Introducing my wife and daughter to their first private jet experience was a lot of fun and our quick flight up the California coast was the ideal length for two young children. This reviews covers the XO Citation X from Van Nuys to Oakland.
XO Citation X Review
XO, a merger of JetSmarter and XOJets, offers on-demand private jet service around the world. For members, it also offers empty leg segments when an aircraft has to re-position to another airport. We took advantage of an empty leg flight.
We arrived at Signature Flight Support, a fixed-base operator (FBO) that operates from Van Nuys. I parked my car in the parking lot right outside the terminal and we walked inside.
The terminal isn’t overly fancy, but it comfortable and features a National Car desk (though an agent is not always on duty, so you’ll want to call ahead to make your arrival time clear if you are renting a car).
Coffee and tea were also available.
Our captain found us and checked our IDs prior to boarding…that was it for security. We had to present our names when booking and presumably those were checked against a database. We also had to fill out COVID-19 waiver forms attesting that we were not experiencing any symptoms.
My son Augustine quite enjoyed watching smaller jet and turboprops landing and taking off. Finally, it was our own turn to board.
Van Nuys (VNY) – Oakland (OAK)
Friday, February 12
Depart: 2:42 PM
Arrive: 3:36 PM
Duration: 0hr, 54min
Distance: 320 miles
Aircraft: Cessna Citation X
The Citation X by Cessna is an 8-seat aircraft with a rear lavatory and small galley area upfront. Seats face each other with a large retractable table between seats. This is the same aircraft that Augustine and I flew last summer to Arizona.
Windows had retractable shades between the glass, controlled by a switch near the arm of the seat. Each seat had its own power port.
The toilet in the lavatory doubles as a flight attendant seat, though our flight had no flight attendant. The restroom included hygiene products, but oddly no mirror.
As we were boarding, we noticed a much larger jet (Bombardier Global 5000) next to us boarding for Houston. One family of four pulled up…that was it. Must be nice! While we were inside the terminal, the captain of that flight had asked me if I was heading to Houston. I should have said, “Sure, let’s go. We’re ready!”
There was quite a bit of incoming traffic and we waited for six planes to land before we were cleared for takeoff. The takeoff was a powerful burst.
In-flight, Augustine started to draw, my wife took a nap, and I just looked out the window. Like really…the flight was anti-climatic. But it was a lot of fun.
San Pellegrino and Fiji water were available onboard, but no snacks or alcohol.
Note that we were still asked to wear masks onboard (even though both my wife and I have been vaccinated).
Augustine checked out the flight deck after landing.
In Oakland, we walked into the Signature FBO, and waited for a staff member to pull up our car (prearranged from National).
Traveling with two young children, the flight was the perfect length. A longer flight may have made the children restless while a shorter flight would not have given us time to enjoy it.
Flying private is fun. Of course, I could get used to it. Thanks to Nancy for arranging this ride for us and for her kindness over the years.