My post-2015 agenda: Claw back business class from the hands of the development community

The Obama administration… has publicly rebuked U.N. staff in New York and Geneva for recently spending nearly three-quarters of their air travel budget on business class fare.

I think I see a new Millennium Development Goal.

That is an article in DevEx, which goes on to note even the World Bank is cutting back a little.

Not enough, in my opinion. I started my tirade against Business several years ago, and have been meaning to beat the drum again.

I invite arguments for business class i the comments, where I will in turns counter-argue or concede.

A note: any argument for business class in the UN or the Bank ought to consider first why most humanitarian organizations have survived for years without it.

In the meantime, my favorite quote from the article:

“I systematically asked the travel office to downgrade my flights to economy …  At the time, I was told that I was the only person in the entire NY office — and we are talking hundreds of people — who ever asked to be downgraded to economy,” lamented Massimo Lowicki-Zucca, a former program specialist with UNICEF.

I love that line. Coincidentally, Massimo is a dear friend from my northern Uganda days. It must be in the water there.

Update: Several people remind me that the UK’s DFID–among the most effective large aid organizations in the world–has dramatically clawed back business class.