Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Flew Coach for New Year’s

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle flew British Airways BA346 from London Heathrow to Nice in the South of France on Sunday. Along with three bodyguards they took up the last three rows of coach “next to the toilets.”

In addition to empty seats around them, they were accommodated by boarding the aircraft first and upon arrival in Nice they were met by “heavily armed officers from the French border police.”

Harry, 33, apparently slumped down next to the window dressed in jeans, a jacket and with a baseball cap pulled over his face.

Bride-to-be Miss Markle, 36, was sitting next to him in a black beanie hat and minimal make-up.

Taking up the back of coach makes good sense, the 648 mile flight doesn’t offer more legroom in business class than in coach (except in the bulkhead row) and this gives them a semi-private portion of the cabin where no one is looking at them except when heading to the lavatory.

The flight pushed back 5 minutes early, had a slightly quicker than normal taxi out, and arrived in Nice 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

Harry’s brother Prince William is no stranger to harsh onboard conditions. Two years ago he flew Ryanair. Three years ago he flew American Airlines coach Memphis – Dallas and he flew the US Airways Shuttle in first.

Although William has been spotted in Club Europe business class rather than the back of coach, Kate Middleton flies Club Europe — and is smart enough to grab the bulkhead, too for decent legroom.


British Airways Club Europe

Beyond the royals, then-U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron flew easyJet in 2015 and was photographed eating Pringles.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. That moment when you realize that Royalty in the UK is more normal than elected politicians in the US…

    Nope. Our democracy is working just completely fine.

  2. Prince Harry is so tall and handsome and with full hair… How can he and his bodyguard s fit in those tiny BA coach seat?

  3. The seats I had in Ryanair last year will be remembered as better quality than the new BA seats you just wrote about elsewhere. And the Ryanair prices were unforgettable.

  4. @Jon
    Yah they fly coach. And then take an Uber to the closest Holiday Inn. I will say they definitely are better educated on traveling with an eye on public perception than the princess congresswoman from Houston.

  5. Three rows of seats, boarded first, bodyguards, and met by French police upon arrival. Sounds like a publicity stunt for BA and the Royals, nothing more. How did they return?

  6. @Leef33

    Separate boarding, bodyguards, and police aren’t privileges. They’re necessities for extremely high profile individuals like the Prince and Ms. Markle. And the change to a seat in the back vs in the front was probably driven by a credible threat, which led to enhanced protection.

    The easy solution would have been the far more expensive hiring of a private jet.

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