I have watched Live ATC tons of time. But I still don't know which airline is called "Top 1%". Ex: Delta 81 right Bravo right Kilo give way to company A380 and follow the Top 1%".

Just wanna know what "Top 1%" means. Or that is only for JFK?

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Do you have a link to the audio? $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ Related $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


I'm guessing you're referring to a clip such as this one. JFK ground is just being a bit informal and fun (as you can tell from the rest of the clip) with their instructions. Although it isn't mentioned, the controller is probably referring to a business jet flight, such as ExecJet.

The "top 1%" refers to a ranking based on income, specifically those not in the lower 99%. The controller is basically telling them to follow the rich people in their fancy private jet. JustSid found another video where the controller explains it as "someone richer than both you and me."

  • $\begingroup$ Snarky! Listening to a few other clips of that same atc makes me wonder if it's such a good idea to let Howard Stern take over as ground controller. $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ @TomMcW it seems to be tradition at JFK and BOS to have snarky ground controllers. :) $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ Actually, it is mentioned. One of the pilot readbacks is "follow the Gulfstream," so your guess is correct. :) $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ Here is another "video" which explains Top 1% as "Someone richer than both you and me". So, yep, spot on indeed. $\endgroup$
    – JustSid
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ @JustSid thanks, included a link to that one. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 22:42

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