A disturbing trend has been developing in recent years–that is to say, if you are the employees or management to a big traditional airline. You have competition from the private jet industry. Indeed, private airlines have risen in popularity in recent years. They cost more than traditional airlines, but they are more convenient. According to the Argus website, the mega-rich do not like the hassles they’ve encountered on the well-known traditional airlines, the main one being the hours spent waiting in line while security performs their job of searching everyone. Air Partner is a British airline making huge profits from people of means who don’t think having to wait these long lengths of time should be part of the air travel experience. The time it takes to wait at the major airports around the world–such as O’Hare, Washington-Reagan, Heathrow, and others–is simply too long, even if necessary for security reasons.
If you want to know the reasons behind this trend, it’s important to examine the advantages of private flight. The two main advantages are convenience and efficiency. For example, air travelers don’t have to worry about leaving from crowded, busy airports, unless, of course, they prefer to do so. If they live or work near a smaller airport, they can depart to their destination from there.
Another thing is that travelers don’t have to worry about the massive crowds of people found at traditional airports. They can leave from what is called a fixed-based-operation, or FBO. Here the captain meets you, shakes hands with you, introducing himself to you and all the rest of the passengers in your group, asks for ID before walking you to your flight. While checking ID is still a must because this is post September 11–chances are you will not have to worry about going through the experience of having a wand aimed at your luggage, which, by the way, stays with you. Since the luggage stays in your possession, this minimizes the chance that it will be lost, or sent to the wrong city.
In addition, if you happen to be late for your flight–which happens to the most responsible people sometimes–the captain simply waits for you instead of leaving you behind. So that reduces the possibility that you may have to pay more for another airline ticket, or completely losing your money due to a missed flight.
In addition, most private planes are equipped with things to do to entertain yourself. You can view the satellite TV,browse the Internet, or even listen to music. Or if you wish, you can watch a movie. Or if you prefer, you can take a nap on a bed that is already made for you. You don’t have to sleep in your seat–unless you want to.
In addition, those annoying layovers are not something you have to contend with on a private flight. You board one plane, and that is the flight you stay on until you reach your destination.
And perhaps best of all–private planes live up to their name. Everyone on the flight is there by invitation only by the lead passenger. So chances are fairly good that if the lead passenger didn’t find you suitable to join him–you would not be there.
As of April 2007, Air Passenger–the company I referenced at the beginning of this piece–has expanded its operations because of the amount of money it earned by then. At that point the airline had expanded beyond the British Isles, and has stations in various places in Europe, as well as the United States. This trend will continue as more people opt in to hassle-free flying.