Well, the first thing we wondered was why would anyone want to own a private jet. I can understand owning a private car, but a jet? Turns out it’s not such an unusual thing in the gazillionaires’ club. A rich guy/gal might want a jet for the same reason that their comparatively poor counterpart might want a car.
Why Would one Want to Own a Private Jet?
To save time: Who wants to hang around waiting for public transport? Besides commercial flights can be late or delayed, which is not a good news if you expect to attend an important business meeting at a specified time.
For convenience: There are too many hassles involved at the airport these days before you can board a commercial jet. There are certain requirements and limitations on what you can carry on board and what you can’t. There are the long searches, where you have to take off your shoes to reveal your feet, unpack your carry-on luggage to reveal its contents and open your laptop to get it checked. This can be annoying if you’re a privileged billionaire with holes in your socks, an untidy packing style, and intensely hush-hush stuff on your laptop.
For comfort: Who wants to share cramped seats with the public? Who wants to line up for the bathroom? And how are you supposed to conduct super-secret google searches for your business or trade secrets over email/chat with your associate if the chattering passengers on your either side keep peeking into your computer screen?
Benefits of Owning a Private Jet
#1 You can fly to whichever locale you want, so long as it has the facility to land your jet.
#2 You can travel whenever you desire.
#3 You can have as many stops as you want.
#4 You can travel faster.
#5 You don’t have to wait in line for boarding the jet. You have your own separate check-in.
#6 You can avail of a luxurious interior with comfy seats and even a bed or two.
#7 You can conduct business meetings in the flight.
#8 You can avail of wireless Internet, listen to music, watch movies, have a video conference, and much more.
#9 You can enjoy excellent cuisine along with a fine wine.
#10 You don’t have to worry about baggage. You can either keep everything you need on board, or arrange to have it transferred from your home to the plane without exerting yourself.
Of course, you need to have pots and pots and pots of money to be able to enjoy such a luxury. A private jet doesn’t come cheap at all – the price goes into millions, actually – and as the saying goes, if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.
Aside from the hefty price of the plane itself, there are tremendous costs involved in the upkeep and maintenance of the jet, to keep it in a safe and flyable condition. Fuel too costs plenty of money. So also the pilot’s salary and the salaries of the flight attendants, if you’re going to have those (after all, where’s the luxury in getting up to brew your own comforting cup of tea?). If you don’t want to have a pilot, you have to shell out a good amount to get flying lessons and a pilot’s certification. Life isn’t exactly easy for the rich. So before you decide to splurge on your own private jet, you should consider how often you fly or are planning on flying. If you are not going to fly all that frequently, getting a plane and leaving it to grace the airfield is not perhaps the wisest thing to do financially – and probably what you won’t do if you had the financial acumen enough to get in the position to be able to afford the jet in the first place. It would be much smarter to jostle shoulders with the hoi polloi if you only make one or two business trips a year and conduct the rest of your business, like the smart person you are, over email, telephone, and video conferences.
However there are other alternatives to buying a jet plane. You can buy a share in a jet plane and get a timeshare card allowing you around 25 or 50 or more hours of use. You could charter a jet too. There are a growing number of charter companies that charter jets for private use. These options too come at a considerable expense, but you don’t have to worry about keeping the plane in shipshape, that is the charter company’s headache. Although there are plenty of charter companies, it doesn’t seem the norm yet for people chartering planes to shop around and get themselves a better deal. The idea seems to be – “If we had that middle-class mentality, we would be still lining up at the airport to catch a commercial flight.”