Recently at a restaurant, I overheard a man and a woman discussing a business trip to London from which they had both just returned. Though I can’t be certain, it seemed fairly obvious they were both frequent flyers and though not perturbed by air travel were happy to be in New York a place they referred to as “home.” While I’m not prone to eavesdropping I couldn’t help but overhear the horror story of what should have been a first class travel experience, as their employer had purchased them first class tickets on what will remain to be an unnamed airliner that you’ve definitely flown with before (first class or otherwise.) The abridged version of their woeful travel experience is what you’d expect: criminally extensive periods of time merely waiting around, long lines, invasive security measures and a generally nuisance ridden trip.
Just a brief cost and benefit analysis leads one to the conclusion that if flying commercial, a first class ticket isn’t really worth it considering one must suffer through all of the same time wasting exercises and security checks to board the plane. In fact, if they had chartered a private jet, it would have been roughly the same cost for their tickets per person but they could have avoided the long lines at check-in, the ticket counter, baggage check and claim, and, of course, security. Basically, they paid ten times the cost of a regular coach seat on the flight so they could board the plane prior to the other passengers but they both still had to arrive 3 hours before the flight departed. Instead, they could have chartered a plane and arrived 30 minutes prior to departure. Would it not have made more sense for their employer to book a private jet? For roughly the same cost these associates could have evaded all of the aggravation of commercial flying and substituted it with a world class flying experience for which they could have arrived only a half an hour before lift off.
Furthermore, despite their experience traveling these two weary flyers had to persevere through the exhaustion of traditional commercial travel. Would they not have been more alert, keen and ready for their conference in London or their return to work the following day in New York if a private jet had been chartered for their trip? Obviously, yes, because the duration of their trip would have been confined to the duration of the flight, for the most part. Private jet chartering, while being luxurious, isn’t always about luxury; rather, it should also be about efficiency and practicality. These two would have enjoyed the luxury but they (and their work) would have benefited from a private, quiet cabin where they could have conferred with one another and prepped themselves or enjoyed a nap to rejuvenate. Whether you’re value first, people first or business first a private jet will surpass commercial flights every time.