I'm an Australian living in Thailand. I like to read, write and travel. I'm currently working on my (commercial) travel website skedaddlecarhire.com.au to make more moolah for my trips.
Published December 10th 2014
Flying has never been so good
Not too long ago, I was given the chance to travel from Brisbane to Sydney in style. I wasn't driving, and I wasn't even taking a commercial flight. Instead, I got a chance to get on board a jet charter!
Flying by private aircraft was not something I ever thought I would be doing. I figured it was a business that was best left to high-rollers and executives. However, with more and more airlines getting interested in reaching a wider populace, I guess I now count as a high-roller!
The opportunity was brought up by my friend J, who made all the arrangements through his employer Adagold Aviation while I followed along dazed, wondering if it was really going to happen.
Our ride for the short trip.
The first thing I realised was that it was a lot easier to get out of the door. Every year, it seems as if airlines make you wait longer and longer to get aboard an aeroplane. Instead, we took our time, enjoyed a snack, packed our bags and eventually made our way to the air strip. It wasn't like they were going to allow us to keep them waiting, but we could definitely take our time without a care in the world about airport security.
Apparently private jets fly out of commercial airports, but if you want the real luxury experience, you need to fly out of a private air strip. Believe me when I say that the celebrity experience is made all the more special when you can be driven straight onto the tarmac. There was absolutely no waiting, no lines, and best yet, no baggage check. We got out of the car, thanked and tipped the driver, and had our bags taken for us straight up the mobile staircase.
This was not a large jet, but that didn't disappoint me at all. I've made smaller flights before. I've been on puddlejumpers, and taken brief commuter flights where it felt like you were flying in a tin can. This experience was nothing like that.
The interior of the jet was luxurious, with plenty of space to move around, stand up and simply be comfortable. At the back of the jet was a cushioned booth; and at the centre were four enormous seats, two in each row facing each other. We settled into our seat as the nice flight attendant stowed our bag. He still did the safety warning, but somehow it wasn't as dull when I was relaxing in an extremely comfortable seat.
Take off was as smooth as silk, and once we were underway, the attendant offered us both a drink. That's when I found out that the drinks were free of charge, and J reminded me that we had some work to do when we landed. I stuck with a bit of champagne and was well-pleased.
There's only an hour and a half between Brisbane and Sydney, so we didn't get to soak up the luxury as long as might have been preferred. However, we did manage to enjoy an excellent in-flight snack (pita chips with fresh hummus and a drizzle of lemon and hot sauce), the free drinks, and a poker game at the rear booth. Though I could hardly have napped, I did find that my seat folded back completely flat and could make a more than passable bed. The flight attendant pointed out that in the future, if I wanted to really sleep, there was a foam mattress he could pull out of the overhead storage area.
We landed in Sydney on a private air strip again, and we were met by some of J's friends, who took us off to a fun afternoon at some of their favourite pubs. The pubs were great, but they blur a bit in the memory of my first private jet flight!