Meghan Markle flies commercial to watch US Open tennis final

Sep 6, 2019

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Following heavy controversy regarding the British Royal Family and their use of private jets for personal travel, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle has chosen to take a commercial flight to watch her friend Serena Williams play in the US Open final against Bianca Andreescu in New York on Saturday. 

This follows the Duke and Duchess taking four private jet trips in just 11 days over the summer — both for personal trips. One was to Ibiza and the other was to close friend Elton John’s house in Nice, France. Sir Elton paid to carbon offset the flights to France.

The trip is Markle’s first to New York since her baby shower earlier this year, which reportedly cost £330,000. The Duchess chose to fly to and from the US on that occasion on a private jet at a rate of £13,277 an hour. The uproar about the choice to fly private comes after the pair publicly campaigned on sustainability issues.

Markle’s choice of carrier to New York has not been revealed, but follows brother-in-law Prince William and wife Kate Middleton choosing to fly discount carrier Flybe from Norwich to Aberdeen last month for just £73 each.

(Photo courtesy of Flybe)

TPG UK recently examined the the differences in safety between flying commercial versus flying private, given this was one of the key reasons Harry gave for choosing private jets across Europe during summer breaks. TPG concluded that the accident rate for general aviation is improving — it’s declined from 1.1 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2010 to 0.84 in the year that followed. But statistically, and based on direct comparisons each year, it’s theoretically still safer to fly commercial.

Despite early September being a busy summer season, New York is surprisingly easy to get to using points — even booking last minute. British Airways has a huge number of flights each day and reliably releases unsold revenue seats for Avios redemptions even in premium classes. If you are looking to use points last minute, New York can be a great choice of destination.

Featured image by Dominic Lipinski / Getty Images

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