Looks like I have good taste! Awhile back, I was asked to help some very important winners of a “free trip to Vegas” contest plan their big Sin City vacation. And I got to personally pick them up in an El Jet plane, the private jet on hand to fly the winners to the Strip. All of this was my first time flying private (although not my last!), and I fell in love with the company and the people who work there. Well, I just found out that El Jet won the prestigious World Travel Award for leading private jet charter company in North America, pushing out another company that had won for years. You take that top spot, El Jet! So the next time I fly between California and Las Vegas, I will look into flying private — but only with these guys. I’ve got an important move to San Francisco to plan, and I do only the very best.
Instead of looking back at one of my favorite places this week, I was thinking about how in the last year I managed to fly private three times… and how there’s this awful chance I might never again. Of course, I might never again make it to Sunny Beach, Bulgaria or Borneo, so how perfect a daydream is hopping on a private jet? I joked that “I could get used to” private jets, and “fine, I’m a jet-setter” after my first two flights — when not flying to the Grand Canyon for the day on my third. But the truth is, I get so frustrated booking my own flights when I travel. And with all three of those flights I didn’t even have to – one was as part of a contest, one was with my company, and one was a group trip. So I asked my friend at ElJet to walk me through actually booking a private jet charter to Las Vegas or Van Nuys, the private airport used by celebrties. He told me to close my eyes, and then he played with my famous impatience: Imagine this, Abby. You’re calling in to your favorite commercial flight company after you have scoured their website for the best deal and departure time. You finally reach the customer service line only to receive an automated response. After pounding on the ‘0’ button and shouting “representative!” you finally reach a human – who tells you about an extra surcharge…
When I was asked by Swagbucks and El Jet to participate in a free-trip-to-Las Vegas contest, I was thrilled. Showing off my adopted hometown is one of my favorite things to do! And as if that wasn’t enough, there was something for me, too: I got to leave the office for a few hours to meet the winners in LA. I had been talking to Daneille and Alyse for weeks, planning their trips. Finally, the day arrived for them to meet Las Vegas for the first time. And they sent me a private jet charter to scoop me up and head to LA to greet them.
Yup, they sent a jet, just for me.
Getting on a private plane as the only passenger is a bit like jumping into a cab. Once I found the sort of-hidden entrance with double barriers, I drove right up to the hanger and boarded my jet. And we took off — just like that.
What do you do to pass the time when you find yourself alone on a private jet charter for an hour? If you’re a social media junkie like me, you take a ton of pictures of course! Earlier this week, I got to fly on a fabulous El Jet to LA to meet and greet two from the online coupon site Swagbucks who won a dream trip to Las Vegas. I was so excited to meet these fabulous ladies that I couldn’t concentrate or sit still the entire way! That and the fact that I appreciated every moment of a ride for which an expensive jet and two pilots were sent to Las Vegas to pick up little ‘ol me. The Vegas first-timers I was about to meet had won a vacation of a lifetime, but I was on a trip of a lifetime, on my very first private jet.