Owning Your Private Jet
Owning Your Private Jet
It doesn’t matter how you acquire your private jet; whether you purchase it new, used or are promoted to the position in your company where you are the new king of the jet. That jet is now yours. At some point the discomfort will set in when you realize it just doesn’t feel “right.” That realization is usually articulated with the simplest question on a late night transcon flight:
- Do you think I could get a real coffee mug?
- Do you think we could get Good-n-Plenty on board?
- Can we get different pillows? This looks good but hurts my back.
At that point I always answer with a statement that seems to confound even the most brilliant corporate leaders. I tell them it’s their jet and they can have whatever they want on board. I am always met with a completely blank stare. The thought never occurred to them. Whatever stage of the ownership process you may find yourself, you can always take control and make your jet your own. It is a lot like inviting HGTV to take you by the hand in the sky.
This is your first jet or you are purchasing a green jet from the manufacturer. This is truly exciting, and a bit daunting. Nobody wants to admit the daunting part. This is just like building a custom home. There are a lot of decisions but if you put some effort into it you will have a spectacular place to live part of your life that comforts you. You may love the idea of being involved in every decision and that’s optimal, but if you are too busy or not inclined so, have someone present your preferences for you. Let your mind think “outside the tube” when it comes to textiles and serving pieces. That spectacular cashmere blanket you cherish on your chair by the fire at home can be the same one you put on your seats on the plane. The dishes don’t have to look like you are hosting a state dinner just because it is a fabulous aircraft. They should reflect you and your taste or your corporate style. Space is limited, so when you start filling the drawers each item should be individually considered and placed. Stocking a plane does not involve a trip down the utensil aisle at Target and dumping it all in the top drawer. The same principal applies to lavatory amenities and snacks.
There is a considerable market for pre-owned aircraft and if you have decided to purchase one it may not completely match your tastes from an aesthetic standpoint. Changes can range from grand: changing the layout of the seats and their upholstery along with the carpet, to the standard: new dishes, linens and commissary items. There are some amazing companies online that are dedicated to private jet stocking and can handle dishes and commissary items if it is a quick easy solution you want. I see more and more customers selecting dinnerware and cutlery from familiar suppliers like Crate-n-Barrel or Pottery Barn or their favorite store. That solution tends to make the jet feel more personal and familiar. Even if you go with the finest china, it is a good idea to find a source you can order from online to make replacement easy since you can plan on breakage. Changing up the pillows and blankets can transform a cabin immediately and make you feel better as you make other changes that take more time. All of this is easier if you engage someone that knows what works and doesn’t on an aircraft in the long haul and can translate your preferences into working solutions.
Love It Or List It
You have risen to the top! Oh sure, you have probably been on the company jet before, but were just glad to be there and you didn’t exactly hang out on it all of the time. Now it’s yours. You see this jet more than your own home and your family. Be careful what you wish for. And now you realize that it just isn’t “you.” It may have been the last guy, but it just doesn’t fit somehow. Do you make it your own, or do you sell it all together and get your own new baby? A lot of that decision won’t be yours and depends on the board, so there’s that. If you sell it, see step one and make sure you make the new one your own. You might just be able to love this one though. Some of the latest aircraft are so technologically advanced, the G650 comes to mind, that they actually come with a formal introduction to each new jet and cabin familiarization for the customer. You may not have gotten in on that. Have the crew teach you what every knob and dial does and how to run that plane from your iPhone. Once you know how to run her, you will love her. Don’t be frustrated. Or on that 550 or Global, learn how to watch the landings, you might love it.
Take a little time and get the snacks on board that you like. Add a griddle so you can have grilled cheese with your tomato soup if that makes you happy. Get some functional lumbar pillows and some throw pillows for the divan that look businesslike and not like they came from your daughter’s bedroom. Make this jet your own. If you take a little time and sit down with someone who knows how to ask the right questions and then make some changes, you might find this jet works perfectly for you.
One last thing I always ask clients to consider is the work-relax balance. For the most part, these jets are working tools. I rarely see one that is not an office. That said, these are extraordinary offices that are occupied for upwards of 13 hours at times and they require you to be able to get comfortable and rest completely so you can be productive immediately when you land. That is something to keep in mind when designing the interior. It may well be a work tool only used for business, but you live on there too and you are human. I always suggest installing a lamp or two when a client has the option with a dimmer switch. The change in ambiance from LED lighting set to bright, dim or off to a subtle lamp in the evening to relax is significant. LED candles are another soothing option. An investment in fine linens for the beds is worth every penny. When you do get to relax, this will help you let go and transport you away from the aircraft environment like nothing else. Do not skimp on the bedding and pillows. Try to replicate your favorite bed as closely as possible. Yes, it is important to make it a truly functional work space (pay close attention to outlets and USB ports) but also be sure you can recharge as well.
You have the best professionals design and build your aircraft, take that extra step and engage a professional to help you finish the inside of your aircraft and you will have a second home and office you will truly love.