Monday afternoon I was able to scratch something from my “bucket list” that I have been wanting to do for a while and that was to fly a private jet. If you have been following me for a while you already know I love commercial flying and do it quite frequent, mainly because of my elite status with the airlines and hotels. Though private flying gives a whole new meaning to flying and I will get into details why within Today’s installment. Arriving to the Van Nuys airport was unlike any other experience, celebrities arriving and departing, a more exclusive experience without the rush/traffic of a typical airport and the best part of all? Zero security or TSA hassle. This will certainly not be my last private jet experience as I am looking forward to doing it more often.
As I was making my way to the aircraft, Howie Mandel was around getting ready for his flight. A small world, my mom has been training Howie’s wife for a few years and once I mentioned who I was and told him about that, he immediately replied with excitement and knew exactly who I was talking about. A really nice guy and super friendly.
Van Nuys Airport – Howie Mandel & myself
Before departure, I met the pilot that was flying us to San Francisco and he mentioned that we were good to go into the tarmac and get settled into the jet before departure. It is surreal that we are able to walk through the tarmac with no problems. At the moment it all felt very surreal and I couldn’t believe it I was about to fly a Challenger 300 jet which was a beautiful and impressive jet. Throughout my time on the tarmac I sort of just wondered around and took a few photos of the jet, it was a beautiful clear day in Los Angeles and perfect to fly. The coolest part of being on the tarmac is seeing other jets flying in and parking up along with helicopters taking off as an aviation enthusiast I was in heaven with plane geek mode activated ;).
Challenger 300 – My ride to San Fran
Now before I begin sharing some photos of the cabin and what the interior looks like, I figured of sharing some background information about what the Challenger300 is about as this jet is one of a kind and flying it was the ultimate experience.
Bombardier’s Challenger 300 aircraft was the first in the super-midsize business jet category to challenge the standard with its clean sheet design. After extensive research to achieve customers’ business goals, the aircraft was crafted for true U.S. coast-to-coast range and features unmatched room in which to conference and work.
The Challenger 300 aircraft holds five over-water and transcontinental U.S. records, but this aircraft does not rest on its laurels. It leads the super-midsize class in all-around economics, offering enduring value through its advanced on-board technologies and efficiency.
Source: Business Aircraft.
The Challenger300 is an 8 sitter jet with 4 seats in front of the cabin (2 on the right and 2 on the left) and 2 seats in the back of the aircraft on the right hand side of the jet. The couch in the aircraft provides seating for the passengers to sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. The installations of the challenger300 are beautiful and it is indeed a comfortable jet.
Within my seat, there was an entertainment system I could use to listen to music if I wanted to. All of it was touch screen. On the screen you are able to manage the lights, ring up the cabin crew button, listen to music, etc.
Also the jet provides an airshow where it will tell you the current speed of the aircraft, our flight path and time to destination. All very accurate as well and it is impressive to see how fast this jet goes.
The lavatory for the jet was all the way in the back and very well designed. The toilet is on a completely separate room and walking out you will find the sink to wash your hands. All toiletries and amenities can be found within the area.
The onboard amenities are great – Though it was a short flight the jet was equipped with all sorts of drinks possible. From alcohol, to sodas, to water and much more. On the longer flights, snacks are also being placed within the cabin and depending how long of a flight may be, a cabin crew will be aboard the jet. The refreshments can be found towards the front of the cabin near the cockpit area. Besides the refreshments you are also able to make some coffee or tea if needed, though I would avoid doing that if you are clueless on how to operate that.
Refreshments aboard alcohol, sodas & water
One of the best amenities is the on board wifi, which activates as soon as the jet reaches 10,000 feet in the air and yes, it is completely free to use. The connection was good, but not the best and it was a bit spotty from time to time but who cares about being connected when you are on a private jet? Enjoy the view and disconnect from the world.
Once after take off and we reached our cruising altitude the seatbelt sign was turned off which meant we were free to roam around the cabin. The ride was unlike any other ride I’ve experienced. Smooth, fast and just super comfortable. This is where private flying gives a whole new meaning of flying, when flying commercial you are required to be on your seat all the time and thats for security purposes, when flying private you have the freedom to do what you please which makes the experience even better and enjoyable. I didn’t move from my seat while I was in the jet, I was just taking in the view and really soaking in the experience. Aside from the pilot there is the first officer as well who at one point, he came out of the cockpit to let us know we were due for a mid air diversion into SFO rather than landing into OAK. Our flight time was 51 minutes and that was the fastest 51 minutes I have ever experienced while flying, so it is no doubt that this jet is fast.
Once we were getting close to land into San Francisco the seatbelt sign came on and it was one scary landing, could have been those cross winds into SFO but one thing that sure feels different when flying a private jet is the take off and the landing. Though the pilot did an amazing job and it was probably one of the smoothest landings I have experienced and he did an excellent job. Normally, I would be taking photos of the approach because those are some of my favorite to capture, but at the moment I was just soaking in our landing that I forgot about all that. We taxied into the private jets section and we were good to deplane the jet.
Parked up at San Francisco International Airport
I would like to thank Tahsir Ahsan for inviting me to experience what private flying is about. As I mentioned before, though I love commercial flying from time to time I could see myself private more often specially if its a longer flight than 51 minutes, where I am able to enjoy more of the luxury amenities and perhaps, having a cabin crew member on board to see the mechanics of the service they offer for the passenger.
Have you flown private before? If so, how was your experience and what did you like the most about it?