Cymbo

    January 13, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Talk about a load of worthless parasites……..

  2. fairhsa

    January 14, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Well he’s not wrong!

  3. fotographer

    January 14, 2019 at 2:57 am

    along with all members of the house/senate etc. plus all the so called kings and queens of countries around the world
    what fun to travel when you are not paying for it.

  4. flying_geek

    January 14, 2019 at 3:58 am

    The average Trump trip to Mar A Lago costs $3.6 million according to the Government Accounting Office, those trips are actually funded by the tax payer. Three of those trips roughly make up the Royal Family’s travel budget including state visits for the year.
    Now, the crown estate generates about $400 million a year in revenue for the British Government, thereby more than funding the cost of Royal Family. While we don’t know what Trump pays in taxes, it’s a save bet that it does not fund his vacation trips.

    I do not know a single individual that has shown more discipline and work ethic than HM, the Queen. Calling her “worthless” or “parasite” is apart from being rude, simply a sign of ignorance.

    Even if the old lady did nothing but drive through the city and wave once a week, her economic contribution to the UK in tourism alone would make her worthwhile.

  5. ilcannone

    January 14, 2019 at 4:57 am

    Uh, and other rulers aren’t guilty of this?

  6. cmh flyer

    January 14, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Gee, did I stumble into OMNI?

  7. fairhsa

    January 14, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    flying_geek – well put. totally agree. And economy is ghastly.

  8. SpaceCoastBill

    January 14, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Yea, nice way to bend the truth to make your hatred for our President seem valid.

    Your TDS is showing.

  9. edgewood49

    January 15, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Ohh for heavens sake is this news?

  10. YankinOz

    January 15, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Lol “bend the truth”. Sure, since discussing facts now is bending the truth. Keep up your cult worship as things keep going downhill.

  11. flying_geek

    January 15, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    While I am certainly not a fan of Trump, my post was less anti-trump and more meant to put those numbers into perspective. I am not blaming Trump for the cost of a Mar a Lago trip per se, the bulk of the cost is security – sure, flying a 747 isn’t cheap, but that happens to be the company jet he is required to fly. Other than maybe a couple of grand for hotel rooms for staff at Trump Hotels, I can’t blame the man for that cost. How often it is reasonable to fly there – one can argue about that. But when it comes to US spending on the presidential travel cost, while a sizeable number – it isn’t anywhere on my list of concerns.

    But a trip through 3 countries for Charles and Camilla at $200K is a bargain – taking into account that there are some security considerations, some staff that needs to travel etc.

    If you then put that number into context with the Royal Family’s contribution to UK taxes and economy – it makes as much of a difference as next week’s one day car rental in full size vs mid-size makes to my annual travel cost.


    January 16, 2019 at 10:36 am

    I agree, calling members of the Royal Family (or the President) parasites is inappropriate. I am sure they have a schedule that most people reading this couldn’t deal with. That having been said, it’s easy for Prince Philip or anyone to make comments about economy class but not so easy to fix. People want to be able to afford travel but don’t realize that for it to be affordable, it can’t always be the most pleasant experience. It would also need to be subsidized by the government to make it affordable and pleasant. We’ve been there before. Nationalization didn’t work yet when the airlines started being profitable people didn’t like that either.

  13. awayIgo

    January 16, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Maybe Prince Charles would travel less if the Queen resigned and he became King. Hate to say he’d now have a real,job- since I don’t know what the monarchs do— but it has to be better than now!

  14. toxman

    January 16, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Agree completely with flying_geek. I’m not sure why so many people slag the monarchy. They bring in tourism dollars that probably more than pay for their upkeep. In recent decades they even pay taxes. They really don’t wield any true power any more (Parliament is now in charge) but do provide a non-partisan perspective as the Queen has been there through many changes in government and political parties. She brings a knowledge of history that is unmatched by any politician. She was raised from an early age to serve her country, unlike elected politicians who are mostly self-serving and corrupt and will say anything to get elected. Yes there have been scandals involving the Royals, but they are only scandals because of who they are. Divorces, affairs and so on happen to Joe and Mary Average all the time but nobody takes notice.

  15. hammie

    January 16, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Nor did any other president. As for not bashing Trump, I think you’re being less than honest.

    Frankly, I’m sick and tired of everything being turned political, last week I went to a pub for a beer and a sandwich and they had a news program on two TV’s. Can’t seem to escape it.

  16. Danwriter

    January 16, 2019 at 10:41 am

    We could settle this by estimating what Trump contributes to the US economy. Let’s start by seeing how much he’s paid in taxes. Oh, wait…

  17. nbucking

    January 16, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Especially British Airways “European Traveller” class cabin. Just a small step above Ryanair for 10 times the price (seats recline slightly, no alarm saying that the flight is on time). Small things like getting a complimentary tea/coffee/water are easy to take for granted on our American carriers. Even Frontier gives you a small cup of water! Get it together BA and listen to your Queen’s husband!
    Also, to say that the BA “first” class is much better than the “European Traveller” would be a bit of a stretch. While they get complimentary drinks and a snack, the seats are the same as the economy besides the worthless empty middle seat. Get out of here with your jokes BA!

  18. Peadar

    January 16, 2019 at 10:58 am

    They are parasites, propped up by the biggest propaganda machine in history, witnessed by the amount of sycophants with selective data, that they have swallowed as gospel hook, line and sinker.

    For an unelected monarch, whose position is maintained by the grace of the British people, to hoard money in tax havens is the only inappropriate fact on this thread.

    Trump was elected. The house of Windsor is anti democratic.

    From the Guardian:
    Far from uniting the country, the monarchy’s role is seen as illegitimate and offensive by millions of its citizens, and entrenches hereditary privilege at the heart of public life. While British governments preach democracy around the world, they preside over an undemocratic system at home with an unelected head of state and an appointed second chamber at the core of it.

    How dare they sit in front of a golden piano, telling us how to live our lives, in these times of austerity, or even comment on economy class, when many of their subjects have no option but to travel that way…..ghastly!!

  19. BC Shelby

    January 16, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    @ Flyng_Geek and Toxman. …+1

    However, I believe Mr Trump uses a VC-32A (government designation of the 757 for VIP transport) for most of his golf trips to Florida. Any military aircraft used to transport the President get’s the designation “Air Force One” (in the case of the helicopter that shuttles him to Andrews, it is “Marine One” and years ago there was even a Lockheed VC-140 [Jetstar business jet] designated as a secondary transport). Still a major expense particularly considering security, but not as much as the hourly operating cost for the VC-25 (747-200) used for long distance trips.

  20. ednumrich

    January 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    @Cymbo here ~

    It’s none of you d*mn business who/what/why Prince Philip and the Queen. Neither are pretenders like the jerk for whom you likely voted here.

  21. drphun

    January 16, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    After seeing all the complaints about cleanliness on BA, perhaps Prince Phillip could, as a public service, fly BA and shame them into doing better!

  22. John Aldeborgh

    January 16, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I don’t know why people feel the need to attack Trump when the article was about a comment from a British Royal about the notion of Coach travel. Since Pandora’s box has been opened, and beyond the fact that the President, who ever he/she might be, is required to fly in a prescribed manor. Remember, Trump has very likely lowered his standard of living and works for free, in his current role as POTUS. The fact that he enjoys a little time in his own home is a very reasonable demand.

  23. Cambria

    January 16, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    This Prince Philip quote is from 2002. Hardly made “recently” as the article claims. What’s next, Pan Am trip reports?

  24. chrisboote

    January 17, 2019 at 1:34 am

    “thanks to taxpayers, who foot the bill for their excursion transportation” – not even slightly true
    Travel is NOT paid from the civil list, rather from the profits from the Royal Estate

    And “Also, to say that the BA “first” class is much better than the “European Traveller” would be a bit of a stretch” is another complete fabrication

    BA do not have a domestic nor short haul ‘first’ class, only long haul, and it is such a different beast from any economy class, that it’s clear nbucking has never flown it

  25. flying_geek

    January 17, 2019 at 8:17 am

    @ BC Shelby: I live in South Florida and sometimes drive past the WP airport, every time I have been there (and he was), it was the VC25 – Melania by herself usually arrives in a VC32A.

    Also, I really don’t think I was bashing Trump – I was merely trying to use those numbers for comparison. When I bash Trump, I assure you that sounds different. BTW, I have seen Prince Harry in coach on a BA flight (short European flight) a few years back. Him and one security guy. I was in Business for what it’s worth 😉

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