This post by Steve reminds me of the recent debacle here in Ireland. For those who were unaware, the chief of the Irish State employment agency FAS, Rody Molloy, resigned after it emerged he had been on very expensive junkets courtesy of the Irish taxpayer.
When he came on radio to defend his extravagance, he said he was “entitled” to fly first class. €643,000 was spent on these trips to the US over four years. Many civil servants, including Molloy, brought their spouses along at taxpayers’ expense.
Contrast that with US Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tevi Troy, working away in one of the worst (albeit cheapest) seats on the plane. I would argue that such a high ranking official should get business class at least, especially if they are working in-flight, but the message is the right one – thrift.