Prince Harry and Meghan Secretly Flew on a Commercial Airline from New York

The couple had previously gotten backlash for an affinity for private jets amid their vocal climate change activism.

prince harry meghan markle airline
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Sussexes made a brief but eventful trip to New York City this month, when Prince Harry celebrated Veterans Day by handing out medals aboard the warship Intrepid, and Meghan Markle stopped by Ellen DeGeneres’s show to talk about motherhood and hint about who she stays in touch with from the royal family. But unlike their last NYC trip—from after which the couple flew back to California via private jet, after attending an event that was partially about climate action—the Duke and Duchess did something surprising this time: They reportedly snuck aboard a commercial flight for their return trip. 

According to the Daily Mail, a social media user tweeted about how “Prince Harry and Meghan were on our flight to LA last night!” Apparently, the couple got onto the plane moments before it took off for the trip, which takes about five hours. “We were held up for about 20 minutes from our departure time and they were snuck into the last 2 seats,” the user continued, per the publication. “We didn’t even know until a girl waiting to get off the plane next to us pointed them out. I couldn’t get my phone out fast enough but it was them.”

The royals have previously received flak for their seemingly hypocritical stance on climate change. They appeared to be pairing a vocal concern about man-made environmental degradation with their habit of repeatedly flying on private jets. And flying private, as we reported after Harry was seen going to and from a polo match on his own jet, is notoriously terrible for the environment. While in some ways it’s understandable that a couple of such enormous fame may want their privacy when traveling, it is hard to square when considering how outspoken they’ve been about their climate activism. 

It also makes sense to start flying commercial now: Just this month, Prince Harry and Meghan’s foundation, Archewell, announced plans to go net-zero with their business's carbon footprint by 2030—something that is considered impossible to do while also flying privately. We wondered aloud even then how they intended to count their own flying habits among their pledged green business activities. 

So this is a big step in the right direction, and shows that when it comes to their activism, Prince Harry and Meghan are serious about holding themselves accountable, too.Good on them! Let’s hope this trend catches on with other famous couples next.