When the Challenger 300 engines roared to life and as I blinked my eyes; we were up and away! Yes, I could get used to this. For a marvelous hour or so I was a member of the 1 percent, flying over New York to Albany, up and back over to White Plains in a $20 million Challenger 300 – a jet of choice among celebrities, financiers, CEOs, and others in that intimate club with places to go and of course no time to waste!
The brief practice came courtesy of Gregg Slow; EVP sales and client services of San Francisco’s XOJet, the third largest private jet company in the nation. Over 5,000 clients, many of them hefty users, have flown one of XOJet’s operated jets from hubs in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Jersey and White Plains. No names disclosed as I asked – “we respect our clients’ desire for a private experience,” says Mr. Slow. Families wealthy enough to fly by private to vacation destinations, CEOs with his or her teams to entertainers and their pals love these six-to eight-seat jets that travel at high speeds. As the saying goes, it’s not for everyone.” To be honest, you have to be ultra-high-net worth to consistently fly private,” Slow said.
A preferred access account gives you a crack at the fleet, costs $200,000 up front, $25,000 for the plane – usually a Citation X or Challenger 300. With that you get a private aviation adviser to help plan and coordinate your flight, which includes catering, ground transportation and other services.” Anything you want you can get. But the more you want, the more it’ll cost you,” said Slow.
Photos shot by: Troy Alexander Heyward