Do you fly private?

Old May 17, 10, 2:03 pm
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Do you fly private?

Long time FT browser - first time poster.

As a frequent flyer who has always flown commercially for business, I have recently crossed the bridge into the world of private flying. I have saved time, increased efficiency, and my travel experiences have become something to look forward to - not dread.

I was wondering how many members of the FT community charter private aircraft. Am I the only one?
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Old May 17, 10, 4:02 pm
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Old May 17, 10, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by jetfuel44 View Post
Long time FT browser - first time poster.

As a frequent flyer who has always flown commercially for business, I have recently crossed the bridge into the world of private flying. I have saved time, increased efficiency, and my travel experiences have become something to look forward to - not dread.

I was wondering how many members of the FT community charter private aircraft. Am I the only one?
It is still not quite viable for the single traveller like me, but if your organization needs to send several people somewhere regularly, chartering aircraft becomes more cost effective.

Corporations can also hammer out block charters on a monthy contract, making an ac available to a group of people at anytime for a flat monthly rate. This is especially good for multi-nationals and entertainment companies.
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Old May 17, 10, 6:07 pm
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Saving time, increasing efficience etc is nice as long as it fits the bottom line. I used to fly privately say 1-2 times a year, bit less than that now Anyway I used it only for mission-impossible trips, usually a scenario was that some urgent meeting was falling in between two other very important meetings same day or overnight and it was virtually impossible to make it with scheduled services. Even then I had to take a deep breath and think twice if attending this particular meeting really worth anything between 10 to 30k EUR (as opposed to conference call for almost free or 500-900 EUR ticket a day later). Here I'm talking about light or mid-size bizjet for intra-european trip. Going across the pond (US East coast) will settle you for some 60-80k EUR, Far East even more than that. Probably I'm in a wrong business.

If you have a group of people to travel, especially 5+ it becomes not so prohibitive, but flying solo is simply too expensive unless you heading to conclude an 7-digit+ contract on spot which will not happen otherwise. We are not talking here about hiring a piston Cessna-172, are we?

Last edited by another_shot; May 17, 10 at 6:15 pm
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Old May 17, 10, 6:24 pm
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How does one earn FF miles when flying private? Or earn status for early-boarding privileges? Don't get me started on upgrades...
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Old May 17, 10, 6:37 pm
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Originally Posted by CopperSteve View Post
How does one earn FF miles when flying private? Or earn status for early-boarding privileges? Don't get me started on upgrades...
I think the amount of AmEx points you'd get off of a single private flight would more than make up for the loss of miles... assuming you're the one putting down the plastic
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Old May 17, 10, 8:04 pm
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Flying private is no question the cats meow to service, efficiency and status.. and no question the highest priced of all options. that is unless your private jet, is a two seat chugger, single engine, lucky to cross states..

Last edited by Ancien Maestro; May 17, 10 at 8:10 pm
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Old May 17, 10, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by CopperSteve View Post
How does one earn FF miles when flying private? Or earn status for early-boarding privileges? Don't get me started on upgrades...

Easy....

Lufthansa Private Jet

Delta Air Elite

Korean Air has just announced a partnership w Bombardier Flexjet

Each of the above provide the ability to earn status and miles or perks...
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Old May 18, 10, 5:33 am
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Private is never a better option. Only when flying to the remotest of places such as Central Africa.

Put it this way, if you are important enough for the company to fly you private or you own your own jet. The meeting will wait for you.
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Old May 18, 10, 5:46 am
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only with my parents, they aren't in the habit of letting me charter jets for my flights of fancy.
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Old May 18, 10, 6:01 am
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My company has half-ownership of a twin-engined plane (don't know the make or model, but it seats 8). Half of the time the plane goes to visit vendors and suppliers, some of which are in rural areas not well served by commercial aviation.

(Of course, the other half of my company's time with the plane is used up flying the owner/CEO on trips to follow his college's sports teams)
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Old May 18, 10, 6:03 am
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I do often, as do many people here. The economics are not always bad.
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Old May 18, 10, 6:13 am
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Originally Posted by 747-444 View Post
Put it this way, if you are important enough for the company to fly you private or you own your own jet. The meeting will wait for you.
Normally it will wait. Except if you dealing with considerably bigger organisations or Govermnental structures, where they decide when they want to meet you. That's life...
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Old May 18, 10, 7:56 am
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Originally Posted by 747-444 View Post
Private is never a better option. Only when flying to the remotest of places such as Central Africa.

Put it this way, if you are important enough for the company to fly you private or you own your own jet. The meeting will wait for you.
Your making the assumption its to a meeting...the times we have used a corporate charter it has been situations where the cost was justifiable (more often than one might think) these include...

A) as you mentioned, your going to the middle of nowhere
or
B) where time really is money. If you have a technical problem keeping a factory from running or holding a large ship in port (two recent examples) the cost of the time lost can quickly exceed the savings from flying commercial.
or
C) you have to take a lot of expensive/sensitive equipment. its just easier to take it as opposed to taking a couple 400lb pieces of electronics and 8 people


The people I work with who use charters aren't management, they are engineers in a hurry. That doesn't usually include me
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Old May 18, 10, 11:11 am
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I fly on private aircraft when I travel. Taking the obvious aside, it always amazes me that the press has never picked up on it that a potential terrorist could walk onto a private aircraft and load pretty much anything he/she wants while the TSA is standing on its head harassing commercial travelers.

I will say though that I do not miss the security theater courtesy of TSA.
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