Which Celeb Forked Out $30,000 For Her Family To Travel Business Class?

Then there are the celebs who don’t mind travelling Economy, even if they risk strangers snapping pics of them sleeping.

Celebs, they're just like us. Flying Economy Class on their travels, that is. Which celebs swear by Biz Class and which ones are more than happy to rough it out? Read on to find out. (P.S. The results might surprise you.) 


Elvin Ng
"I don’t travel Business Class ’cos it’s a few thousand dollars more [than Economy] — unless it’s a work trip where I’m required to work once I land ’cos I need a good rest. That would be a company expense, not a personal one. I just came back from Iceland [on a work trip] where I flew Biz Class. It was a 13-hour flight. My mum was with me. I wanted to upgrade her seat to Biz Class too, but it’d cost an extra $6,000. My auntie and uncle came along too, so she had company [in Economy]. With that amount, I could pay for another person to go on the tour. Is it worth it to pay that kind of money for that extra comfort? If it’s leisure, I don’t see the need for it. Economy is good enough. Sometimes, I’d ask to sit near the emergency exit so that I have extra leg room. No, I don’t feel paiseh [travelling Economy]. I’m not some superstar. I’m just a local actor. I’d rather use that money to travel and explore more things, rather than on a wider seat or better service where the stewardess calls you by name. When I walk into the plane, I’d get a bit more attention lah. Sometimes, people just lift up their phones and take photos. It’s not very nice lah. Also, if I’m sleeping and people just take photos of me, that might not be very good too. But there’s not much I can do about that (laughs).”


Sheila Sim
"I only travel Biz Class when it’s work-related, which is paid for. I eat quite a lot so the food’s the one thing that really excites me on Biz Class. When I went to Paris for a work trip, my friend told me to pre-book the laksa ’cos it’s really good. That was the first time I wished that every trip I went on was Biz Class so that I can finish trying all the dishes [on the menu] (laughs). I don’t feel embarrassed [travelling Economy]. But I’d pray in my heart that [the fans I meet] are not the persistent sort so I can sleep all the way on the flight. Sometimes, my sleeping posture is very ugly on the plane, so I can only hope that people won’t keep staring lah (laughs). I’m really quite the rough it out sort. I don’t feel the need to have to pamper myself all the time. Unless I’m travelling on special occasions like my honeymoon. There’s always a price to pay for everything. And the price to pay for comfort being on Biz Class is that you have to fork out an additional sum of money which I’d rather spend on a better hotel or better food.”


Tay Ping Hui
"If it’s a short-haul flight, I’m still okay [on Economy]. Yes, [I get recognised]. Why would I feel paiseh travelling Economy? My ego is not that big. Most of the time people just look at me. Sometimes, they want to take photos. That’s about it. I remember there was a time there was this school outing and practically the whole class wanted to take photos with me on the plane, so that took quite a while. Beyond four hours, I’ll try and get Biz Class, but mostly for work. For holidays, if I have miles to claim, then I’ll fly Biz Class. It’s definitely more comfortable. There’s more leg room in Biz Class. It doesn’t help that I have really long legs. And if I’m doing something important after I land, then I want to arrive in good shape ’cos I’m sure anyone who has been in a long-haul flight on Economy Class know that you land feeling like s***. What is my secret strategy to accumulate miles? I choose the credit card that gives me the most miles for the return of my dollar spent. If possible, I charge everything to one or two credit cards. I’ve no issues travelling on Economy. It’s not that I’m supposedly famous and therefore have to take Biz Class.”


Kym Ng
"My work trips are all Economy Class. Other artistes travel Biz Class for work meh? Zoe Tay, Fann Wong and Tay Ping Hui, of course lah (laughs). It depends on the kind of work. Some work trips are sponsored so they will give artistes Biz Class seats. Some of the airlines are very nice — they upgrade us to Biz Class if there are vacancies. But if it’s a production where we go to a village, how can it be Biz Class? Unless it’s sponsored by the airline lah. When I was travelling for 2010’s travelogue Love On The Plate, it was all long-haul flights and I flew Economy Class. I slept during the flight. When I woke up, I had to work straight away. I looked like a mess but no choice what. I’m flexible. When I go on holidays, usually once a year, I try to fly Biz Class so I have more baggage allowance. I take along a lot of stuff (laughs). I also like not having to queue when boarding. Some airlines’ Biz Class fare cost [only] as much as [another airline’s] Economy fare. Sometimes, I claim miles, so I don’t have to pay so much. Once, I got a free Biz Class ticket to Hongkong by claiming my miles.”

Vivian with her daughters, Vera and Ariel Ong.

Vivian Lai
"Once a year, we go on a family trip to Europe. I pay $30,000 for my family of four to travel Biz Class. Some people may think it’s not necessary to spend so much on plane tickets. But for me, it’s only once a year. We’ve worked hard for one whole year — I just want to give my family a more comfortable and enjoyable ride ’cos it’s over 10 hours. If it’s a short-haul flight, then I’ll travel Economy. Normally, for work trips, I’d fly Economy or budget with the crew. I’m okay with it. If the project budget allows for it, generally, the producer will help request for artistes to be upgraded to Biz Class. There have been a few times when we got upgraded to Biz Class.”


Ian Fang
"If the journey’s more than five hours, I’ll travel Biz Class. It’s much more comfortable and spacious. I started flying Biz Class two years after I entered showbiz. I had savings and I also wanted to experience travelling in Biz Class. Once a year, when I go back to China during CNY, I pay over $3,000 more to travel Biz Class to Shanghai. I claim miles so I pay less. I also take Biz Class if I’m going to Korea or Japan. If it’s a short-haul flight to, say, Bangkok, then I’ll definitely just take Economy. People may say that as an artiste, I should take Biz Class ’cos there will be a lot of harassment and all that. But, so far, I don’t get harassed much during my travelling so it’s okay lah. I don’t really bother about people looking at me. For work or biz trips, the tickets I’m given is usually Economy Class. I only upgraded myself to Biz Class once for a work trip to Taiwan. I wanted to have a good rest [during my flight] (laughs). Once, when my mum and I flew back to Shanghai during CNY, I bought her a Biz Class ticket ’cos I think children should be filial to their parents like that. I’d willingly spend this kind of money to make her happy. As long as she’s happy, I’m happy.”



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