Income inequality is out of control, and the differences between how the rich and not-so-rich travel is astounding, as seen in a peek the AP gave to us pleebs.
When traveling, it’s good to be the king — or at least ridiculously rich.
Welcome back to town from the traffic-choked roads, packed flights and the sardine-can accommodations that millions of Americans endured while en route to travel beyond their home over Labor Day weekend. Most people can certainly relate to this, but not everyone shares in the experience.
As income inequality continues to spiral out of control, the difference in how people travel is no longer between driving a Buick or a Benz. Yes, it’s time to get envious all over again. But now it won’t just be about that friend who insists on posting idyllic pictures of their quaint beach house or rustic mountain getaway all over their social media.
And forget economy vs. first class travel. Increasingly, the ultra-wealthy are traveling in a stratosphere most of us will never approach, which leaves working people gawking from the ground below. To get an up-close look, the Associated Press profiled these luxe accommodations recently, some of which can cost up to $20,000 a day to enjoy.
So while most of us still take to the pavement to drive ourselves or are packed into buses or trains or stuffed into tiny airplane seats and stuck paying for the privilege of taking our bags with us, the super-rich are getting pampered in palatial traveling quarters which dwarf most apartments. These accommodations include exclusive suites on a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380, Cunard’s duplex stateroom on the Queen Mary 2 ocean liner and the New York Four Seasons’ Ty Warner Penthouse suite.
These one-percent folks aren’t interested in having some peanuts or pretzels for a snack while in the air, either. Oh, no, they have magnum bottles of champagne wishes and drums of caviar dreams.
Why would the super-rich be concerned with our piddling problems when they enjoy private elevators, personal shopping assistants, helipads and even their very own postal codes when they travel?
According to the AP — via information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics — following the Great Recession where even the wealthiest pared down their budgets for vacations and one-of-a-kind amenities, this lavish spending has rebounded again. Since 2009, the wealthiest Americans have increased their spending on hotels by 7.1 percent while the middle 20 percent has only raised their vacation dough outlays by 1.8 percent.
But don’t cry just yet: You can visit the plush and extravagant accommodation by taking a 3-D “walking” tour. The AP provided an online glimpse into how the other half lives on the road by meticulously photographing these spaces. These super-suites, patrician pads and dynamite digs are truly jaw-dropping and probably even make the poor mere millionaires among us a little envious.
Isn’t that just too bad for them?
Noah Zuss is a reporter for TheBlot Magazine.