The Food and Drink Pairing
The day before our private flight we had been told to pick “whatever we desired to eat.” Leaving from LA that’s a challenging question with the broad choice of food available! We elected to order a couple burritos. Twenty minutes into the flight the team advised us that they could not believe that’s all we wanted and produced a white tablecloth with a couple of burritos. These burritos were made fresh and they threw in a couple of extra ingredients to reflect the fact they were a meal made for the few. We expected it to taste reconstituted like most other plane meals, however this was Michelin fresh!
Among the problems with drinking and eating on a plane is that 25,000 feet of altitude dulls your senses. Most private jet charters go out of the way to mitigate this problem with their beverage menu. They often tap premier drink mixers to create a list of relatively straightforward, yet distinctive cocktails with flavors and aromatics designed especially to work high in the atmosphere, such as oak smoke at a Manhattan (a specific standout) and Indian spices with a timeless G&T.
Whether its burritos or G&T’s what you should expect from a charted private jet flight are people that can read your mind. While we were asked what we’d like to eat, the charter company profiled each of us and intimately understood our preferences in both dining, cabin configuration and timing for food and drinks.
Both members of the flight crew attended the British Butler Institute. It has trained its graduates from the royal household in precision support for nearly four decades. That meant, for example, that when the crew saw we hadn’t finished eating, they asked if we would like to continue flying around in circles until we had.
Reading the descriptions of pricey suites on commercial planes you can forget that while they leave you pampered, your private space is about the size of an extra large closet. Flying private in a larger business jet presents space that could match three beds and has sufficient room to accommodate a small yoga class. Beyond the area we had to extend out, the encounter is much more that of a hotel than a way of conveyance. Complimentary cashmere socks, cotton linens (which, we sadly were not in the air long enough to experience) along with also a carefully curated in-flight library are simply an expected part of the adventure. The hassles that exist while navigating crowded airports disappear, although it may go without saying. There are no lines, there are no people asking you to take your shoes off and place your laptop in a separate bin. We had a stroll through the reception area and out on where a driver took us to the plane’s doorway. We kept trying to show our driver’s license so that they could check the hologram but nobody was interested.
The state of aviation leaves a few things to be desired–snaking TSA lines, tiny, unopenable bags of pretzels, smelly people alongside you elbowing you they make the experience more disagreeable than it must be. And while $32,000 airline suites are fine and all, there is an even more lavish way to get around the perils of uncomfortable redeyes and gate checked luggage.
If you want a more private experience, renting a jet will cost on average between $1.4 million and $1.9 million annually.