No one wants to risk travelling on airlines at the moment. So the obvious approach is to find a friend with a private jet (and a private island). But what do you do – or not do? What is the correct etiquette?
Here are a few pointers according to PJ (private jet) owners magazine:
1. Be early
Arriving 30 mins before takeoff is standard. If you think about the recommended 1 hour before domestic and 3 hours before international for commercial, 30 mins isn’t so bad. Plus, lateness correlates with tardiness and looks like a mark of disrespect.
2. Social media? Social no-no
Curb that urge to take photos of the plane and whatever you do, don’t share on social media! One private jet owner was outraged after seeing pictures of their jet across various social platforms, complete with tail number. The guest has been persona non grata ever since.
3. The bottom line
Let Marc and the team sit down before you do. Regular jet fliers usually have a routine and aren’t keen to change this for guests, so they’ll usually have their own seats assigned. The last thing you want is to park yourself in Marc’s seat.
4. Avoid clichés like the plague
Better keep quiet than say the wrong thing. For starters, never say: “Wheels up” – you’ll look and sound like a fool. And don’t even contemplate showing off your aviation jargon FBOs (fixed-base operators). Leave that to the pilots. We mere civilians call them airports.
5. Watch your lip
If Marc reclines and falls asleep, take that as your cue to stay quiet. Execs are seriously sleep deprived and see their PJ as little more than an extension of their bedroom, so no whispering after lights out. That is better than the alternative – being grilled by Marc for 3 hours!!!
6. Hold it in
PJ’s tend to be compact, with just the one restroom (unless you’re on a Boeing Business Jet which is practically a house with wings). Make sure you’re drinking sensibly an hour before takeoff. No one appreciates a guest who hogs the restroom after one too many coffees. On the subject of bowel movements, unless you’re still in diapers, don’t even consider it. Nothing is worse than opening the door after a number two on a PJ, especially if it’s meal time. Unless you want to return via SouthWest, skip the prunes in advance.
7. Don’t soil the carpet
Probably not something you’d think about but carpets on PJ’s must be kept dazzlingly clean. Stick to light-colored drinks just in case. Spilling red wine in Marc’s PJ is mortifying. If you want to go a step above, offer to remove your shoes if they’re covered in dirt or have heels.
PJ invitations are rare, so savor the moment. And for those of you who may never experience PJs then the next best thing is traveling on Surf Air – a Salesforce customer.