By Stacey Leasca
September 19, 2019
PATRICK KOVARIK/Getty Images

Winnie Harlow is perhaps one of the most recognizable faces in fashion today. As a model, Harlow has graced the cover of countless magazines and walked on her fair share of runways. And that means she travels. A lot. However, this week, while flying back to the United States from Milan Fashion Week, Harlow experienced an airport problem that nearly all business-class travelers dread: She was bumped to economy.

The model took to Instagram to share the story with her followers, along with a photo of her appearing to stretch across the coach seats while sleeping on a friend’s lap.

“I haven’t slept in 4 days, and my flight got canceled,” Harlow captioned the shot. “The amazing airport escort got my team and I put on the fastest flight out but we had to give up our business class seats in order to land in time for a huge shoot at 6am.”

Though it may sound like only an issue for the rich and famous, Harlow explained just why this was a big deal for a working woman like her.

“I realize this may not seem like a big deal to some, but when a plane is your bedroom and a flight the only time to get sleep during a hectic fashion month, it’s tiresome,” she said. “Regardless I’m grateful, god works in mysterious ways and everything happens for a reason. It’s not everyday glamour, you have to do what you have to do to be successful in life to reach your goals the grind never stops!”

But, her followers didn’t seem to care that Harlow is constantly on the go. The comments of the post were filled with vitriol including comments like, “Oh boo hoo! Get over yourself! Consider yourself lucky you get to travel the world, other people aren’t so fortunate.”

However, in a second post, Harlow clapped back at the haters, further explaining herself and her post after headlines emerged about her “bemoaning” being in an economy seat.

“hmm ‘bemoaning’.. not Winnie Harlow is grateful for being able to get on a flight period because of the amazing work of the people in the airport? All you took was ‘had to give up business class flight,’” she wrote. “This whole ‘woah is me’ take is sickening. Me not flying in business is a statement, not a moan. If the class mattered I could’ve waited for the next availability. If I can post pictures in business class and be proud, I can also take pictures in coach and be proud. Proud that making it to work is more important to me than how I got there. That is the message. Like I said, ‘the grind never stops.’ Put that in your headline.”

Though it’s getting rarer getting bumped can indeed happen. As Travel + Leisure previously reported, the odds of getting bumped from your flight are about one in 67,000 passengers. Want to better those odds? A 2017 survey found Delta, Virgin America, JetBlue, and even United bumped no more than one in every 250,000 passengers.

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