Flexjet Teterboro to Monterey

By Jonathan Spira on 1 September 2009
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Many business travelers today are finding that the higher cost of using private business jets are balanced by gains in both time and efficiency.  The ability to travel on one’s own schedule, to fly directly without the need to stop at a hub and transfer, and to bring one’s colleagues (or customers) into a quiet and private work environment can translate into higher profits, greater efficiencies, and even a partial restoration of a lost work-life balance.  My experience indicates that all of this is true.dsc00634

With the help of my car’s navigation system, I found the gated entrance for Jet Aviation, the FBO (fixed base operator) for Teterboro Airport.  The lone security guard glanced briefly at my driver’s license (from a distance of about six feet), requested my plane’s tail number, and looked in my car’s trunk.  He then directed me to the terminal.  This was , I should add, to be the only security screening for the entire trip.

Inside the terminal, I found a quiet oasis.  Instead of lines of nervous or irate passengers, small groups were forming, those who were flying together.

I found my colleagues and we were soon ready to board via a van that drove us across the tarmac to Flexjet’s Challenger 300 aircraft.

Once on board, the first officer did part of the safety briefing in record time and the flight attendant completed it.  The attendant then offered muffins, croissants, and beverages and we were soon cleared for takeoff.

We were soon at our cruising altitude of 45,000, a point at which you can see the earth’s curvature.dsc00598

Drinks were offered once we were aloft and the flight attendant checked with each passenger individually to find out at what time lunch should be served.

The appetizer plate included bruschetta and caponata, grilled seafood kabobs, and fruit and cheese.  For the main course, we had a choice of grilled chicken or shrimp Caesar salad (I chose the chicken, it was excellent), a cobb salad, or assorted sandwiches and wraps.  I waited towards the end of the flight before indulging in dessert, which included brownies, lemon bars, and fruit tarts.

One of the nice amenities of the Challenger 300 aircraft is that you have in-flight access to your luggage through a closet behind the lav.

We landed on time and were soon exiting the aircraft at the Monterey Jet Center. MJC allows vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers airside so I went from aircraft to SUV in seconds.  Since there were only seven passengers, there was no wait in offloading luggage.

Flexjet offers companies fractional ownership in business jets, allowing executive road warriors to travel on their schedule, not the airline’s schedule.  Flexjet, which is owned by aircraft maker Bombardier, offers a variety of programs including a card good for 25 hours of flying.  Under this model, the Flexjet owner can select the aircraft type that best suits his needs while Flexjet manages the aircraft, flight crews, hangars, fuel, and insurance.  The Flexjet fleet includes the Learjet 40XR, Learjet 45XR, Learjet 60XR, Challenger 300, and Challenger 605 business jets.

The return flight: Monterey to Teterborodsc00586

Having provided our driver with the tail number, we were cleared through the security gate and arrived next to the aircraft without delay.  I didn’t even get to see the amenities of the Monterey Jet Center as we boarded the aircraft immediately.

While the crew prepared for take-off, I took a few moments to walk across the tarmac to photograph some of the vintage aircraft at the airport.  Noticing that the aircraft’s door was being closed, I hurried back and we were aloft about ten minutes later.

The Challenger 300 features a 1-1 seating configuration in the front of the cabin (rows 1 and 2).  The aft section was slightly different: on the left side, a sofa seating three (with three seatbelts); on the right, two comfortable leather seats (similar to those up front).  Rows 1 and 2 on each side can each form a bed if needed.  A satellite phone (powered by Iridium) is available for calls and there are ample power points to plug in your laptop.  The cabin is well suited for meetings and getting work done.  The unusually quiet cabin makes conversation with your travel companions easy.

The flight attendant was offering beverages and snacks almost throughout the flight  and everyone was very relaxed and well fed by the time we landed back in Teterboro.

–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.

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