Flight delays, missed connections, long TSA lines, crowded airports, badly behaved seatmates... all the indignities and frustrations of flying commerical these days make flying private seem ever more appealing. Yes, it's still mainly the province of the rich and famous — but that's far from exclusively the case anymore, with more ways than ever for normal-ish people to get a private plane experience. Here's all the reasons you really, really want that — at least once in your life, to cherish those luxe memories forever.
1. You can access alternate airports.
A private jet can land at roughly 5,000 airports across the country, whereas commercial planes can only land at 500. Plus, many of those airports are only accessible through multiple commercial connections.
2. You get special terminal access, too.
When you fly private, you get to go through special terminals far, far away from commercial terminals. You also skip all the TSA lines! You can arrive as little as 15 minutes before your departure and in some cases, pull your car straight up to the plane. How bow dah?!
3. It's a compelling sales tool.
Illusionist Wayne Hoffman prefers flying private because of his ability to network better. "I've closed multiple five-figure deals mid-flight," he says. "The demographic of those who fly private are influential high-net worth individuals who can make things happen." So if you're trying to court a certain kind of clientele, a private flight could be an opportunity that's priceless. (Well, maybe not priceless.)
4. You can get to know your pilot.
C'mon now. You know almost everything about your Uber driver by the end of the car ride, right? Why shouldn't this be the case for the people taking you thousands of miles across the sky for hours at a time? An open cockpit is very normal when flying private, so you might end up with a new friend upon landing — or at least someone who can indulge all of your aviation superfan questions.
5. You make your own schedule.
In most cases, there is no set schedule for private flights. Since you're paying for the hours that you'll be using the aircraft, you can arrange your own departure times.
6. Private planes are pet friendly.
Forget about crating your little love! Most private planes allow pets to roam about the cabins.
7. You can join the mile-high club in civilized style.
Flying private could help you gain that coveted membership into the mile-high club: The bathrooms are way more spacious, and even have some counter space.
8. It can actually be the cheaper and more convenient option.
Yes, cheaper! Renting a private flight for you and five or more people can be more cost-effective than purchasing those six airline tickets. Companies like JetSuiteX offer cheaper alternatives to flying private for frequent travelers. As for convenience and saving time, private pilot Ryan Seib points out that flying over Lake Michigan, for example, saves hours of driving time.
9. You don't have to pack light.
There is no specific size or weight restriction for your luggage, so you can take as much or as little as you want. Parents, want to bring a bathtub or a highchair for your little one? Just carry it on. No wonder families travel this way!
10. You'll get V.I.P. perks you hadn't even considered.
When you travel in baller style, you get all kind of unexpected privileges beyond the obvious ones: Jet Linx, for instance, washes and details flyers' cars while they're away.
11. You can eat what you want.
Sure, Delta Air Lines may have just reinstated some free food for its coach-class passengers. But the flying private experience offers way more than a measly breakfast sandwich: When traveling Flexjet, you can order whatever you want to eat or drink when you make your reservation. From food like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids to chocolate covered strawberries for special occasions. Fun fact: The most commonly requested snack on a Flexjet aircraft is Peanut M&Ms.
12. You'll get the legroom of your wildest dreams.
Most private jets feature seats that can fully recline and convert into beds. Or of course, some elite jets have proper beds in addition to seats.
13. You can watch a movie on a proper screen.
No, we're not talking about your iPad: Some large-cabin private jets, like Flexjet's Global Express, have big-screen TVs as large as 42 inches. Your favorite movie, a cashmere blanket, and some fresh popcorn are all you need to basically turn the jet into a flying movie theater.
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