Last Friday, actress Andie MacDowell tweeted a simple complaint as many of us have done when we felt a company's customer service was lacking. Unlike many of us, she was hit with a barrage of criticism and anti-wealth rhetoric so common on social media.
According to her tweet, MacDowell was bumped out of her "pre-booked and paid" first class American Airlines seat, purportedly because of her dog with which she was traveling. While her use of the term "tourist class" is humorous, that hardly is indicative of some of the accusations she received.
While we don't have details of the incident and don't know precisely what happened, I see nothing wrong with her tweet and I might be tempted to tweet something similar depending on the circumstances. However, expecting to get what you paid for is apparently not acceptable to the Twitterverse when that someone happens to be a celebrity with financial means.
Unsurprisingly, some of the responses were predictably ridiculous and dripping with the typical derision aimed at the wealthy. Matty Fresh, tweeting from the oh-so-credibility-enhancing username of "OnePlyWiper" (and whose profile explains that he wipes from "back to front") offered several tweets that completely missed her point but hinted at some serious wealth envy.
Nevermind that MacDowell did not express any of the sentiments that Matty Fresh was criticizing. In fact, the picture she tweeted sure doesn't look like an someone who is too good to interact with "commoners."
Another person, characterized her complaint as "whining," though did pose a legitimate question whether she paid for the dog.
Fortunately, many came to the defense of the actress.
The bottom line is that we don't know exactly what happened to Ms. MacDowell and whether her downgrade was justified or not. Regardless, if average Joe or Jane Flyer had tweeted the same thing, hardly anyone would have noticed. Let a celebrity do it and the wealth envy crowd loses its mind and starts throwing out unjustified attacks. Does someone somehow lose the right to complain about poor service and not getting what they paid for simply because they have financial means or are a celebrity? Regardless, she is well within her rights to question the airline and request a refund for the difference in the price between first and economy. The fact that, in another tweet, she requested that the price difference be donated to the charity for which she was traveling to a fundraiser shows she was not primarily interested in her own pocketbook.
I would be curious to learn more about the reasons for the downgrade because this is a travel blog, but the uproar from some corners of the Twitter community is what has me more irritated at this point. Sadly, the responses show the low level of discourse and ad hominem attacks that occur too commonly on Twitter and other social media.