Owning a private jet is one thing. Making the most of it is quite another. When most people make the move from flying business or first to flying private, they retain a mindset formed by years of travel on commercial flights. But to really enjoy the benefits of private flying, you need to start looking at air travel very differently.
Leading aviation company NetJets offers individuals and businesses a shared ownership solution for private jets, providing the advantages of whole-aircraft ownership, with none of the operational and maintenance complexities. Here we highlight five ways to make the most of a plane whose only purpose is to transport you and your group to wherever you want to go.
1. Fly to places others cannot
As long as an airport meets certain criteria (the most important being runway length), you can fly to it—regardless of whether it is a “normal” commercial airport or not. This is particularly useful if you want to visit remote locations such as the west coast of Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica, or private hunting ranches in Texas that are many hours’ drive from the nearest commercial airport but have airstrips.
It also means you’ll have access to more accessible airports for standard destinations. For example, Teterboro Airport in New Jersey is the most convenient airfield for Manhattan; and in Switzerland, you can fly into Samedan Airport (also known as Engadin), just three miles from St Moritz, rather than Zurich, which is more than 120 miles away.
2. Save valuable time
For high-earners, this is a serious consideration in terms of the value of your hours to your business. Private jets can save you time in a number of ways. First, you can show up minutes, not hours before your flight. You do not need to check in bags, or wait to retrieve them. There are no lines to stand in or lengthy security measures to go through (in the commercial sense).
The other great time-saver is having a plane that flies exactly where you want to go, when you want to go. “We have travelers who need to do several site visits to offices or have multiple meetings in one day in different cities,” says Pat Gallagher, executive vice president of sales and marketing at NetJets. "These people can fly to the nearest airport, leave the jet on the tarmac, make the visit, and get back on board an hour or so later. This lets them visit multiple cities in one day, and be home in the evening for dinner.”
3. Tailor your in-flight experience
One of the biggest differences between commercial and private flying is the privacy. It will be just you, your group, and the crew. This means the flight experience is more akin to being in a private room at a restaurant, or in a hotel suite, than on a commercial aircraft. You can have meetings, get some sleep, screen films, eat meals prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, or, if you are with friends or family, just relax as you might do at home.
There’s also a level of personalization that would be impossible on a commercial flight, from surprise cupcakes on a child’s birthday to your favorite magazines.
The experience even involves preparing someone who is a nervous flier. In one case, for example, NetJets arranged a pre-flight conference call with one of its in-house meteorologists for a client who found flying difficult. “She learned to expect turbulence throughout the mid-point of the flight and leading up to landing due to some weather systems,” says Jamie Jones, lead meteorologist at NetJets. The team even supplied the passenger with a goody basket containing everything from air-sickness pills to an umbrella for when she landed.
Private aviation allows a level of spontaneity that would otherwise be impossible
—Pat Gallagher, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, NetJets
4. Make the most of every moment
We’ve already talked about how much valuable time a private jet can save you. But private jets can also turn flying time into working time in a way that scheduled flights cannot. With a private jet, you can have a board or client meeting in the air. Privacy is not an issue, and onboard connectivity means business meetings can be just as productive at 41,000 feet.
NetJets’ clients also report that flights let them “take back” time to relax or devote to friends and family. This might mean spending the flight playing with the kids or having a romantic meal with your partner. Or it could mean a busy executive using the time dividend to enable them to be at home more.
Finally, because NetJets needs only four to 10 hours’ notice to get an aircraft ready, "private aviation allows a level of spontaneity that would otherwise be impossible," Gallagher says. Travelers can take advantage of last-minute opportunities (for both business and pleasure) as never before.
5. Plan—and replan—with ease
One call, one email, or one tap of the app is all it takes to book a plane. But it’s easy in other ways, too. If you need to alter your destination airport, the crew and NetJets’ owner service team will make all necessary arrangements, from coordinating with the new airport and air traffic control, to rearranging the ground transportation to pick you up from your updated destination. From your point of view, it’s totally seamless.