Mock me if you must, but there was a time when I swore I wasn't going to have kids until I could stop flying commercial. Turns out the IPO gods had a different sequence of events in store for me [and then they got their butts kicked by the hedge fund gods and so have fewer planes to hand out. So why have I kept stoking the giant pyre out back with a constant supply of PowerPoint presentations and S-1's all these years? Crisis of faith! I'll get back to that. Anyway...]
But reading through Guy Trebay's heartwarming Times article about the mainstreaming of private jet travel, I realize I had it all backwards. I was thinking too much like producer Gavin Polone, who went private after a serious bummer of a JFK-LAX flight: “I was in first class and there was a woman in business with a baby that screamed for five hours. And that did it...For me what’s important is excluding myself from people who might bum me out.”
As any new parent knows, though, when you have a kid, that kind of "me-first, don't bum me out" attitude fades faster than the third-rate Warhol prints decorating the glass-walled guesthouse in Sagaponack. And that's when you stop using private jets for yourself and when you start doing it because you just want what's best for your children:
...a couple in their 30’s whose Cessna Citation X encountered instrument problems in [Aspen] not long ago, forcing the couple and their sons to board an airborne cattle-car to Denver. There, the clients’ children, 4 and 6 — never having experienced a commercial airport — sat on the floor of the vast and bewildering concourse and wailed.Waitaminnit, are you suggesting I fly on the same plane with those hyped up sugarmonkeys? That'd really bum me out. Best to put the kids in their own plane, and let the nannies deal with it.
Mr. Sitomer produced a note from the butler of one Blue Star client, whose on-board meal requirements were detailed to an extent (Grey Goose vodka frozen two hours before flight; ice cubes made with Fiji water; filet mignon of precise cut and dimension; and Froot Loops, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch for the kids) that would make the most demanding rock-star diva blanch.
My Other Vehicle Is a Gulfstream [nyt]