Private Jets: PR Poison

It used to be that private planes inspired hatred simply because their occupants were probably over-wealthy environmental hypocrites. But thanks to the recession, private jets are an even more radioactive populist issue. Fly and die!

Sure, private planes were always an easy target. They're incredibly expensive, they're luxurious to an offensive degree, and they destroy our precious, precious ozone layer warm our planet till everything dies for the comfort of the rich. Plus, as commercial airline travel got more and more terrible and inconvenient, the average person's desire for the rich to share in that pain grew.

But now it's on a whole other level. Private jets are now resented, merely for existing! You could see the issue taking shape when there was the big outcry over the GM executives flying private to Washington to ask for bailout money. And now the new consensus seems to be: if your crappy failure of a company got any bailout funds from taxpayers, riding in a private jet for anything but the strictest business reason is a PR disaster.

The Post slammed Citigroup exec Sandy Weill this weekend for charging the company to fly him and his family to a Mexican resort for Christmas. Today, he's swearing off jets, just like that!

Weill used the jet to fly him and his family to the One & Only Palmilla beachfront resort in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, where they stayed from Dec. 26 through Jan. 3. The cost of using the plane was estimated at $70,550 to $90,550.

The jaunt came just weeks after Citigroup, which has lost $28.2 billion over the past five quarter, avoided total collapse with a $45 billion federal bailout, courtesy of taxpayers.

What a bastard! But what's coming is not just anger at abuse of private jets; soon it will be taboo for business people to ride a private plane for any reason. With all the layoffs and stupid corporate recession cutbacks, it will just be considered unconscionable. What kind of capitalist monster could blithely go burning thousands of gallons of jet fuel just so they don't have to associate with the unwashed masses?

Private Jets: PR PoisonS