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Actors not flying so high over limits to first-class airline travel

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Hollywood actors accustomed to first-class travel may soon find their wings clipped.

As part of a recently negotiated three-year contract, union leaders agreed to a new set of restrictions on what has long been a cherished perk of the job: first-class airline tickets.

A provision in the tentative agreement with the studios stipulates that actors, who currently fly first class when traveling to jobs, will have to fly coach if they travel less than 1,000 miles, or if they are traveling from L.A. to Vancouver and from New York to Toronto. First-class travel would be limited to trips greater than 1,000 miles, and then only if seats in business class are unavailable.

Although actors who work in commercials already face similar restrictions, the change is certain to be unpopular with many actors.

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Negotiators for the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists weren’t happy with the change, but saw it as a necessary trade-off to achieving increases in wages and improved health and pension plan contributions.

After all, the headline: ‘Actors hold out for first class travel’ would not have looked good in a time of austerity, or drawn much sympathy from the coach-traveling general public.

-Richard Verrier


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