““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”
Business jet jaunts offer travelers the best of Europe
Jeffersons, a UK-based luxury-tours operator, has introduced a series of "short break" business jet vacation packages. The trips, lasting one to four days, use chartered jets to fly customers to some of Europe's most exclusive resorts and destinations.
Prices-including limousine transfers, in-flight champagne, gourmet food and top-rated hotels and restaurants-range from around £1,600 ($3,000) to £15,000 ($28,000). Jeffersons (www.jeffersons.com) books flights with leading UK executive charter operators, primarily in Cessna CitationJets and Excels, Raytheon Premier Is and Bombardier Learjet 45s, but other models are available as well. Flights are made to the nearest suitable airfield, and helicopter transfers can also be arranged.
According to managing director Robin Fawcett, clients are increasingly booking the packages for celebratory trips and also as a way to take a vacation while avoiding the security-related hassles that are now common with European scheduled airline services. "Departing from [London] Heathrow Airport these days really is not a great way to start a special holiday, and we are demystifying private jet travel for many people," Fawcett commented.
Jeffersons is also offering ski getaways to resorts in the French, Swiss and Austrian Alps. Yet another option combines the ultramodern with a taste of the past: Take the Orient Express to Venice and fly out via business jet, or vice versa. That trip includes a stay at Venice's historic Gritti Palace hotel, which was commissioned in 1525, and a water taxi from Venice Airport.