Money

Barbara Corcoran flies coach but her routine makes her 'feel better than everybody in first class'

Self-made millionaire Barbara Corcoran knows she can afford pretty much anything she wants. "But I have hold-backs," she tells journalist Farnoosh Torabi for CNBC Make It. "I think everybody is cheap in some way."

Partly because getting to ride in a plane at all still feels like a privilege to her, Corcoran is cheap when it comes to flying: "I'll never spend money on a business class or a first class ticket. Forget about it. I'm always in coach. I just couldn't fathom justifying that."

That said, she adds, "I have a routine that makes me feel better than everybody in first class."

The "Shark Tank" star, who made her fortune in real estate, doesn't board a flight without a pre-packed gourmet meal. She brings fresh fruit, fancy cheese, a baguette or croissant and "always a small bottle of wine," she tells Torabi, "which, of course, you can't bring through security but you can get it at Shake Shack in the airport."

Trying to make my economy seat feel like first class!

A post shared by Barbara Corcoran (@barbaracorcoran) on

She also packs a colorful, oversized napkin that serves as a tablecloth and her own utensils.

"When I sit there and open up my little gourmet meal, I'm telling you, it's much better than anybody's getting up in the business or first class," says Corcoran. "I've managed to make my own specialness out of a cheap seat."

She's not the only rich person who refuses to spring for an expensive plane ticket. Arik Kislin, part-owner of a private jet company, still flies commercial.

"It's a lot less luxurious," the self-made multimillionaire tells CNBC Make It. "You have to deal with all the nuances of the airport." But it's "an economical decision," especially when he's on his own and when he's "going across the pond."

Perhaps the experience would feel more luxurious with a homemade gourmet meal. "What I find so interesting," Corcoran tells Torabi, "is once I break open the food, especially if it's citrus like an orange, you can smell it and everybody is jealous of my meal and I know they're all thinking, 'Why didn't I think of that?' But you know, I've never met another person who does it, so they should be thinking about it. What a way to travel!"

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Video by Beatriz Bajuelos Castillo