Russians ban artists from business class

A new edict has come down from the Ministry of Culture in Moscow.

Theatres are no longer allowed to pay business-class flights for guest conductors and soloists.

Only artistic directors and ‘national artists’ will be allowed to fly up front with the oligarchs.

The rest of us will be confined to Aeroflot’s DVT seats.


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  • Since they are very likely still able to fly in business class privately at their own expense, it is not totally accurate to characterise this as a ‘ban’

  • all artists should be booking their own travel, as i have done for ages. if a presenter does not pay for upfront, then one books a super expensive fully refundable eco seat, presents the bill, gets reimbursed, cancels it, keeps the cash, and then uses points and flies upfront in style. i find nothing really dishonest with this. just taking matters into one’s own hands!

    • Really, you find nothing dishonest in fraudulently providing a receipt to a presenter, fully intending to cancel that refundable purchase and procuring the flights by a means which doesn’t cost you that money, and then gleefully accepting the reimbursement from the presenter? Why bother with the purchase in the first place? Why not just learn Photoshop and make the receipts fully fake?

      • i cannot believe i am replying. have you seen a contract? for example, ’round trip (eco) air fare will be provided’ … it is a common sentence in contracts. how one chooses to use that provision is entirely the artist’s choice. no where does is say ‘artist must use said form of provided transportation.’ it is part of the fee. further more spending 250k of miles on your own budget is hardly cost free. IOW, i have in the past taken a travel stipend, and use miles to procure a ticket that would cost the presenter 20 times that amount.

        • I actually negotiate artists’ contracts for a living, as well as tracking their expenses for their tax filings. Many contracts contain the stipulation for a travel stipend that receipts must be provided to support the reimbursement. Providing a receipt and then cancelling that flight and booking it via miles is fraudulent, because the act of cancelling the flight purchase renders that receipt no longer accurate. It is not the same out of pocket cost. Plus, if this is a US expense, when you file your taxes, the government will consider that reimbursement part of your income, and you would not have a corresponding tax deductible expense, because booking with miles is not a real dollar expense.

          My artists use their miles for the engagements which don’t offer travel stipends. We would not abuse presenters in this way.

      • last and i stop. norman does a huge service keeping us all up do date. it’s the ignorant trolls who know nothing of the biz that makes this site a torture. i am done commenting. but kudos to norman for putting up with you all. who probs sit in your kitchen listening to great old LPs and have no idea how this business really works. i should just use my real name, but the stress of it all is not worth it. cuz guess what?! i have an actual career in the industry. and have bach to learn.

        • May I comment? Bach is overrated and unnecessary. The LP is inferior to pre-electric recordings. Nobody knows anything except one old guy in Wichita and he’s not even online.

    • Wow this is so stupid and dishonest. And these are the same singers who complain that fees are too low and then wonder why opera houses cannot keep budgets in order. There is plenty wrong in this business, and you’re part of it

      • so i’ll reply to you too. as i wrote above, travel is part of the contract, as is hotel. you know how much a first class long haul flght is? part of my fee is the travel. and i will take it. and i save the company heaps by using my own hard won points to make my travel easier. as for the photoshop thing, really? presenters can write off travel costs. you don’t go and put them at tax risk by fraudulently creating a receipt. and i have no time to learn photoshop anyway.

    • If the receipt isn’t genuine (e.g. and actual expense for a ticket actually used), then you are committing fraud. Even if the practise is widespread and tolerated, it is still fraud.

  • Business-class flyers do not share oligarch company. Those considered to be oligarchs ought to have private jets.

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