Re: Do you fly Private?
Ben Shyman, one of my close friends and an old reviewer for us based in NYC, closed down his energy sector hedge fund last month to go work for a larger fund. Before he starts he took nearly a 4 week vacation in Austrialia.
AND HE FLEW COACH from LAX to Sydney. The coach seat was like $1200 where Business was $13,000 and First even higher. He has an AMEX Black Card and even that didn't help. Miles didn't help so he sucked it up. 6 hours from JFK to LAX. He came over for dinner (I made homemade risoto with white truffles shaved on top) and then 14.5 hours in coach. Then a 4 hour layover and a 4 hour flight to Adelade. God bless him as there is NO WAY IN HELL I would do that.
Normally, I fly first class as I am 6 foot 3 250 pounds. My shoulders simply do not fit well into a narrow coach seat and I often need to work while on the plane. I fly United and American and they try their best to have first class check in but I recently heard of a way at LAX to pay $200 to bypass ALL security. Its what the celebs use and its tempting albeit a waste of money. When you fly as much as I do - you do EVERYTHING you can to cut down the BS. I charge everything to my United credit cards thus I have 100,000's miles to use. For example business class (sleeper seats, 2 meals, DVD player and an AC outlet) from LAX to JFK is often $450 + 30,000 miles. An easy deal to agree to. I am going after Thanksgiving to NYC and United wanted $3,000 for a biz ticket. American wanted the same thing with no upgrades availible. I took Delta for $1000 in stead.
As for me flying private - I do fly private when I can. Maybe 1 to 3 times per year and I need partners in crime for most of my trips. I often charter a King Air (a turbo prop plane) not a jet as it costs easily 1/2 of what a jet does. I wont lie and say I don't get "jet envy" at Santa Monica Airpark but the idea of DRIVING RIGHT TO YOUR PLANE is just too cool. I can get from my house to my room (including checking in and all of the driving) at the Lodge at Pebble Beach in 2 hours FLAT. I can't check into the flight at LAX to Monterey Airport in 2 hours. Its still expensive and a TOTAL luxury. Its best when you are splitting it with 4 or 5 other people if possible.
Jerry Del Colliano