Justin Timberlake and other stars ditch private jets for Southwest

It's official: Private air travel is as uncool as taking your mom to prom. After congress scolded the auto industry for taking the costly private jets to DC to request their bailout money it was only a matter of time before the move to ditch private flights caught on. TMZ is reporting that both Justin Timberlake and Brad Pitt have been spotted rubbing elbows on Southwest airlines flights in lieu of the private jets they normally use for cross country jaunts.

Pitt and Timberlake aren't the only stars flying with the commoners, just yesterday we reported that one member of British Royal Family has taken to flying coach after a positive experience in the cramped armrests last month. Now that it's hip to be cheap we may see even more celebs dropping their plush private jets for a seat on Southwest.

If you find it odd that the stars are dropping down to Southwest, a carrier whose first class amenities amount to being first in line to board and one complimentary alcoholic drink, don't be. Despite its low frills flying, Southwest was the least complained about carrier in 2008, making it a great place to fly for private jet setters unaccustomed to the complaints of most commercial flyers.

The real question is why are these celebrities dropping their private jets in favor of commercial airlines? One commenter on TMZ suggests that it's the studios who have decided to cut back, forcing celebs to pick up the tab or downgrade, but I have to wonder if this isn't a calculated scheme to come across as being vulnerable to the economy.

If you feel like getting your tinfoil hats out, you might suspect that Southwest has paid the stars to show up on flights the same way nightclubs used to pay for Paris Hilton to show up and walk around the club. What better way to prove you're the best flight for the money than to be the go to air carrier for top earning celebrities?

Whatever the reason is, be sure to take a second glance at the guy sitting next to you on vacation this summer, it just might be somebody famous.
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