The pandemic changed business travel. Executives are forgoing first class seats on commercial flights in favor of flying on private jets.
And who can blame them?
For business executives, traveling on a private jet certainly has its advantages: convenience, luxury, privacy and even price. Although private travel has always maintained those attributes, another advantage – safety – led many business travelers to fly privately for the first time during the pandemic. Some might not return to commercial travel. Here’s why:
Time is of the essence for busy corporate executives. The current model for commercial air travel relies on regional hubs and connecting flights. Even destinations less than 1,000 miles apart often need two flights to get there.
The convenience of private travel is evident:
The VIP travel experience begins with Elite Jets’ client services team, which operates as a personal concierge during the booking process. In addition to confirming flight logistics, passengers can make meal and snack selections in advance.
A door-to-door chauffer service transports passengers in style with a Tesla Model X. At Naples Airport, passengers enjoy access to Elite Jets’ private terminal with direct access to the fleet of luxury Phenom 300 and Legacy 500 Embraer jets.
Onboard, passengers enjoy personalized temperature controls, recliner-like leather massaging seats, high-speed Wi-Fi, a fully stocked bar and a digital entertainment system to watch movies, TV shows and news.
There is no privacy on a commercial jet, even in first class. A Boeing 737-800, for example, seats 162 passengers in its two-class layout: 16 in first class and 146 in coach. First class passengers typically are the first to board an aircraft before coach passengers take their seats.
On a private jet, it’s just the captain, first officer and your traveling party - up to nine on the Phenom 300 and 10 on the Legacy 500. With strong Wi-Fi, executives can catch up on email, review presentations and even participate in video calls.
Commercial airlines use variable ticket pricing, and according to the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), flight prices rose every month during the first half of 2021. In addition to the base fare, many airlines also charge fees for seat assignments, priority boarding, baggage and pets.
Elite Jets charges one price for the flight, no matter how many seats are taken or suitcases are packed. There is no extra charge if executives bring their spouses and children on business trips.
Southwest Florida is home to just one Fortune 500 company – Hertz – but dozens of Fortune 500 executives have second homes in the region. That’s why New York City, Chicago and Dallas are among Elite Jets’ most popular routes.