A Clarification: No First-Class Flying Here

A joke made a few weeks ago between NPR's Tom Goldman and host Scott Simon about flying first class was misunderstood by some listeners. Simon explains NPR's policy on company-sponsored flights.

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A small clarification now: A few weeks ago on this program, Tom Goldman told us that he was about to catch a flight to Denver to cover the NCAA Women's Basketball championships. I joked: By the way, United Airlines, if you're listening, please upgrade Mr. Goldman - our compliments.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: I'm already first-class.

SIMON: In all ways, my friend.

GOLDMAN: Oops, did I say that?

SIMON: But a few listeners didn't quite understand that we were a couple of economy-class guys joking. NPR policy requires staffers to fly coach. We do. In fact, I have been seated in the rear of the plane, right next to the washroom so many times I think they're going to take off the number and just put up a sign that says: Here, Scott. Tom has to file his stories immediately after a game, and he subsists for weeks at a time on cold stadium hot dogs and flat diet soda. He says the only time he's flown first class is on his honeymoon, when a gate agent upgraded Tom and his wife because he thought they were adorable. Well, they still are. So, Tom Goldman didn't and doesn't fly first class - but he's a first class guy.

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