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There’s a war in the skies. (If uttered in a dramatic baritone, that phrase would be a great first line for a sci-fi movie trailer. But we digress.)
From crowd-sourced chopper service Gotham Air to all-you-can-fly private plane options like Beacon, a fleet of businesses have arrived to take advantage of our Uber-bred affinity for on-demand transportation hailed via mobile app. But it sounds like the latest entrant, Blue Star Jets, is really throwing down the gauntlet.
The private jet company has just announced the debut of its mobile app, and it’s basically a dream come true if you have the coin. The app lets users book a private flight on any type of aircraft (turbo prop, helicopter, air ambulance… the list goes on) to and from any airport in the world. Think that’s impressive? Here’s the clincher: A 24-hour live support team promises to confirm flights within 15 minutes, so you can be in the air and on your way with as little as four hours’ notice.
Are you kidding? It can take longer than that to snag a cab on Saturday night!
Who will be using this service? According to a statement from Blue Star announcing the app’s launch, bookings are attributed in equal parts to business, family/leisure, and entertainment (read: Rihanna needs a ride, pronto!) travel. With its insane level of customization, Blue Star’s app strikes a big blow in the battle to dominate the world of on-demand sky rides.
[Photo: Blue Star Jets on Facebook]
Open your wallets and start counting that loose change, we've got the deal of a lifetime if you're in the market for a private corporate jet that comes with a little bit of tumultuous history.
The Gulfstream that carted the former Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Mike Jeffries, around the portfolio of erotically marketed collegiate clothing stores, has just been marked down a few million dollars for the most interested party. After a few years of sales that have used a good amount of red ink, the clothier dropped the G550's price by $11 million in the hopes of making a quick sale.
We're not too sure the new owner would adopt the 47-page rule book that Jeffries required it's crew to abide by while jetting off with the exec. Now, we've heard of tough flight attendant rules from some of the best carriers in the world, but these rules are far from the deportment classes that Singapore Girls attend and Amazon jungle survival skills that TAM's crew learn. We're talking about where Jeffries' dogs sat, what type of underwear the male crew wore and how to respond the requests.
As many of you head out today for your three-day weekend in honor of Martin Luther King, be prepared to deal with crowds at every turn--at the airport, at the rental car center, on the bus, on the train, you know the deal. But hopefully, all the stress and aggravation will be worth it when you're at your final destination.
If you need some help, revisit our story from Thanksgiving which features 5 tips for stress-free travel. Whatever you do, try not to think of
creepy eccentric fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld and his private planes (which also double as cat kennels.)
Brad Koenig, a favorite male model of Lagerfeld, was recently profiled in the New York Times Magazine for his jet setting life with the fashion designer. This includes all that you would expect out of a male model and fashion designer traveling together--private jets, exotic destinations, endless alcohol, luxury accommodations, caviar, foie gras, Rolexes, cats posing for Instagram on private jets, and Chanel speedboats.
Then there are a few things you wouldn't expect, like that Brad keep tracks of all the miles he's flown as a model (2.4 million) and that he has two sons, one of whom, Hudson, often accompanies him on trips and models for Lagerfeld shows as well. (When he's not traveling, Brad is essentially Mr. Real Househusband of New Jersey, though that didn't stop him from making a gross comment to a pair of twin sisters.)
And it is from the mouth of this babe (like meaning an actual baby, not babe), Hudson, that prompts the choicest of choice quotes from Lagerfeld:
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One of the USA's most visited private homes is losing its most famous lawn ornaments.
Say so long to the two private jets in the side yard of Elvis' Graceland; both airplanes lost the battle to stay their groundwhich we reported on back in July, 2014and are already on the auction block.
Despite Priscilla's protests, Elvis Presley Enterprises (operators of Graceland) are evicting the planes, which no longer fly but do admit visitors for an additional fee. Walking through the Lisa Marie (a Convair 880) and Hound Dog II (a Lockheed JetStar) was our favorite part of making it to Graceland in Memphis.
Taylor Swift just became the newest member of a very elite travel club: those who travel in private jets with their cats.
This club, unofficially initiated by Paris Hilton, counts Karl Lagerfeld as one of its most active members. Karl's cat Choupette is a very frequent flyer, sometimes even heading up to nap in the sun coming into the cockpit.
Taylor's cats, Meredith and Olivia, prefer to chill in the cabin in the arms of their owner. For her jet trip back to New York City to perform at the New Year's Eve Times Square ball drop, Taylor cradled Olivia.
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You can always count on at least one wannabe Victoria’s Secret model on your flight. You know her. She’s wearing rhinestone-studded sunglasses and still texting during takeoff. Interests include Starbucks and the color pink. She goes by the name “Princess,” or so the rear of her low-slung sweatpants suggests.
Dear That Girl: That’s not how Victoria’s Secret models fly.
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Yesterday, Bono proved he really does have the luck of Irish after a door fell off his private jet mid-flight.
The U2 singer was on his way from Dublin to Berlin for the Bambi International Music awards and a meeting with Gerd Mueller, the German minister of economic cooperation and development, when a rear door on his Learjet 60 (tail D-CGEO) flew off.
Imagine a West Coast basketball team heading to New York for a game. They are boarding a chartered flight. Today there is a lot riding on this game—anticipating fans, big money; multimillion-dollar contracts are at stake. Now, imagine your favorite center at 7-plus feet folding himself into the classic airplane seat, airplane noise, dehydrating air, standard airplane meals.
This is the scenario which inspired Nike to team up with Seattle-based design firm Teague to conceptualize a private jet specially for professional sports teams. Of course that's all it is right nowa conceptbut the basics and beyond are there to turn a plane like the 787 Dreamliner into the ultimate home team machine.
Vodafone recently began a brilliant campaign to showcase communication technology as it relates to improved quality of life. One video has members of a refugee camp making the first call home, while another details the creation of the first "color-conducted" orchestra concert. Without a doubt, however, their masterpiece is "An & Ria's #First Flight," a 9-minute short film following two elderly women as they embark on what is not only their first flight, but their first experience abroad.
Head to 4:00 for the beginning of their airport experience, where they marvel at airplanes ready to take off for exotic destinations. Rememberneither of these women (aged 78) have been more than a drive or train away from their homes for their entire life, vacationing near so as to avoid air travel.
Keep your eye out this month, Australia, as The Rolling Stones are flying around in their very own Boeing 767 painted with their lips-and-tongue logo. The 767, tail number ZS-DJI, is pretty minimal otherwise (but we bet the interior's anything but!). That's not a tiny private jet, by the way; a Delta 767, for comparison, holds just over 200 passengers.
The band landed in Perth yesterday to being their Australia tour, and today received the news that L'Wren Scott, acclaimed fashion designer and longtime girlfriend of Mick Jagger, had died.
The show must go on, however, and the Stones are all set to take their private jet around the continent for shows in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hanging Rock, and even down to Auckland, New Zealand. The Perth Airport Spotter's Blog has a few images of the plane in daylight.
Seaplanes / Valentine's Day Travel / Vancouver Travel / Harbour Air / Green Travel / Glaciers / Private Jets / YVR / Seattle Travel / Canada Travel / → All Tags
Do yourself a favor this Valentine's Day and skip the expensive dinner, skip the diamond engagement ring. Instead, put airline tickets in the hands of your love, and give the gift of an experience. All this week, we'll be sharing a few of our own recommendations for some of the most romantic travel ideas in this world.
Idea #2: Seaplane flights for two
Please allow us to switch into the first-person for a moment, to describe the most romantic thing we did for ourselves in 2013 and which you, in 2014, should absolutely take under consideration.
There's something innately seductive about Vancouver. Perhaps it's all that fresh air, the surrounding mountains and sparkling harbour, and a summer season short enough to get the entire city out and about in their shortest shorts from July to September. For a frequent traveler like myself, however, the allure is heightened by the delicious tangibility of seaplane flights.
Vancouver is the home base for Harbour Air, the world's largest seaplane airline and also the only completely carbon neutral airline. Their DeHavilland Otters and Beavers buzz Vancouver's shoreline day-in and day-out, flying commuters and residents to Victoria, Nanaimo, Salt Spring Island and Whistler, but it's their extra special offerings you'll want to check out.
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Inside a charter Hawker 800
In news that surprises no one, Justin Bieber has been detained at an airport for potentially flying in his private jet while smoking weed, news broken by Page Six. The actual interesting part of this recent headline is that the offense took place today at Teterboro Airport, as Bieber flew in on a chartered Raytheon Hawker 800 with his dad and a posse of ten to head to this weekend's Super Bowl.
Nothing was found after a search of the aircraft, and this is actually the smallest issue in Bieber's month; he flew in from Toronto after being charged with assault there, and he's looking at a DUI for pot in Miami and vandalism in California.
It's no secret that Justin loves the leafy greens, but he should know better than to try to fly into a NYC-area airport with illegal substances during a time of heightened security. Save those antics for Colorado Springs Airport!