When Are You Rich Enough To Fly Private? [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Tough question. I’d say at $100 million, flying private domestically is a no brainer. But long haul international gets pretty pricey, and the efficiencies aren’t as large relative to total trip time. What’s the level of wealth where you’d always fly private? Consider it as an option domestically at $50 million? And for the right one-off on a short trip maybe at $20 million?

    I sure miss the massively money-losing venture-funded private jet memberships.

  • American Airlines temporarily moving concourses in Seattle.

  • The future of air travel in 15 years

  • Perfection or fresh hell?

  • False dichotomy, travel doesn’t have to recharge you for the rest of the year or be life altering, it can be relaxing or enhancing, and suggesting travel is some sort of capitalist false consciousness implies a life where you just stay home and accept your meager fate? Not exactly a vision of socialist utopia.

  • Transit passengers are staying at London Heahrow overnight, when the airport is closed, in order to avoid paying for a hotel

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @Gary: Include JSX in “private”? if so, it is already accessable to a large part of the middle class.

  2. There’s a glaring error with this London Heathrow policy, should anyone read through the article. Quote:

    “But [LHR] doesn’t have an airside hotel, and…the airside part of the airport effectively shuts down between 11:30 pm and 6 am.
    So, what happens to passengers who are stuck in transit with nowhere to go? [LHR] actually has a dedicated overnight rest facility…in Terminal 3.
    Passengers who aren’t allowed to leave the airport overnight are taken to the secure gate area….The airport reminded staffers that only people who don’t have the right to enter the UK should be directed towards the overnight rest area. ”

    Let’s say I have flight out of anywhere into LHR, and I have a connection from LHR to MUC. However, my ex-anywhere departure is delayed, and eventually I arrive at LHR at 3 a.m.

    Does this mean that I, a US citizen and therefore a person with the right to enter into the UK visa free, should not be allowed into the gated waiting area of Terminal 3? That I am expected to leave the airport because I have the ability to do so? And I am to go exactly where, and for how many, or how few hours, before returning to the airport counter at 6.a.m. to work out where and what flight I will now be on to MUC, and how will my checked luggage get to me?

    Thank you, but no.

  3. Flying private my be the only option if you need to transport a pet. Most airlines are not flying pets over 20 lbs in cabin. You can try to deceive the airline that your pet is a service animal.
    I want to travel to St Martin for three months and so far flying private is my only option. I have found another couple that my also need to transport a dog and we may split the fare.Anyone have any other ideas ? (MIA/SXM)

  4. As always, it depends. On a normal basis, I can’t justify paying 20k dollars when I can get 1st class for $900.

    Plus, I still love traveling.

    However… If you absolutely need to be somewhere and it happens only once every 5 years or so?

    Then yes.


  5. Probably about right. I’m around 25-30m and we will occasionally charter or bid on a charitable auction. But will only use it if more than 5 people are on the plane.

  6. For personal use sounds about right assuming no other income aside from the assets

    For biz…can go a lot lower if it’s the right biz and value add on time saved, etc

    Safety is my beef – are you really getting well trained and seasoned crews with the charters, low/mid end? the majors have a lot more ‘at stake’ with safety than random charter operators

  7. Had a passenger on flight that told me he owned two Citation jets. He and his wife now fly up front commercial on international flights. He said the landing fees, fuel and costs associated with a trans Atlantic crossing are high and commercial premium cabin is more affordable.

  8. Re: is travel worth it? For pure relaxation/recharging, I would agree that not traveling, or at least not to somewhere new, is probably better. But, personally, that isn’t my purpose for traveling – I would simply argue that a meaningful change of scenery is life enhancing/changing, albeit usually not in some grand way.

  9. I have had longer layovers on flights across the Pacific than the closed time at LHR. I wouldn’t even think of leaving the secure area if it was less than 8 hours. LHR has had long security checks reported. Before Covid-19, I did get a hotel room for a 12+ hour layover but that was to see a tiny bit of Beijing outside of the airport, a first for me. The policy for LHR was probably put in place with collusion from the local hotel owners.

  10. Among some of the wealthiest individuals I know on a personal basis, most of their families’ long haul travels are by scheduled commercial passenger flights; and even their short and mid-haul travel is typically a mix at most.

    Of people far less wealthier whose net worth is or was in the $100 million-$300 million range, some were more inclined to travel privately while some would only stick to scheduled common carrier flights and that too stick only to larger jets.

  11. I had to stay overnight at Heathrow T3 after landing from ZA immediately after omicron was announced. Couldn’t connect back to the US same day. It was rather miserable – but appreciated the bench at Cafe Nero.

    Plenty of nearby hotels for under £100 that are much better if you’re allowed to enter.

  12. I’m curious about “only people who don’t have the right to enter the UK should be directed towards the overnight rest area”.

    As an American citizen, do I have the RIGHT to enter the UK? Does any non-UK person have the right to enter the UK? I thought it was always up to the border control officer’s discretion.

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