Private Jetiquette

The ten points to keep in mind while travelling on a private jet.

     Print Edition: June 27, 2010

It's finally happened. You're going to the Burning Man festival with the gypsets in Nevada and your moreloaded-than-Croesus mate has invited you to travel there in his private jet. You're dying to bleat about it, tweet about it, or at least post it on Facebook. But you can't.

However tempting it is to tell the world that you're popping Cristal on a Gulfstream enroute to Marrakech, do not, repeat, do not share your PJ adventures with the socially-networked world. Not if you don't want your first ride to be your last ride. And that's not the only bit of social turbulence that you have to watch out for. The dos and don'ts of the PJ universe are endless. We just want to give you a head's up on the things to watch out for. Listen hard; thank us later.

  • Regardless of how comfortable your new tracksuit is, it's not invited. Comfort can go fly if it's coming at the expense of looking good and put-together. In other words, it's not okay to travel in your sweatpants. There are people who look effortlessly fashion-forward and comfortable even when coming off long-distance flights. Join the club.
  • Pre-boarding rules: Once invited, ask your host whom you should discuss the modalities with. People who own planes don't concern themselves with logistics.
  • Travel light. Easy on, easy off. Hosts prefer their guests to bring no more than one or, maximum, two (though even that's pushing it) pieces of baggage.
  • Don't ask if you can bring a friend along. If you're asked, don't bring someone you shouldn't.
  • Having got the preparation right, remember that this is a tightly scheduled affair. Show up fashionably late and you'll be the Child Left Behind. Our advice is to be there at least 20 minutes before wheels up.
  • Early arrival aside, approach the experience as you would a dinner party. Come with a bottle of wine, a few good stories (along with the sense to know when to shut up), and wait for your host to choose his seat - probably closest to the flight deck - before you take yours.
  • Would you ask your host how much money he makes a year? Of course not. So no matter how alpha an aviator you are, don't ask if the plane is a G4 or G5.
  • Take your cues from the host. If he's reading, read. If he wants to play Pictionary, play it. But just because he's getting some mile-high action, doesn't mean you will or can too.
  • Strange as it may seem, it is imperative for even men to sit on the pot while relieving themselves onboard. You wouldn't want to get the Gucci-leather clad seats wet now, would you? Try to leave the toilet as nice as when you entered it.
  • When you get home, send the host a formal, hand-written thank you note. Preferably on Smythson writing paper.

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