Today I am going to detail my first experience on a private jet. No, I’m not obscenely rich, or famous, but my dad happens to be a pretty decent endocrinologist, and one of his patients is very much the former of those two things. He began as a lawyer, and now he makes his money by buying struggling businesses, and after they begin to flourish, selling them for much more.
Anyway, back to the jet. We left from the Atlantic City International airport, bound for Lenox, Massachusetts, the location of the Tanglewood Institute and of (last weekend at least) The One Day University, a program that hires the most prestigious and popular professors from the best schools to come and give their best lecture. Now, normally it would take about 7 hours to get to this part of the Berkshires. I’ve actually driven that distance before, and it’s not too much fun.
However, on Sunday it took all of 45 minutes. No check in, no security, not even a wait on the runway. As soon as the ten of us buckled our seatbelts, we started moving. The plane was furnished with several couchy benches and one restaurant-like booth in which my parents and I chose to sit. So not only was this my first ride on a private jet, but the first time I faced the back of the plane during take off. That was a little strange, but it was much easier to see everything on the ground getting smaller and smaller. I opted for the other side of the booth on the way back. Once there, and after a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese and coffee, we climbed out, hopped into a couple of vans and set off for the institute. Note that the day’s activities began at 9am.
The day was really interesting. There were three professors from Harvard and Yale; one gave a lecture on the appreciation of art, one on the “science” of happiness, and the third on Beethoven’s 9th symphony. After these, we broke for lunch and then went to a concert that contained the symphony. I think the whole day is normally $299, but my parents and I were completely treated, which was incredible.
After the day was over, we rode back to the airport, hopped into the plane, second-lunched on cheese, crackers, and shrimp coctail, and arrived back in Atlantic City just in time for a walk on the beach, and then dinner. So we left at 7am and returned at around 6pm. Needless to say, I wouldn’t mind making a habit of something like that. Apparently the family regularly flies to London and Paris, and they use another plane for longer trips. They also told us a story about how, when flying to Nice, France, they took a plane as large as a commercial one, but rather than rows of seats inside, it had a dining room table, a couple bedrooms, couches, a huge TV, and even a shower. Feeling guilty about your carbon footprint? I’m not anymore.