If flying business class is an invitation to gluttony, flying first class is your ticket to sophisticated indulgence. Or at least, it used to be. These days, however, thanks to Instagram’s Jealousy Industrial Complex, many first-class flyers (both bloggers and cashed-up leisure travellers), are tearing up the ‘sophisticated’ memo and treating their epicurean experience as an excuse to show off.
Enter: the humblebrag. “What’s that”, you ask? Humblebragging is a way of giving your shameless ‘show offery’ plausible deniability (whilst also low-key rubbing it in your friends’ faces). This is done by giving everyone major FOMO, but with as casual a phrase as possible – a phenomenon rife among semi-pro travel bloggers and, as we reported last week, many travellers have had enough of it.
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To investigate, we got in touch with a ‘travel blogging’ industry insider, humblebrag expert and owner of Flight Hacks Immanuel Debeer. Speaking to D’Marge Immanuel admitted, “I’m totally guilty; if you don’t know me and visit my IG profile you might think I’m an absolute knobhead.”
So, why do it? Here’s what Immanuel said: “International first-class humble brags are the pinnacle of aviation bragging,” Immanuel explained. “It’s one step below private jets but arguably more comfortable compared to most private jet seats.”
“We’re talking private suites, Dom Pérignon, Krug, caviar and 5-star dining experiences. Oh and don’t forget about the showers some airlines offer onboard to their first-class guests.”
Hence the burning desire to show off…
Immanuel also revealed another reason first-class travellers ‘humble brag’ is to deliberately provoke – something he is no stranger to, telling us, “For worst humble brags, I will nominate myself! After seeing the outrage police crucify a certain travel blogger for sitting backwards in their seat with fairy lights; I figured there was only one thing I could do.”
“While I couldn’t bring myself to sit backwards in a perfectly fine first-class seat, this picture did manage to trigger a lot of people (don’t ask me why) which is exactly what I was aiming for. However, most didn’t realise I was trolling.”
Immanuel also said that another ‘justification’ for the humble-brag, in the mind of a first-class travel blogger, is to let people in on their secret – Immanuel’s being the art of credit card roulette, which he says enabled him to experience Singapore Airlines double bed first class on their latest A380 from Singapore to Zurich, for just $89.
“Another great first-class ‘flexer” and a self-proclaimed ‘first-class a-hole’ would be my friend Justin Ross Lee,” Immanuel then told us.
“His pictures also bring out the best in people: 50 percent love it, and the other 50 percent are absolutely outraged, it’s fantastic!”
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Forget “to be or not to be” – the biggest question of 2019 is “to brag or not to brag.” And the answer is simple: humblebrag. Just don’t be surprised when your mates call you out on it.