Private jet flight – LA to EuropeBack to Forum
Anonymous14 Sep 2015
I thought it might interest readers here to read of a flight I recently took on-board a Gulfstream G550 jet. I should stress this is far from common for me and was a gift from a client as a favour to me. For reasons of confidentially I have excluded some details.
I was collected from my hotel for the short drive to the private terminal at LAX and we boarded almost immediately. Security was from a technical point of view almost identical to a commercial airport but with considerably more politeness and of course no queuing.
Once aboard I was greeted by the flight crew and the ‘in flight assistant’ (her description). Departure was “at your convenience sir, let us know when you are ready to depart”. I stated I was ready to go.
As the pre flight checks were being conducted I was shown around the aircraft. A large boadroom table with seating for four, a number of large single seats, a shower, a bedroom with double bed, a desk and a four person sofa running down one side of the aircraft. At the front there was a kitchen and separate accommodation for the crew. The in-flight entertainment was via three TV’s which could show from a selection of around 500 movies and live TV. In addition there was a massive collection of music which could be played either via headphones or the aircraft speakers.
I asked for dinner at 8pm local time ( I had chosen the meal in advance). There was a choice of three wines and dessert was a lovely home made lemon tart (made by the co-pilots wife the day before !). I dined at the boadroom table which had been made up with fine china and crystal glass, there was an option to sit at three other seats as well but I found the large table much nicer as I could watch the largest TV at the same time.
After dinner the table was cleared and I was offered a brandy. I worked until 10pm and then informed the crew I was turning in for the night. There were fresh new pyjamas laid out for me and although I was concerned the bedroom at the back of the aircraft would be noisy as the engines were close by this was not the case. I slept like a log and was briefly woken as we descended into New York to refuel and pick up another passenger. I was asleep again shortly after take off and slept soundly before awaking the following morning. I showered, shaved and changed into a suit before breakfast which I shared talking with the other passenger (my client’s lawyer who had boarded in New York).
We landed on schedule in Europe and taxied straight to the private terminal, I was collected by a Mercedes S Class from the GHO and taken to a private immigration office for the formalities. We were on our way out of the airport around 10 minutes after the doors of the aircraft had opened.
As might be expected the experience has spoilt me for the future as not a single commercial operation can get close to the experience, for the first time I arrived refreshed and alert ready for a days work with not a hint of jetlag and no aches or pains.
For illustrative purposes ONLY there is a photo here
This is an identical layout but not the same aircraft.14 Sep 2015
Lovely report and a glimpse into the travel experiences of the ‘super rich’.
Now I know how Lewis Hamilton can jet back and forth to the States and still turn up as fresh as a daisy and trounce everybody else in the Grand Prix a day, or so later – albeit he has the best car.
As you say, spoilt you forever I would think?14 Sep 2015
‘thecartoonman’ I cannot emphasise enough the difference between sleeping in a proper bed in a darkened bedroom and even the best First Class seats on a commercial aircraft. There really is no comparison and this was by far the highlight of the journey for me.14 Sep 2015
@charles-p, the first time I was privileged to experience Gulfstream travel, I ‘refused’ to sleep.. A bit like a one off Concorde trip and putting the seat back!
Whilst I accept a planned / specific date Gulfstream flight across the Atlantic is not cheap, with flexibility and correct passenger numbers, it can become a natural extension from economy, to business, to first and then on to business jet.
In the last 18 months, the cheapest I can remember flying, was a westbound Europe to West coast (on a Gulfstream 4) for around $75,000, which considering the number of possible passengers, is probably cheaper than F tickets..
Aircraft interior, very similar to the one shown by the OP.14 Sep 2015
MartynSinclair – you are quite right the costs are often not as high as might be imagined. We have rented small private aircraft in Europe when we are moving a group of people around. The CEO of Emirates stated very clearly that the move to private apartment style first class was because they were losing business to the like of Netjets.15 Sep 2015
If anyone is considering using a private jet, especially to cross the Atlantic, I would recommend you avoid the fractionals, such as Net Jets (and others) and go direct to the operators of the fleets that rove Europe and N America. This is where the fractionals get some of their ‘stock’ from. The operators generally do not advertise as they are in fear of losing contracts from the fractionals.
Often jets are parked up at places like Luton, Northolt and many N American executive airports, waiting for calls from their operators.
If a Gulfstream owner can get revenue by waiting, rather than flying empty across the Atlantic they will wait…
Happy to help any poster.. and I confirm I do not work or represent any operator, owner or management company and I certainly do not work for a fractional…..15 Sep 2015
I must strongly agree with Martyn. My company has used Abelag in Belgium and they offer real.value when moving a group of people between European capitals they also have the major advantage of being able.to her into the smaller airfields16 Sep 2015
Hi MartynSinclair – I would certainly be interested in learning more and finding out how to go about this – very useful and interesting to compare costs, as you and Charles-P mention, when moving a group of people around.18 Sep 2015
Charles-P I have also used the private terminal at LAX, you are right its easy and polite! We were supposed to be flying from LA to the Caribbean however the jet encountered technical difficulty on the runway and we had to return to the terminal and in this instance we needed to transfer to Commercial.
However I used the jet many times after that event flying out of Miami, New York and the experience is first rate compared to the larger airports. And everyone is right once you have experienced Executive travel by private jet it is very hard to go back to commercial flying, but as they say needs must!
Our jet did not have the same comfort as yours, ours allowed Executives to get about all islands in the Caribbean without the need to use Miami, yours obviously built for comfort and long distance!19 Sep 2015