Microsoft Founder Bill Gates, the ninth richest man in the world, used to fly economy class on flights for many years. This was revealed by the Co-founder of Netflix, Marc Randolph. He also shared an interesting reason for the same and stated that Mr Gates did not consider flying by first class to be of “good value”.
Mr Randolph took to X, formerly Twitter and wrote, “For many years, Bill Gates used to fly Economy, not because he couldn’t afford First Class, but because he didn’t consider it good value. It’s five or six times more expensive, but only marginally better (and you all get to your destination at the same time).” He also shared a picture of the billionaire working on his laptop while sitting in the economy section of an aircraft.
For many years, Bill Gates used to fly Economy, not because he couldn’t afford First Class, but because he didn’t consider it good value. It’s five or six times more expensive, but only marginally better (and you all get to your destination at the same time).
In the same vein, I… pic.twitter.com/Cm8HgKlqTS
— Marc Randolph (@mbrandolph) October 22, 2023
He then drew a parallel and said that even though he can afford a luxury car, he does not intend to buy it because his Volvo station wagon “does the job just fine”. “In the same vein, I could afford a really nice car at this point, but I’ve never been a car guy, and I don’t need a Lamborghini or a Mazerati (which I can’t even spell). A Volvo station wagon does the job just fine, and I wouldn’t value the difference. I don’t need to drop $1000 on a bottle of wine at dinner either, since I know I’ll get the same enjoyment from a $35 bottle,” he continued on the platform.
The Netflix Co-founder then stated that having enough money brings both security and freedom. “So what is wealth good for, in the end? Besides providing security, it also gives flexibility. After all of the experiences I’ve had, the most important thing I’ve learned about money is that, once you have enough (by the previous definition), you can choose to have less of it in exchange for choosing how to spend your time. And spending your time doing something meaningful to you…that’s worth way more than a Mazerati,” he concluded.
Since being shared, his post has amassed 3.9 million views and over 13,000 likes.
A user said, “Wealth for me is the opportunity to invest in founders and startups that I want to see win because they aspire to solve problems that I care about deeply.” Replying to him, Mr Randolph said that he could “relate to that”.
“Money buys you time, freedom and flexibility, that is what really makes me feel ‘rich’,” said another person.
Another commented, “Perfectly stated.”
However, some people had a different outlook on Mr Randolph’s post. “A couple of notes: – when he was flying economy, the seats were probably the size of current “premium economy”. – when you go above a certain level/price you need to be able to appreciate the quality otherwise everything looks the same. This is true for both cars and wine,” a user added.
“Flying economy despite affording better isn’t a flex. Your legs deserve to not swell if you can afford it,” said another user.
A third person added, “Bill Gates only flew economy because Microsoft made everyone in the company fly economy, probably due to Gates trying to save a buck. And he bought a private jet in 1997.”