Business Class Wealth Signalling

August 25, 2018

There is a deeply unpleasant trend on social media, of users trying to subtly "wealth signal" by taking pictures in either a business class lounge or in a business class cabin. 

As a child, I was lucky enough to fly a great deal, but had no concept of what business class travel was. In my naivety I presumed it was solely for people traveling on business and was a cabin set up like an office.

As an adult, I have now learned that while it still remains a cabin for people traveling on business, it is also a mode of travel through which individuals and families can signal their wealth and success on social media.

A depressing trend, and one made even more agonizing by the fact that babies and young children are often roped into these shared travel snapshots.

By no means am I criticizing people that want to show off their wealth.

 

Blatant and obnoxious demonstrations of wealth are to be encouraged in my view. There is a wonderful honesty about this level of brashness that has always offended the po-faced middle class.


From Del Boy to Roger Dangerfields character in Caddyshack, there has always been great fun and joy in characters who have no shame in, directly stating their desire to be rich.

The same cannot be said for the professional classes for whom direct demonstrations of wealth are deemed socially unacceptable. As a result of this unwritten rule the act of 'showing off' has to be done subtly and under some other pretext.

 

The outcome, as is always the case when people try to hide their true intentions, is a disaster. 

While Del Boy might simply share a picture of himself in business class with a comment that makes it clear to everybody he is showing off. The middle-class option is to take a picture of your child in a business class seat with a caption along the lines of 'heading home for Christmas, hope little Xavier does not cause too much trouble'.

 

This staged photo does not overtly state that they are bragging about flying business, but conveys the message to all that they as a family fly business class for leisure.

 

As a family, there are numerous times throughout the obstacle course that is navigating an airport with kids, for a family photo. However, it is always quite telling that the chosen photo is at the point at which you can make it clear you are flying in business class.

It is not only families guilty of this attempted subtle 'wealth signalling'. Couples and solo flyers are just as bad, an obligatory picture of them in their business class seats with a comment below that makes no mention of said seat, is just as commonplace and the motivations of such a picture are just as obvious.

Who are these people kidding? 

 

Stop the pretense, be brash and brag without reservation. 

 

Become Del Boy. 

 

Or don't, and stop trying to subtly wealth signal. 

WE KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING

 

 

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