Last August, to begin my extended rail journey across Europe and Asia, I flew from Los Angeles to London on American Airlines. It was, in fact, my first flight on the nifty Boeing 777.
From my seat in the third row of economy class I could see into the business class section and got a good view of those privileged travelers getting their free drinks and their multi-course meals … a dinner and a breakfast on the 10-hour flight. I wasn't able to see all the way up into first class, but could only imagine the extent of the pampering that was going on up there.
Gee, I thought, one of these days maybe I should really treat myself and use a jillion miles or spend the umpteen dollars to actually fly first class on an international flight. What the hell …
For some reason I thought about that again today, and I went on line to see exactly what a first class ticket costs on that same American Airlines flight from LAX to London’s Heathrow.
It's $11,923 ... one way!
Frankly, I was astonished. And I started to wonder: who are these people willing and able to spend almost $1200 an hour for a flight to London?
Well, I thought, no doubt many of them were traveling on business and their companies were paying for their tickets.
That’s when it hit me: corporate accountants would be deducting the cost of those tickets as a business expense. Get it? The rest of us taxpayers, shoe-horned into narrow economy seats and munching our ten-dollar turkey wraps, were actually subsidizing all those free drinks and canapés and fancy food and hot towels.
And that, as an old college pal of mine was wont to say, is enough to piss off a preacher!
Tax reform, anyone?