Hooray! Your friend has offered you a ride on her private jet. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Although business class and first class seats are great, there is nothing like bypassing all of the lines and flying when and where you want.
The day of the flight
The day of the flight arrives and you show up to the airport a bit late. Your friend and the rest of your travel companions are already waiting for you. You smile as you see them and pull out some wine along with hazelnut and peanut infused gourmet chocolate treats you picked up from a posh shop. Feeling excited, you leap up the stairs and pick a seat right next to the window. Your friend stares at you oddly before taking another seat. You feel a bit annoyed given that it took 20 minutes to configure your hard-side luggage in the storage compartment.
After two hours of chatting, reading all of the free magazines on the plane and downing the wine and chocolate, you arrive at your destination. Everyone else has booked a car in advance, so you look around sheepishly until someone else from the flight offers to drop you off at the hotel. Everything seems great but a year later you wonder why some of the other individuals on the same flight have been invited back again and again for a private jet experience while you haven’t. You wonder what went wrong.
How to get invited back
If you fly on a private jet with your friends on a regular basis you can probably spot all of the annoying errors in the anecdote above. Maybe you invite other people to fly with you but are not sure what to do when you are flying with someone else. We’re going to break this down so that you get invited back again and again.
1 – Always show up early. If your host or hostess tells you that it’s “wheels up” at 10am, you need to plan to be there at 9:00am at the very latest. If you’re too late, don’t be surprised if you show up and everyone is gone. That phrase “when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go” is not only for potty breaks. It is super annoying to wait for a fun trip. There might be others on the flight who have a tight timeline (tee time, restaurant reservations, family obligations) and you’re holding things up. The pilot may even have to redo his or her flight plan, which also takes time. Your bags have to be weighted properly and spaced out to prevent an accident. Don’t be late.
2 – Bring a decent host or hostess gift. Try to bring a really nice item that is about the price of what you would have paid for an actual ticket to the location. Unless the bottle of wine is a rare vintage you need to step it up. Think about an Hermes throw, a piece of art from an artist you know they like or a certificate for a spa weekend at a resort they regularly visit. Show your friend that you appreciate their generosity by being generous yourself. Oh, and please don’t gobble down the items you bring. Let your host choose when to eat/drink it.
3 – Watch what you eat. Those chocolate nut treats might be nice for you but have you checked to see whether anyone on the plane has a nut allergy? You might be in a very small space. I’ve heard many a horror story of guests bringing hot smelly meals onto a plane. There will probably be food served (double check) that has been set up by your host or hostess. If you fly private on a regular basis, you know that it is possible to order a lot of things beforehand – including wine, champagne, chocolates and magazines for the flight. If you are worried about getting hungry, pack a few snacks. Otherwise, leave the food at home.
4 – Wait to sit down. Remember when you got your first car and you could listen to whatever music you wanted, buy the air freshener scent you liked and go where you wanted? It was “your car, your rules”. The same goes for planes. If it is not your plane, wait for your hostess to choose her seat first. Maybe looking down on the city lights from the window seat upon landing is her traveling tradition. Your host or hostess may ask you to move. Don’t let it get to that point. If it does, get up and move to another seat.
5 – Check on luggage requirements. Your hard side bag is great for Ryanair. However, there are times when the airport staff may have to squish all of the bags together to fit in the plane. Not all private flights are big transatlantic planes. You might be taking a prop plane to a private island. Ask your hosts what sort of baggage can be taken on the plane and try to take soft-sided luggage when and where possible. Really think about what you are taking with you and don’t hog space in the cabin either.
6 – Have a car booked for when you arrive. Imagine having to sit in the airport while everyone else jumps into sleek black SUV‘s to head to the resort. Don’t assume that there will be car service waiting for you – even if you are staying at the same hotel as everyone else. Check beforehand as to whether transportation has been arranged for you. If you have forgotten to book a car, ask a staff member on the plane to call ahead to the airport, so that they can set up car service for when you arrive.
At the end of the day, if you make a mistake, say you’re sorry and try to make things right. Your friend invited you so that you could have a good time together and that is the most important thing. Happy flying!
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