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AOC’s first class flight divides the internet

US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has divided social media users with her decision to fly first class on a recent trip.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez flew in the front row of an American Airlines flight from Austin-Bergstrom, Texas, to New York JFK on Sunday, where a fellow passenger snapped a photo of her in a baseball cap.

“I don’t sense anyone in first class knew she was there or someone of her celebrity was there,” the passenger told the NY Post. “She was pretty incognito.”

The Democrat’s conservative critics took to social media in a series of outraged posts, calling the socialist champion better known as AOC a “hypocrite” for taking the slightly more comfortable plane seat.

“Saving the planet one first class seat at a time,” tweeted Grant Beasley, while Paul Szypula commented: “Why did millionaire AOC just fly first class to NYC when she has over $17K in student loan debt?”

“Isn’t first class everything AOC tells us she stands against? A hypocrite and disgrace to other bartenders,” posted Jennifer Harrison.

Other Twitter users came to the politician’s defence, with Janice Hough commenting: “Uh, leaving aside security issues and need to work on planes, thinking most members of congress fly enough to get upgraded, especially w/ good travel agent.”

“Unless AOC tried to open a door mid flight or assaulted a flight attendant I really don’t see what FOX News’ problem is with her flying first class – except that she is AOC, of course,” posted follower Martin from New Zealand.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, the US representative for New York’s 14th congressional district since 2019, rose to fame as a democratic socialist who endorsed left-wing candidate Bernie Sanders in the 2020 US election and famously wore a gown emblazoned with “Tax the Rich” to the 2021 Met Gala.

Elected at 29, she is the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress.

Flight AA1405 was operated on a Boeing 737-800, which has four rows of first class seats in a 2-2 formation.

The premium seats, which sell for around $400-600 (£290-440), are 21 inches wide, with an additional seven inches of legroom compared to economy, while passengers in the cabin are served a full dinner service.

“[She] would have received [a] choice of sandwich with salad, side, dessert. Alcohol offerings are available complimentary,” an American Airlines spokesperson told the NY Post.

However, some critics disagreed with the outrage over AOC’s choice of seat, noting that this was a domestic flight with relatively humble facilities.

“AOC is a hypocrite but there is nothing luxurious about AA’s first class cabin,” tweeted Josh Culling from Ohio.

Meanwhile, former Star Trek actor George Takei dismissed the headlines as a distraction from more pressing news, posting: “The thing about AOC flying first class and being a bartender before is that Russia is about to launch the largest invasion of another country in Europe since WWII at the cost of possibly tens of thousands of lives.”

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