Holly Branson's billionaire dad may own an international airline, but that doesn't mean she always chooses to fly luxuriously.
Last week, the mother of three posted a photo on Instagram of her and her kids sitting in economy on a seven-hour flight from Antigua to London. They were flying Virgin Atlantic, the airline Richard Branson started in 1984 and where she's worked on the leadership team for the past decade.
"I am impressed you are on economy flight more impressed you are traveling with three kids," one Instagram user commented. Another joked: "Update your virgin frequent flyer status."
She's not the only celeb who foregoes private planes and business class for economy. Here are three rich and successful people who like to save on airfare.
Getting to travel in a plane at all still feels like a privilege to "Shark Tank" judge Barbara Corcoran. That's partly why she keeps it cheap when she's on the road, she tells CNBC Make It: "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."
Corcoran 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 says, "which, of course, you can't bring through security but you can get it at Shake Shack in the airport."
Self-made billionaire and founder of The Boston Beer Co. Jim Koch refuses to spring for expensive plane tickets.
"On those long trips to Munich [for beer-ingredient research], the upgrade from coach to first class is an extra $5,000," he writes in his memoir, "Quench Your Own Thirst." "I can't make the math work — the average person at Boston Beer makes $55,000 a year. How can I justify paying over a month's salary for a first-class ticket?"
"Is having me get a little more legroom and a better meal really more valuable to the company than what the average person contributes every month? I've never believed that."
Arik Kislin is the part owner of a private jet company, but he still flies commercial, at least sometimes.
"It's a lot less luxurious," he 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."
"There's a lot more options to fly commercial. There's a lot more flights going to business cities," he says, and that availability of flights is convenient. "If I wanted to go to London, I'd probably have 20-plus flights to choose from."
For those reasons, he says, "it's just easier."
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