What is it like to fly privately for the first time?

What is it like to fly privately for the first time?

My inaugural voyage aboard a private jet was a unique experience. I joined Admiral Jet earlier this year, fresh out of earning my Travel & Tourism degree. With a passion for aviation, this is my dream job. Over the years, I’ve explored various aircraft, from fast jets to vintage planes, but the world of private jets remained uncharted until recently.  So what is it like to fly privately?

In February, after my initial training, I had the privilege of taking a free empty leg flight through Admiral Jet’s network. First-hand encounters with specific aircraft types prove invaluable in client interactions. The Challenger 605, a substantial heavy jet capable of accommodating up to 10 passengers, was to be my very own private jet from London Luton Airport to Barcelona.

The lounge

Departing at the early hour of 6:45, the excitement leading up to the flight kept me awake the night before. The journey commenced at the private terminal at Luton Airport offering a departure experience notably abbreviated compared to conventional airline protocols. The lounge exuded style and simplicity, and the staff, were welcoming, friendly and efficient, offering us coffee and pastries upon arrival.

What is it like to fly privately? On-board and in the cabin

The captain, sharply dressed, personally greeted us, announcing a brief 10 minute wait for boarding after a swift security check—a notable departure from the standard two-hour wait for commercial flights. Rain accompanied our stroll toward the awaiting Challenger 605, adding a touch of realism to the otherwise surreal experience. The spacious interior revealed comfort in simplicity, with very comfortable reclining leather seats, a stylish kitchen, and bathroom. A friendly flight attendant was on hand to provide anything we required, and the privilege of interacting with the pilots added a personal touch to the journey.

Take-off and the surprising silence!

Take-off was swift and smooth, with the aircraft’s agility surpassing that of commercial counterparts. Once cruising at altitude, the cabin’s silence contrasted sharply with the usual noise of an airline flight. The flight attendant served a satisfying breakfast, with further snacks and drinks available on request.

Exploration of the cabin ensued post-breakfast, complemented by engaging conversations with the pilots. The two-hour flight to Barcelona unfolded perfectly, concluding with a soft landing at the VIP Terminal.  We were able to disembark from the aircraft easily and exit the airport swiftly for a great day of sightseeing in Barcelona.

The contrast with a scheduled flight home

The return leg, regrettably devoid of private jet luxury, transpired amidst the hustle and bustle of a crowded airport. Boarding a cramped and delayed budget airline flight, the stark contrast in ambiance and efficiency served as a stark reminder that once you’ve soared in a private jet, no other flight quite measures up to the same standard.

Read more about what to expect when you fly on a private jet here.