Traveling during the long Thanksgiving weekend is what nightmares are made of, at least if you book a commercial flight. There’s a scramble of people urgent to get somewhere filled with delays or worse, a cancellation. When you book a private flight to get to your Thanksgiving destination, the only thing you have to worry about is deciding if you want to eat the pumpkin pie or pecan pie first. Here are a few reasons we prefer flying private over commercial:
Arriving to the Plane
When you book a commercial flight, you’re advised to check in two hours in advance so you can wait in line to check your luggage (and hope that TSA remembers to screw the lid on the food jar that you expertly packed). You then wait in another line to get to the front of the security line, where you have to unpack your carry-on items if they contain any liquids or electronics, empty your pockets, and strip off your outerwear. As you walk in your socks through the metal detector, you might be one of the lucky ones who gets to strike a pose as a machine X-rays you for contraband. If you accidentally forgot to take the lip balm or a penny out of your pocket, you received a complimentary TSA massage as agents check you for other items.
After re-dressing and re-organizing your carry-on luggage, you make the trek to your gate. Depending on the airport, you might have to take a bus or tram to get there. At the gate, when there’s a hint that the plane might be ready for boarding, the line is already 70-people long. Since today’s flights are always full, you squeeze your way past other passengers who are trying to cram their luggage into clunky overhead bins. As you sit on the flight and feast on a small pack of peanuts, you pray that your luggage arrives at the same time as you.
When you fly a charter jet to your Thanksgiving destination, you fly out of the fixed base operation (FBO) of your choice. This eliminates getting stuck in busy airport or holiday traffic. When you arrive at an FBO’s secure parking lot, a shuttle takes you and your belongings straight to the private aircraft. No lines, no security checks (other than a quick ID check if the captain doesn’t know you), no lost luggage. Plus, if you’re running late, the plane waits for you.
In the Air
If you’re hungry during a commercial flight, too bad. If luck is on your side, you can buy a stale sandwich for $15. If you slept through the “meal” service, too bad.
When you fly commercial, you hopefully have a first-class seat, as the only passengers who comfortably fit into coach seats are small children. If you need to use the lavatory, you have the pleasure of sharing it with 300 people.
Private flights have catered meals with foods and beverages that you ordered in advance. Flight attendants prepare the food when you’re hungry, so your palate will be satisfied should you decide take a nap.
Speaking of naps, the seats on many private airplanes fully recline for an exquisite napping experience, which you’ll need after a plate of turkey. When reclining the seat, you never have to worry about the person in the seat behind you. And, if you want to change seats, go ahead.
Depending on the plane, you’ll also enjoy amenities such as cabin phones, electrical outlets for your various devices, Internet connection, movies, music, reading materials, and more.
Connecting Flights and Arrivals
When you fly private for the Thanksgiving holiday, there are no connecting flights or the need to run through terminals. You fly directly to your destination. During the flight, the crew arranges your ground transportation so it’s ready and waiting when you land.
One of the greatest comforts of flying private is convenience. Part of truly enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday is enjoying the flight to your destination. The bottom line is that with faster flight times, five-star service for all passengers and greater flexibility, you’re not spending extra money for a luxury. You’re gaining extra invaluable time with your family and friends.