After three months on the ground, it was lovely to the return to the air. What made it even better? Introducing my son to a private jet experience at LAX.
My friend Nancy is incredibly resourceful and generous. She has memberships with Delta Private Jets (Wheels Up) and XOJET (formerly JetSmarter) that allow her to fly on empty leg repositioning flights when a private jet needs to go from one location to another to facilitate a charter flight. Depending on the type of membership, she can opt for a specific number of seats or the whole jet, and often offers extra seats to friends and family.
Nancy texted me to let me know that Delta was running an empty leg from Los Angeles to Scottsdale, Arizona utilizing a Citation X. She asked if I wanted to take Augustine along on a little ride. A free ride on a private jet at LAX? It took me only a few seconds to say yes.
Since our new baby drinks only breast milk right now, I’m of limited use in caring for her (beyond changing diapers) and my wife was happy to have the afternoon off from her two boys. So we confirmed the Citation X. To get home, I thought about a road trip adventure with little Augustine, but with most businesses still closed at the time, we ended up booking $69 fares on Southwest from Phoenix to Los Angeles. We’d be on the ground less than two hours in Arizona…
The whole private jet portion of the experience was business-as-usual. You drive up to the private jet terminal, you walk right in, your captain greets you and escorts you the plane, and you leave. Maybe it’s a few minutes earlier than scheduled, maybe a few minutes later…doesn’t matter. It’s just you and it’s a pleasure not to have to deal with security checkpoints or crowds.
After landing in Scottsdale, we drove to Phoenix Sky Harbor International for the Southwest Airlines flight back. PHX was a ghost town, with most concessions closed and very few people in sight. I noted that few chose to wear masks while walking through the terminal, but every single passenger wore masks on the Southwest flight (“full” with every aisle and window seat taken).
The trip took place a couple weeks ago. We quarantined after and I had a COVID-19 test. It was negative and we are feeling great.
Tomorrow I’ll review the private jet flight and then next week the Southwest Airlines flight, which was actually quite surprising (in a positive way).
Stay tuned! It was so fun to get back in the air, but introducing Augustine to the private jet experience was truly something special.