Prince Harry stuns passengers by flying from Tokyo in premium economy

Prince Harry has stunned fellow passengers by sitting in cattle class on a flight from Japan.

The Duke of Sussex flew in premium economy on a Nippon Airways flight from Tokyo Haneda Airport to London Heathrow on Sunday after the Rugby World Cup match.

One passenger managed to take a sneaky photo of the Duke boarding the plane and shared it to Instagram.

"Prince Harry, oh my gosh," they captioned the snap.

"Sitting across from Prince Harry on our flight to Tokyo... and I can confirm he is a beaut. Nearly fell off my seat when he came on board."

Photo / Instagram

Harry's decision to fly commercial follows backlash in August when he and Meghan Markle were slammed for making four private jet trips in 11 days, despite campaigning on environmental issues.

Ever since the mass criticism, Harry has flown commercially for his South Africa tour, the wedding of his wife's friend Misha Nonoo and for a travel initiative launch in Amsterdam.

In September the royal defended his use of private jets, saying sometimes private flights are necessary to ensure his family's safety.

"I spend 99 per cent of my life travelling the world by commercial," he told reporters.

"Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure my family are safe. It's genuinely as simple as that.

"What is it is about balance. If I have to do that — it's not a decision that I would want to take — but if I have to do that then I would ensure, as I have done previously and I will continue to make sure that I do, is to balance out that impact that I have. I have always offset my CO2," he said.

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.