FLYING PRIVATELY: ONCE A LUXURY, NOW A NECESSITY

FLYING PRIVATELY: ONCE A LUXURY, NOW A NECESSITY

James D. Butler

CEO, Shaircraft Solutions

301.652.9885

www.shaircraft.com

To celebrate his father’s 70th birthday, a leisure traveler from New Jersey booked a Mexican cruise for the entire family. They planned to fly from New York to Los Angeles, the ship’s departure point, but when the family arrived at the airport, they learned the airline had canceled their flight.

The ship was going to pull away from the dock without them, and the son was going to lose the tens of thousands of dollars he had paid for the cruise tickets. We helped him book a last-minute charter, and he, his father, and the rest of the family were able to cut the birthday cake on deck as the ship sailed.

As advisors to private air travelers, Shaircraft Solutions analyzes a client’s needs and budget, and then we find the best option—whether it’s a one-time charter flight, a 25-hour jet card, a fractional share, or a combination of those choices.
Many clients come to us after they’ve reached the breaking point with the airlines and are ready to enjoy the conveniences, comforts, and peace of mind that come with private jet travel. The traveler from New Jersey is one client for whom flying privately became more of a necessity than a luxury. Here are three others.

Seeing Red

A businessman was scheduled to fly from Las Vegas to Denver and then catch a connecting flight to Washington, D.C., where his office is located. The next day, he was going to head from his office to New York for a critically important presentation to a potential customer he’d been wooing for more than a year.

But the flight from Las Vegas was delayed, and after running a mile through the airport in Denver, the businessman missed his connection to D.C. He ran another mile to try catching a flight to Baltimore but missed that one, too.
After waiting in line 40 minutes at the customer-service counter, he was told that the only way he could get to D.C. by the next day was to fly to Los Angeles from Denver and then take a red-eye to D.C. The customer-service rep assured him, however, that he would be upgraded to first class on the red-eye.

So the businessman flew to L.A., where he waited more than six hours for the red-eye to depart. But when he checked in, he was told that there was no record of his upgrade and that first class was full, so he had to fly coach.
After spending a sleepless night scrunched in a middle seat, he landed in D.C., made a quick visit to his office, flew to New York, and arrived after his meeting was supposed to have begun.

Late, tired, and disheveled, he failed to impress the customer with his presentation.

Slippery Slope

A family was planning to fly from Washington, D.C., through Denver and on to Vail for a ski vacation. The airline schedule forced them to take a late-afternoon flight to Denver.

The flight arrived in plenty of time to make the connection, but a storm rolled in and the flight to Vail was cancelled. Frustrated, the family decided to rent a van and drive to Vail.

As they were discussing their plans with an airline customer-service agent, they noticed their luggage and skis sitting in a holding area behind the counter. But the agent refused to give them their bags and gear, because the items already had been checked through to Vail. 
The family had a choice: They could drive to Vail without their luggage or they could wait for the next flight to Vail. They waited, and waited—until 2 am, when their flight finally left Denver
When the family arrived in Vail, the car-rental kiosk was closed, leaving them no way to get to their hotel, which was 10 miles away. They had to wait at the Vail airport until 6 am, when the kiosk opened.

If the family had flown privately from D.C., they could have left earlier in the day, traveled directly to Vail, and arrived before the storm—with ground transportation waiting and with no worries about the whereabouts of their luggage and skis.

Subpar Service

A professional golfer was flying from one tournament to another when the airline lost his clubs—and never found them. The loss was devastating for the PGA Tour pro, whose confidence in and comfort with this equipment can be worth millions in tournament earnings.

Contrast these travel nightmares with flying on a private jet. You fly where you want to fly, when you want to fly, and with whom you want to fly with. You fly direct, not through the airlines’ arbitrary hubs. There are no long layovers, no red-eyes, and no intrusive searches. Luggage is not lost.

You fly on a clean, well-maintained, and safe aircraft, with a pilot who’ll even help you with your luggage. Catered meals and drinks of your choosing await you. There’s Internet and phone service and, perhaps most important, a comfortable seat with plenty of legroom.