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JerryDelColliano 11-06-2007 11:02 PM

Do you fly Private?
It only takes one private flight for you to HATE commercial.

Let us know if you fly private, first class or coach.


JerryDelColliano 11-07-2007 10:07 AM

Re: Do you fly Private?
There are many ways you can go with flying private:
- own your own plane
- own a fractional deal (like a Net Jets)
- buy a card deal (like Marquis or Sentient)
- charter a plane (per trip)
- buy an empty leg
- sucker your rich friends to let you fly on their plane

The last option is the least expensive but the hardest to pull off.

Owning your own plane if you are a flying enthusiasts can be a good option but the entry cost paired with the maintenance can be prohibitive

Fractional deals tend to be best when you buy a part of a fleet. Net Jets (Berkshire Hathaway - Warren Buffet's company) is a popular choice but once again the cost of entry is for those with eight and nine figure net worth.

Card deals are some of the more attractive deals with the up front costs ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 and higher. Be sure to look for a card deal that allows you flexibility in the equipment you take. If you live here in LA and think you might want to take you and your wife to Napa for the weekend - you don't want to be paying $8,000 an hour for a G4 which seats 13 people. You might be better with a smaller Lear. But if you and your golf buddies all want to chip in on a trip to Bandon Dunes that lear won't likely sit 8 people with 8 sets of clubs. Its nice to have flexibility. ALSO note the "wheels" up time. Are you paying to fly the plane back in your card deal? This can REALLY add up.

For the casual user - a jet charter can be the best deal in that you don't need to put $50,000 or more in harm's way. Anyone can call up their travel agent or say Amex Plantinum Travel and book a plane from here to there. Its more per hour without question but you are using only what you need.

The cheapest way to get a taste of the jet world is to buy an empty leg and try it out but I warn you - this is a dangerous habit. Flying back on Southwest when you flew to your destination on a Hawker 800XP is a HARD transition. With that said - many jet companies will DEEPLY discount their flights from locations of a charter to help add profit to their trips. Why fly empty right?

Flying private for the mere millionaire is a true indulgence but once you get your taste - its hard to keep a smile on your face when being asked to "take off your shoes" at the check in line at JFK, LAX or O'Hare

TheMoose 11-07-2007 10:36 AM

Re: Do you fly Private?
I don't fly much at all, I use to take a bunch of day trips with my Dad in his puddle jumper but when I go long distances now it's to play with my toys & my race car or Raptor can't go in checked baggage like a bag of golf clubs!!

So I hook up my enclosed trailer to my Cummins powered Dodge Ram & haul to my destination.

The last time I flew really sucked!
I broke my ankle at Texas Motor Speedway (long story, suffice it to say Crown Royal was involved!), I took an American Airlines prop plane back home & we flew through thunderstorms all the way!
There isn't enough painkillers in the world to make me do that again!!

kennyt 11-07-2007 11:54 AM

Re: Do you fly Private?

As an anesthesiologist, trust me when I say this...... There ARE enough pain killers in the world to make you not only do that again but truly love the experience!


Did you fly any private jets yet? I know I for one am too cheap to spend that kind of cash on transportation, but can easily see how addictive it would be! I love first class, but alas I am still too cheap to often pay for it. When I fly on very short notice (which is rarely) I often do first class as it isn't that much more. when making plans months or even weeks in advance, the difference can be huge!

I was looking at flights to Thailand just before the Tsunami hit and the cost for coach was $800, first class was $5,000. That's a huge difference, and one I quite frankly considered as 14 hours from Chicago to Bankok in coach would be intolerable. For me flying from the east side of the country I can usually make Europe with a Xanax and a few drinks, short nap and I'm there!

JerryDelColliano 11-07-2007 12:45 PM

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.

kennyt 11-07-2007 01:37 PM

Re: Do you fly Private?

I will be your partner in crime any day of the year!

I really do not believe I could spend 14 hours in coach unless my wife did an anesthetic on my for the trip!

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