Among the many bombshells in Prince Harry’s recently-released autobiography is an odd claim that Meghan Markle booked his father-in-law a first class ticket on Air New Zealand from Mexico to London, when Air New Zealand neither offers a first class product nor flies to Mexico.
Prince Harry Makes Odd Claim About First Class Flight From Mexico On Air New Zealand
In one passage of his autobiography Spare, the Duke of Sussex writes about how he and his wife Meghan urged her father, Thomas Markle, to flee Mexico:
“We told him, leave Mexico right now: A whole new level of harassment is about to rain down on you, so come to Britain. Now. Air New Zealand, first class, booked and paid for by Meg.”
Critics pointed to two issues with this claim. First, Air New Zealand does not and has never served Mexico. Second, Air New Zealand does not offer a first class product.
Indeed, an Air New Zealand spokesperson told the New Zealand Herald:
“We’ve never had flights between Mexico and the UK. And we only have Business Premier.”
There is no excuse for the lack of attention to detail by Harry’s ghostwriter, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here (and only here, not in the many other private family matters he foolishly discussed in the book). My guess is that the Duke of Sussex really meant to say that Thomas Markle was offered a flight via Los Angeles to London on Air New Zealand. At the time (2018), Air New Zealand was still flying this Fifth Freedom route (you can read my review of it in business class here).
Thomas Markle lived in Rosarito, Baja California. That meant his closest major airport with service to London was Los Angeles. I would chalk up the “first class” claim to a terminology issue many less frequent travelers make in conflating business class and first class. Air New Zealand does not offer a “first class” cabin in the sense of a cabin higher than business class, but offers a “Business Premier” product that it characterizes (delusional, I must add) as a hybrid between business and first class. I also know many people who refer to business and first class interchangeably.
Thus, Harry’s words make more sense.
That’s sloppiness, but not lying. Critics, however, have contended that this error in the book calls everything else in the book into question. That’s not an inherently unreasonable statement, but probably best to use other questionable passages to probe Harry’s veracity than this one. I also think the New Zealand Herald deserves criticism for its superficial handling of Harry’s words. A little digging would have produced a logical answer.
Harry claimed Meghan wanted to fly her father from Mexico to London in first class on Air New Zealand when the airline has neither a first class cabin nor serves Mexico. As odd as that claim seems, it makes much more sense when you consider Thomas Markle’s location in Mexico and how so many people use first and business class synonymously. I don’t smell a lie here…just a bit of sloppiness.