Private Jet Manufacturers Annoyed At Backlash, Claim Jets Are Practical

Did you know that private jets are actually quite practical? We didn’t. The Wall Street Journal says that private jet manufacturers are angry at the backlash against private jets and are speaking out to “counter business aircraft misinformation.”

From the WSJ:

In a campaign to begin Wednesday, Cessna Aircraft Co. will run an ad that says, “Pity the poor executive who blinks,” and gets rid of the company jet. “One thing is certain: true visionaries will continue to fly.”

“We think it’s time the other side of the story be told, and that support be given to those businesses with the good judgment and courage to use business aviation to not only help their businesses survive the current financial crisis, but more quickly forge a path toward an economic upturn,” said Jack Pelton, Cessna’s chairman and CEO.

Another advertisement (shown below) reads, “Timidity didn’t get you this far. Why put it in your business plan now?” (We assume that question is rhetorical.)

The backlash is hurting Cessna where it counts, the company recently laid off 4,500 workers because of the sudden drop in demand. Gulfstream Aerospace’s spokesperson also defended the use of private jets.

“Do you really want a major executive to show up three hours late to a big meeting because of flight delays?” said Robert Baugniet, director of corporate communications for General Dynamics Corp.’s Gulfstream Aerospace, which makes some of the higher-end jets.

Cessna Fights Back On Private-Jet Trend [WSJ] (Thanks, Daniel!)
Cessna Launches Campaign to Counter Business Aircraft Misinformation (Press Release)

Comments

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  1. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    The backlash is hurting Cessna where it counts, the company recently laid off 4,500 workers because of the sudden drop in demand.

    Bzzt. Most of those layoffs were in the general aviation sector and have nothing to do with jets, which are a relatively minimal part of Cessna’s business.

    • Bahnburner says:

      @Ash78: Bingo.

    • freelunch says:

      @Ash78: exactly right… since most of the parts manufacturing of these planes are subcontracted out to companies like Vought Aircraft…. that’s where the manufacturing layoffs will occur.

    • Kevin Collings says:

      @Ash78: Eh? Jets are actually a pretty big part of our business – our single engine craft have been slipping for a while now.

    • ChicagoAndy says:

      @Ash78:

      Huh? Since when does ‘General Aviation’ not include bizJets?

      Secondly, Cessna has been slowly discontinuing their piston business for years in favor of large jets. Business jets now make up a huge majority of their revenue.

      • barty says:

        @chicagoandy: It is just more rhetoric from the “Bizjets are evil and excessive” bunch.

        Cessna, Piper, etc., have been pricing themselves out of the single engine piston markets. It has little to do with demand.

    • Joe_Bloe says:

      @Ash78: Uhh, actually, no. In 2007 (which is the latest year I can find quickly) Cessna delivered 387 business jets, 80 turboprops and 807 piston aircraft.

  2. larrymac808 says:

    “Do you really want a major executive to show up three hours late to a big meeting because of flight delays?”

    No, I want him or her to use video conferencing technology so that no time is wasted going to or from an airport, and no money is spent on jet fuel or overpriced hotels.

    Also, I want a pony.

    • kathyl says:

      @larrymac808: THIS. Failing the use of tech to make physical travel obsolete for the usually useless meetings that corporations seem to suckle on like mother’s milk, heck yes he or she can be three hours late because of flight delays. The world keeps spinning, and everyone can deal.

      Because we’re in a recession, no matter how much they want us to keep funding “bailouts” so they can keep the status quo that got them in this mess in the first place.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        @kathyl: You both do realize exactly HOW MUCH those telepresence things cost… right?

        • floraposte says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: Skype videophone is cheap, and it’s easy to output to a bigger screen if you like. However, my understanding is that there’s a considerable psychological difference between telepresence and real presence that radically changes the dynamics of a meeting. I don’t think that should rule it out as a possibility, but I can understand why businesses are reluctant to entrust crucial meetings to a medium that may not work in the expected ways.

        • shorty63136 says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: Yup. They cost the same as a Macbook or Macbook Pro – because they come with it built in.

          $2 million for a jet?
          A couple hundred thousand for video conferencing technology?

          Hmmm….

        • heltoupee says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: You do realize exactly HOW MUCH jet fuel costs, right? Hangar rental? Pilot on retainer? Flight crew?

        • chargernj says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: You don’t have to actually be able to see the face of the executive himself you know, just his presentation. So you just stream the powerpoint/video/whatever over the net and you use good old fashioned conference calling with a speaker phone. They actually work pretty good now days.

          • HIV 2 Elway says:

            @chargernj: No, you do need to see their face. Any salesman can lie out his ass, many do already. If you’re doing serious business with someone you want to know you can trust them. The best way to do this is to meet face to face. It’s personable and fosters future business. Its also incredibly hard to effectively lie in face to face situations. Most people can pick up on nonverbal cues and detect bullshitting.

            • floraposte says:

              @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: I think the current economy is proof that almost nobody can detect bullshitting. However, people’s false confidence in their ability to do so does mean that they’re much more reluctant to do business without the face to face component, even if it’s advantage is illusory.

            • chargernj says:

              @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: Granted I don’t work in such a business, but don’t most people who are classified as salesmen fly commercial? I thought we were talking about executives here.

            • frodolives35 says:

              @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: Yah deals at the jet flying exec level are done on a handshake not with 30 page contracts and a team of legal guys. Wow thats the problem we need some sharia justice on wallstreet cut off the offending member. Handshake = hand Screw the stockholders = yep you got it Balif whack his pee pee.

          • SacraBos says:

            @chargernj: For many business meetings, face-to-face is the way to negotiate something. PPT’s are nice and pretty, but when both companies are looking for that win-win (and wanting to get the best win they can), all the technologies don’t replicate the subtle nuances in voice, behaviour, posture, etc that can make a good deal, or a bad deal.

            For internal use, vid-conf is generally okay, though.

        • downwithmonstercable says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: A lot less than a jet?

        • ludwigk says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: My company is pretty small, but has two major offices on different continents. The execs use off-the-shelf web conferencing software, actually bundled with the OS… so FREE!

          Ok, they did replace a busted webcam recently… $80?

          • HIV 2 Elway says:

            @ludwigk: I think video conferencing is a great alternative for different branches of the same company communicating. I wish my company would adopt it. However, I don’t think it’s viable when it comes to interacting with potential or existing customers.

            • madanthony says:

              @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected:

              I’m also thinking there are a number of non-meeting situations where an exec or the like may want to visit a remote location in person – touring a plant of a newly acquired division or one they are considering closing, looking at a location where they are thinking of building, visiting a supplier or potential supplier to view their facilities, ect.

            • XTC46 says:

              @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: I agree. My last company was spread accross 4 differnt island in hawaii and had 20+ locations. We decided that rather than fly people around for big meets, we would install a video confrence system at each office. Now they fly in 4 times a year for the quarterly company meetings (and maybe once or twice of other big things) but meet weekly via video. Works well internally or even for consulting with others.

              But for intial meetings or sales meetings in person is the way to go.

        • MPHinPgh says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: You both do realize exactly HOW MUCH those telepresence things cost… right?

          It’s still a shit-load less than an airplane…

        • TechnoDestructo says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese:

          The initial costs of telepresence can be high — up to $300,000 for a single telepresence room, plus ongoing service charges. But the savings on travel costs with high utilization are promising. Cisco, for instance, says it has cut its travel budget by 20% using telepresence internally.

          And that’s just if you don’t know what you’re doing, AND you just gotta have the best. And it’s still a fraction of the cost of a plane.

          AND you can still charter private jets when you actually do need them.

    • HIV 2 Elway says:

      @larrymac808: You assume that customers are comfortable with video conferencing. A hand shake goes a long way.

    • snowburnt says:

      @larrymac808: I guarantee that if more Senior executives flew commercially, flights would be late less and there would be fewer hold ups.

      Something about having a lot of money and future purchasing pwer can go a long way

    • richcreamerybutter says:

      @larrymac808: Not to mention, you don’t have to go for drinks with the out-of-towners after you’ve just spent 4 hrs in meetings.

  3. Etoiles says:

    As someone who, among her other duties, books travel for high-level executives at a large company?

    It’s a major pain in the ass. Commercial aviation has tremendous delays and poor service, as any Consumerist reader knows. The company where I work is not urgent-deadline driven enough to need a private jet, and we have a pretty robust remote-meetings system in place, but I can see where the savings in time and increased reliability would be a big plus for certain kinds of businesses.

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @Etoiles: Maybe if big execs have to suffer through it along with us peons, there’ll finally be pressure to improve it.

      I understand the argument, but at the same time I don’t have much patience for people who think they’re too important to stand in line with the rest of us.

      • adamczar says:

        @David Brodbeck: Exactly. Tremendous delays and poor service? Welcome to the “real world.” I’m not 100% against private jets, but I am against them when it can save a company millions of dollars when they’re asking for bailouts.

        • David Brodbeck says:

          @adamczar: Right. If the company is profitable and they want a jet, that’s between them and their shareholders. But if they’re taking taxpayer money they shouldn’t be spending millions on a winged limo so their CEO doesn’t have to mingle with the commoners every time he flies to his favorite golf resort.

      • ludwigk says:

        @David Brodbeck: This touches on another important point that private jet usage is essentially subsidized by not being required to pay their fair share of public resources, such as air traffic control and air strip maintenance.

        • failurate says:

          @ludwigk: I am pretty sure they still have to license and register their jet. And airports charge “landing fees”.

        • David Brodbeck says:

          @ludwigk: Also, when CEOs use private jets for personal travel, it’s not taxed as a benefit. So it’s subsidized in that sense, too.

        • Stitchopoulis says:

          @ludwigk: In addition to licensing, registration, and paying landing fees at airports, they also have to pay fees at FBO’s (Fixed Bases of Operations, essentially terminals for smaller planes) which are enhanced with taxes to pay for things like airstrip maintenance and ATC, as well as helping to pay for airport security, keeping the lights on, and any number of the other everyday costs that go into keeping an airport running.

          I’d be interested in hearing how they don’t have to pay their fair share by flying privately, as opposed to on an airline. As far as I can see, they’re playing their fair share just as much as if they drove their personal car as opposed to a greyhound bus.

        • Joe_Bloe says:

          @ludwigk: Ohhh brother, not this BS. Business jets pay landing fees and fuel taxes just like airliners do.

    • Bakkster_Man says:

      @Etoiles: Exactly, a large business with good profit margins shouldn’t feel bad about spending a little extra on a private jet, if the reduced time and complexity is a benefit to them.

      It’s really only a problem if the CEO is using it as another personal perk, or if the company is hemorrhaging money.

    • selianth says:

      @Etoiles: It’s not only the time spent waiting at the airports and commercial delays, etc, either – many times these smaller private jets can fly directly to where a meeting is being held, instead of having to make any kinds of connections (more useful when going to remote locations, as opposed to say, NYC, LAX, or Chicago.)

      Plus, the company where I used to work had a jet, and as long as a medium-high level executive had 5-6 other employees that needed to travel to the same place at the same time, they were allowed to take the plane. It wasn’t just for the top guys.

      • JustThatGuy3 says:

        @selianth:

        Exactly right. Friend of mine is a senior exec at a US manufacturer with plants in multiple states, none in major urban areas. His choices are:

        (a) visit three plants over the course of a four day trip flying commercial

        (b) visit five plants in two days using the company plane

        Unless you think his time is worthless (which you’re welcome to, but the board and shareholders differ), using the plane makes sense.

    • snowburnt says:

      @Etoiles: if more large companies did this things would improve.

  4. Trey Mahaffey says:

    to all the companies that are out of tune with the common American (the ones paying the taxes for your bailout) i hope you fall on hard times just like the rest of us. never feel bad for a man with his own plane!

    • nighttrain2007 says:

      @Trey Mahaffey: Funny I don’t hear the whining about the jets used by politicians (either owned or leased). Surely you can’t think a politician’s job (which is nothing more than to put this nation further into debt) is more important than a CEO of any business that actually adds to the GDP

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @nighttrain2007: Many politicians do fly commercially. The ones who don’t often have special security needs. It’s hard to imagine putting the President of the United States on a commercial flight, for example, even in first class.

      • adamczar says:

        @nighttrain2007: That’s right, let’s get the President flying coach with the rest of us.

        [/sarcasm]

        • nighttrain2007 says:

          @adamczar: I personally have no problem with it. He is a temp worker and nothing but. Or is he somehow ‘better’ than the rest of us? Interesting. You’ll put an overpaid government worker living off the government dole in a position of respect but somebody that worked for years to get where they are needs to have their ‘wings’ clipped. Gotcha

          Perhaps if these slackers had to listen to the average person on a regular basis they wouldn’t vote endless expenditures as they do

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @nighttrain2007: Come to Illinois, you can still listen to us whine about Blagojevich’s ridiculous expenditures of taxpayer dollars on flying back and forth to Chicago on a state-owned jet because he was too damn good to live in Springfield (the state capital). Citizens were downright VICIOUS about it, with excellent reason.

        (June 22, 2007: “Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s practice of flying from his Chicago home to the Capitol in Springfield and back for daily budget negotiations is costing Illinois taxpayers more than $5,800 a day – roughly $76,000 since late May and climbing.” [www.cbsnews.com] )

        Illinoisans are pretty understanding about legislators who go back and forth frequently to their home constituencies, even those who hire a driver so they can work on the longer drives. (Legislators do get a travel stipend, and make up the difference if they spend too much on routine travel.) And flying to, say, the national meeting of state governors in Denver on a private jet, fine, that’s fairly reasonable. But refusing to live in the state capital and flying daily back and forth? FUCK YOU, MAN.

        All that, and he still spend $480,000 on signs proclaiming his awesomeness on the Tollway he’s too good to drive on.

        He’s all impeached and gone and I’m still pissed about his useless flying.

      • snowburnt says:

        @nighttrain2007: on my way home from South Dakota I rode in coach with one of their Senators.

        • JohnAllison says:

          @snowburnt: I rode on Southwest with Daryl Issa (R-CA) from San Diego to Sacramento. I was impressed. No private jet, and $99 flight.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @JohnAllison: We ran into our governor two governors ago, the one in prison?, flying back from a meeting with the governor of Puerto Rico on some interstate trade issue thingie on … I think it was United. They let him in the VIP lounge and upgraded him to business class as a courtesy, but he was on the same flight back to O’Hare we were flying coach.

          • theodicey says:

            @JohnAllison: But you know Issa doesn’t have to worry about flight delays. If his plane gets delayed, he’ll just hotwire another.

    • ScottRose says:

      @Trey Mahaffey:

      If you had revenues of > $1B/year, I can almost guarantee that you’d fly everywhere in a private jet. I sure would.

  5. Plates says:

    They are practical especially for companies that have to go to/from places where there is not a lot of air service and/or they have to make try and make connections. There can be ti

  6. HogwartsAlum says:

    Oh bosh. There are layoffs everywhere these days.

    Get over it, Cessna. I’ll buy a jet when I make my first kazillion.

  7. Peter Nincompoop says:

    “Do you really want a major executive to show up three hours late to a big meeting because of flight delays?”

    Of course, a major part of being the head executive is having the foresight to book a flight into your destination the night before/early morning of and making arrangements to get to the big meeting in a timely manner.

    • MaxSmart32 says:

      @Clevelander: Yes, just like the rest of us poor slobs.

      It is just indicitive of the upper management that don’t have a clue what the rest of us suffer through.

    • zentex says:

      @Clevelander: oh look, common sense. bravo Clevelander!

    • docrice says:

      @Clevelander:
      Not that I agree with them, but time is still money, no matter how you spin it. If my company was paying a CEO $10M per year and I could save him 4 hours per trip (early arrival, checkin, etc.) by flying him privately, I would do so. No one thinks about that when they’re clamoring for CEO’s to fly coach…

      That said, last year I saw ZZ Top getting off a US Air jet at O Hare – if “public” transit is good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @docrice: It depends on what he’d otherwise be doing with that four hours, I’d think. If he spends the extra four hours doing stuff that helps the company, great. But if he spends it kibitzing with his buddies on the golf course, not so great.

        It really isn’t clear to me what anyone could possible do that would be worth $10M per year. It seems like usually when CEOs get paid that much they end up running their company into bankruptcy, then getting even more money as a bonus when they leave.

        • JustThatGuy3 says:

          @David Brodbeck:

          “It really isn’t clear to me what anyone could possible do that would be worth $10M per year.”

          If you don’t own shares, then it’s none of your business.

          • catnapped says:

            @JustThatGuy3: If I’m paying to bail his and his company’s ass out, your damn right it’s MY business

          • BluePlastic says:

            @JustThatGuy3: Bailout = my business. Also if I am an employee of the company working my tail off for a pittance. Also my business if paying the exec’s huge salary causes the price of products/services to go up and the exec is not willing to relinquish even $1 mil of his ridiculous salary to help the company.

  8. Blueskylaw says:

    I want to be a true visionary too!!!!

  9. jake.valentine says:

    If you have access to a coporate jet than you are in a world that most Americans just can’t understand. You have enjoyed a level of luxury that we will never know. Americans are tired of watching the elite live so disproportionately better than the common American. There is isn’t anything necessarily wrong with some people living better than others in a capitalist system, but there is a tipping point where the difference becomes so great that the people will no longer put up with it. We have reached that point. CEOs and executives have a moral obligation to ensure the people under them are fairly compensated BEFORE accepting their lavish pay and perks. This is leadership! What we have are managers in America. Leaders have disappeared……

    • GuinevereRucker says:

      @jake.valentine: True leadership is being a servant and thinking about those whom you lead before yourself. I don’t need to remind you of the man who demonstrated leadership by washing the feet of his underlings.

      Good leadership does not preclude the use of a private jet. But it seems to me that a good leader would try everything in his power to avoid the use of such extravagance unless it was absolutely necessary.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      @jake.valentine: I think initially, the point of the backlash wasn’t so much about luxury. It was the big-3 CEO’s all flying to Washington in private jet trips that cost more than $25,000 (that’s costs for the single trip, not the entire jet) to ask for bailout money.

    • richcreamerybutter says:

      @jake.valentine: I have no problem with these CEOs living however they please…on their own dime. Once you involve the common American’s tax dollars, it’s a different story altogether.

      Remember when RiskMetrics CEO Ethan Berman advised his board to not grant him a salary increase (and reduced bonus) in 2004?

    • Daveinva says:

      @jake.valentine: “If you have access to a coporate jet than you are in a world that most Americans just can’t understand. You have enjoyed a level of luxury that we will never know.”

      You couldn’t be more wrong if you wrote that in Pig Latin.

      I’ve had jobs where I’ve flown on private jets. Operating costs are similar *if not cheaper* than flying commercial airliners.

      Is the initial expense expensive? Yes, yes it is. But they help many companies make money. In fact, they *allow* many companies to make money, such is the nature of their industries.

      Besides, you know where all those dollars spent on private jets go? To the people who make them. And their families. And the local economies that depend on those aircraft manufacturers.

      This money isn’t just thrown into the air, or buried into the ground. If it makes sound financial sense, private aviation is an *advantage* to American (and global) business, not some gold-plated elitist perk.

    • econobiker says:

      @jake.valentine: Why not time share the jet or lease one if a company is so focused on using one.

      • Joe_Bloe says:

        @econobiker: That’s exactly how a significant portion of bizjets are bought — as timeshares. They call them “fractional ownership.” You buy one or more sixteenths of a jet, pay a monthly management fee, and hourly operating costs when you’re actually in the plane.

    • ScottRose says:

      @jake.valentine:

      CEOs and executives have a moral obligation to ensure the people under them are fairly compensated BEFORE accepting their lavish pay and perks

      e.g. CEO makes $15M/year total comp. He (she, it, whatever) runs a company of 15,000 employees. So he could take $0 in comp. and give all of his employees a $1K bump. That would be nice, I guess, but at $700ish after taxes, that ain’t gonna keep the little guy’s foreclosures away.

  10. Blueskylaw says:

    Buy plane = more quickly forge a path toward an economic upturn.

    ??????

  11. liquisoft says:

    The copy feels like it was written by a douchebag I used to work for years ago. He always wrote in the same style and liked using big words.

    • GuinevereRucker says:

      @liquisoft: I like big words too, and I’m near the poverty level for income :)

      It is funny to compare advertisements aimed at the poor on one hand and executives on the other.

  12. Blueskylaw says:

    Do you really want a major executive to show up three hours late to a big meeting because of flight delays?

    Get to the airport 3 hours earlier then like the rest of us have too.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      @Blueskylaw: That won’t help much with delayed flights.

      Not that I disagree with your sentiment, though.

    • JustThatGuy3 says:

      @Blueskylaw:

      Ever thought that maybe your time is less valuable than the CEO of a Fortune 50 company’s?

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @JustThatGuy3: Given what CEOs have done to the economy lately, their time might actually have negative value. ;)

        • JustThatGuy3 says:

          @David Brodbeck:

          Depends heavily on the company.

          • David Brodbeck says:

            @JustThatGuy3: Well, yes and no. They’re all screwing us over because that’s how corporations work — they privatize profits and socialize risk. It’s just that, in some cases, the method they’re using to screw us over has become very explicit because they’re sucking tax dollars directly out of our pockets.

            • JustThatGuy3 says:

              @David Brodbeck:

              They’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing – acting in the interests of their shareholders. If I hold shares in a company, and the CEO isn’t working to ensure that all the upside accrues to me, and all the downside falls on either someone else entirely, or at least a much wider range of people, then he’s not doing his job.

  13. rubyfrog says:

    Ah yes, private jets MUST be totally impractical due to their price. The fact of the matter is that for many companies, they provide services that are totally unavailable from airline companies. Say you’re an oil company and you need to fly 10 engineers from your Headquarters in San Francisco to coast of India, then say, the coast of Iceland and then Alaska for drill expeditions. The airlines sure as heck aren’t going to all those places on the routes you need and timescale you need. Or, perhaps you’re a government and you need it for secure executive VIP transport, going to and from obscure places at obscure times. The largest operators of big-time private jets are the US Air Force and Israeli Air Force.

    Are they hellaciously expensive to maintain just besides the acquisition cost? Absolutely. And they’re probably totally impractical for most private users, but for a lot of purposes, these jets complete missions that cannot be done any other way.

    • floraposte says:

      @rubyfrog: I actually can agree with that. However, I don’t think that all private jets can be explained as economic necessities–I suspect a lot of them are simply for profile and perks. I’m also reacting to the copy itself, which kind of incenses me. “Timidity didn’t get you this far”–okay, but where you are is crap. Maybe whatever got you there is a bad idea, and you need to abandon it.

      • Kevin Collings says:

        @floraposte: Eh, Cessna jets are mostly utility travel – if you want status private jets look to Gulfstream or some of the European manufacturers.

      • rubyfrog says:

        @floraposte: No one can argue that there is no greater status symbol than the private jet. I’d argue that for people that truly have earned that much money, why not get a status symbol if they can afford it. But people need to keep in mind that a little Citation CJ is NOT nearly the same as G550s, Global Express XRS’ and Falcon 7Xs that carry $50,000,000 price-tags. These smaller jets are in the low millions to $10,000,000 range.

        As far as the VLJs go, a turboprop is a MUCH better investment, but that’s a different can of worms to be debated elsewhere ;)

        • David Brodbeck says:

          @rubyfrog: Yeah, but then you run into the status thing again. Yeah, for short hops turboprops are much more efficient, but CEOs want the prestige that comes with a fanjet.

    • Kevin Collings says:

      @rubyfrog: Thank you – that’s pretty much what I was going to say. There are two big arguements for GA use:

      1. Smaller jets (think Cessna’s CJ line or the new Mustang) can use smaller fields closer to the final destination, saving travel time; many don’t even need a paved runway.
      2. The people who use GA do so because their time is insanely valuable – think (as in a previous example in the comments) an engineering team heading to a remote site for support or training or executives heading for meetings. Traveling by corporate jet shaves valuable time off of their travel.

    • chargernj says:

      @rubyfrog: Oil Companies haven’t asked for bailout money, they just get it directly from the consumer by price gouging. Come up with a better example if you want your arguement to stand. So yeah, oil companies can keep their jets.

      The government has it’s own reasons for need private jets, most of which have already been explained better than I can.

    • thebluepill says:

      @rubyfrog:

      Absolutly..

      My Company actually decided to quit using their corporate Jet a year ago and put us on Commercial. It has been hell on us as travelers to and from corporate HQ ever Since.. And the Cost.. 2-10 people flying round trip every day at an average of $800 per ticket.. It was probably cheaper to keep the jet and a hell of a lot more convenient.

    • ludwigk says:

      @rubyfrog: Dude, Oil companies = record breaking profits, even in this economy. They win at life. They can send 10 engineers on 10 separate planes around the world for all I care. My tax dollars aren’t subsidizing their industry.

      When a failing, out-dated industry is teetering on the brink of collapse due to poor strategic planning and corporate excess, and then fly to washington to beg on hands and knees for a government bailout, they end up on my shitlist for life.

      Feel free to send your hard-earned salary to the “private jet fund” so that fat CEO’s so they can get blow jobs and snort coke off of hookers on the way to their lavish corporate retreats. I won’t have it.

  14. akuma_x says:

    Les Grossman: “You paying attention? I’m talking… G5, Pecker! That’s how you can roll. No more frequent flyer bitch miles for my boy! Oh yeah! Playa… playa! Big dick playa!”

  15. jmndos says:

    Wait, wait, …wait…
    Slow down….

    I though cessna makes those rickety wooden shacks people die in, not lear jets….

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @jmndos: Cessna’s primary business has been business jets for decades now. They stopped making light planes in the 1980s when the bottom dropped out of that market and didn’t start again until fairly recently.

    • Victor15b says:

      @jmndos:

      Yeah, I used to work at an FBO (private airport) refueling these babies.

      Some of Cessna’s jets cant acutally reach Mach 1.

    • superdantx says:

      @jmndos:

      Lear is a brand name, not a generic private/corperate jet. Big players in the US market are Cessna, Lear, Gulfstream, Raytheon/Beech, and a few trickle in from Europe and Canada like the Dassault Falcon series and the Bombardier Challengers, there are probably a dozen other manufacturers flying around that I didn’t mention. The Cessna products tend to be of the smaller scale, 4-6 cabin seats, but they do make a few big ones as well, Gulfstream tends to make the larger machines, Bombardier and Embraer (Brazillian) make even bigger ones built on the same frame as 50 seat regional passenger jets the airlines use. And I’d never refer to a Cessna as a rickety wooden shack that people die in, I can’t think of a single GA crash that was caused 100% by the airplane…. just like I’ve never heard of a gun growing legs and killing someone, its all in the hands of a person who either makes good/smart or bad/dumb decisions.

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @superdantx: Yeah…I remember hearing once that there has never been an in-flight structural failure in a Cessna 152. Which is pretty impressive considering how much abuse they get in training flights.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Three hours late for a meeting?

    On top of the video meeting technology already mentioned, how about flying commercial the night before? Commercial + hotel is a whole lot less than private jet

    The risk of being three hours late for a meeting has never stopped executives from telling all the other employees who travel to fly commercial. I bet if lower employees were flying private, executives would quickly justify the move to commercial as financial sense.

    • JustThatGuy3 says:

      @AmandaMonart:

      Yeah, it makes a whole lot of sense for the CEO to be spending extra time in transit. His time isn’t valuable or anything.

      • Victor15b says:

        @JustThatGuy3:

        Whatever. If said CEO’s was oh-so-valuable he wouldnt be asking for a goddam bailout funded with my taxpayers. Make his dumbass sit in coach.

        • JustThatGuy3 says:

          @Victor15b:

          Well, for all the 99% of companies who AREN’T getting bailed out, I assume you’re fine with the CEO flying in a private jet, eh?

          If the CEO’s doing such a lousy job that it’s a good use of his time to be sitting in the airport for three hours, then replace him.

      • Firethorn says:

        @JustThatGuy3: I have to agree.

        Consider Obama’s $500k cap. There’s ~236 working days in the year.

        Before you consider benefits or anything else, that $500k executive is costing you $2,119 dollars a day in salary. He makes more in 2 days than I do in a month.

        Teleconferencing doesn’t work for a walk around a factory or a surprise inspection. It doesn’t work for an intensive meeting involving paper and drawings on the desk, detailed negotiations, etc… This being the real world, the drinks/party afterwards is actually an important negotiation tool*. Flying him commercially will pretty much wipe out a day each way, assuming it’s not a one stop flight, like hub to hub.

        So… $2k for the first class seats, $4k for his wages, $2k for the hotel suite. Don’t forget that he’s most likely got at least one assistant with him.

        It can quickly start making sense to charter a flight, especially if you’re sending a half a dozen people or special equipment. Especially if it’s an international flight(and the private plane has the range).

        After that, going from the occasional chartering of a private plane to actually purchasing the plane is a matter of how often you ‘need’ one.

        To finish up – I’d fully expect multinational corporations like GM, Shell, even Walmart and McDonalds to have a small fleet of planes, both for executive travel and sending vital personnel and resources to remote locations to keep business operating. Cisco has been known to charter planes to sent techs and replacement hardware to various locations that have the *good* support contracts…

        *You want fun, there are psychology books and stuff on this. Whole volumes on techniques for negotiating with Japanese executives. It was some fascinating reading.

  17. KyleOrton says:

    I have a better idea:

    “Life used to be sweet, huh? Huge bonuses as you made poor decisions, stockholders and employees who were too busy watching their equity grow to demand anything, high-class whores who kept their mouths shut, and a luxurious private jet to fly you (and some of those whores) wherever you wanted, whenever you wanted.

    Now you have to fight for your millions, the average man thinks HE has the right to question YOU, and the hookers are giving up their client lists faster than you can apologize to your wife.

    Private Jets: Don’t Stoop to their Level”

  18. Colage says:

    There are reasons for executives to use private jets, specifically that they can fly direct and then get work done in transit. Especially helpful if they’re going from New York to some podunk oil field in west Texas, for example.

    And on top of that, companies that have private jets more than likely already spend quite a bit of money on commercial plane tickets anyway.

  19. Collie says:

    I am not going to defend the use of private planes totally, but the wealthy in this country do create a lot of jobs that are now gone. We all take for granted, have you looked at the yacht building business, resort homes, high end tourism, cars, and other things most of us will only dream of. We are starting to sound more and more like the Russians who revolted in 1909 and ushered in Lenin. We all want to make the same thing and have the same stuff. Have you all looked at how well that works in our education system. The best teacher in the country makes the exact same as the dip shit down the hall.

    All this class envy and attack always overlooks entertainers, sports stars, etc. I don’t see them giving up their private jets, or the peasantry marching on their houses with pitch forks.

    • InsaneNewman says:

      @Collie:
      +1
      (Man, I wish consumerist had a mod up function)

    • KyleOrton says:

      @Collie: I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t believe it applies as much anymore. I can justify what you’re saying when the upper-class works harder, smarter or does something for the money. In that case they contribute jobs to the society. The same goes for the business owner who risks his own $$ and is proportionately rewarded when it succeeds.

      But now they’ve become parasites on the middle/upper middle class. They privatized the gains and socialized the losses. They expect reward without success.

      By all means, the well-run innovative company out there that is making money hand over fist right now can buy whatever they want and spend however they like. My problem is when the losers try to do the same thing out of entitlement.

    • chargernj says:

      @Collie: Just because the Soviets did Communism poorly doesn’t mean that there are no lessons to be learned from Marx. I suppose we should just adhere to our capitalist principles they work so much better, oh wait, no they don’t.

      If anything the only thing the Soviets did wrong was that they skipped the step that included the rise and fall of capitalism. Which we seem to be marching towards. I don’t know what will replace itprobably not communism though.

    • Saboth says:

      @Collie:

      People don’t really care about other people being rich. What they care about are the rich are getting richer, and nothing is trickling down to the people putting in the REAL hard work to make these companies happen. When you bust your ass to make your company money, then get laid off, and the CEO scoops up a 10 million dollar bonus that could have could have been jobs for 300 people, while running the company into the ground…yeah the “little people” will stand up for what is right.

      • Hobz says:

        @Saboth: To expand on your point a little. Sure, by virtue of spending all those millions they get paid, the may create a few hundred jobs. But at what price? How many jobs do you think will be lost if a company like GM or Chrysler go under?

        I think what cheeses me off the most is everyone saying that if you don’t own stock in a company it’s not your concern. I beg to differ. When a CEO completely runs a company into the ground because of poor leadership and greed forcing their company to lay off employees? That just became my problem. Because I’m now paying for the services those employees now need from the government to survive.

    • Maya Kane says:

      @Collie: I have no problems with the wealthy as long as I am not paying for their mistakes and salaries with my taxes.

      Or if they got wealthy by price gouging the rest of us (ahem, oil, ahem) or have greater representation than me in DC because they paid millions to the political parties (Big pharm ect) then I can complain all I damn well please.

  20. David Brodbeck says:

    I remember thinking this private aviation trend had gotten out of hand when a local church got a permit to build a helipad for their pastor. The amount of decadence in our society is pretty damn astounding.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      @David Brodbeck:

      Seriously?

      Was it a MegaChurch?

    • shadowsurfr1 says:

      @David Brodbeck: MegaChurch or not, how remote was this place anyways?

    • kreatre2009 says:

      @David Brodbeck:
      The amount of people thinking that PRIVATE companies and organizations have to answer to other people and the government over legitimate and legal purchases of luxury items is what is “pretty damn astounding” In what way does it affect you if a church builds a helipad? Why do you care if someone buys a yacht or, an expensive car? Stop and remember that the people who build these things would not have jobs if there were no people buying them. Maybe someday when you stop being jealous of other people’s wealth, you might think differently. It’s government that should have to answer for its extravagances. Nancy Pelosi uses a private jet to fly from California to Washington DC. Chris Dodd got a sweet deal from Countrywide despite his position on the Senate committee that overseas the mortgage industry. Why is it that these people are not questioned and made to explain why they are being so extravagant? Congress has absolutely no business grilling corporate executives over their salaries and perks when they themselves have a lot of extravagances as well.

  21. Imaginary says:

    Sure they deserve it. Because they’re not going to take it anywhere but the meeting right? Because they’re not going to make a layover in Hawaii for a week on their way to a meeting in Chicago from Maryland, Hawaii’s not that far off right? They certainly wouldn’t think of using it to ferry around their friends and family would they? They wouldn’t have a jet for each board member would they? And they wouldn’t even think of using taxpayer money for frivolous amenities such as champagne. Their sense of entitlement is justified right? They give the little people their jobs so they deserve some special treatment.

    -sarcasm, better than sliced bread-

    • nighttrain2007 says:

      @Imaginary: Yeah let’s not talk about government funded junkets to health spas in Bermuda or anything. God knows only private companies take advantage of the ‘average’ person, them dern capitalists…

      • merely_a_muse says:

        @nighttrain2007: Imaginary’s comment above isn’t condoning any of that. Just because other groups do the same thing doesn’t make it right for anyone to do it.

        • nighttrain2007 says:

          @merely_a_muse: Except in one case they’re living high off MY dime. A CEO, until the recent practical nationalization OTOH, wasn’t. Any company who is NOT receiving money from my paycheck should feel free to do as their board of directors sees fit. If you’re not paying their paycheck then it shouldn’t be your worry. If OTOH you ARE paying their paycheck, make it a concern. If nothing is done about it, move your business.

          What is it with people that see it’s their right to tell companies they have no business with how to run their business?

          • merely_a_muse says:

            @nighttrain2007: I’m not telling a company how to run it’s business. In some instances, sure private jets service their purpose, but not every company needs one and not every company needs several. That’s my opinion, I’m allowed to have it.

            • JustThatGuy3 says:

              @merely_a_muse:

              Sure, you can have an opinion, but it’s as irrelevant as my having an opinion about what sexual positions you and your partner choose. If you don’t own shares in a company, then the way in which management of that company is compensated/treated is of absolutely no concern of yours.

    • n301dp says:

      @Imaginary:

      Not to mention the Obama-chartered United Airlines 767 to Hawaii after the election ;-)

  22. shorty63136 says:

    Sure. Go ahead and buy it.

    But don’t buy it with my tax money and don’t pay for your fuel and other related charges with my tax money.

    Balance your schedule better to compensate for the delays (imagine that – having to deal with stuff real people deal with) or video conference.

    I don’t want this ridiculous and excessive stuff paid for with MY tax money. I had to learn to get work and meeting on time – so do you. Would it be awesomely convenient if I could get beamed up every time I needed to get somewhere? Sure.

    But I’m not a shareholder in your company and the world will not stop if you get to your meeting an hour (or 3 hours) late. If it was so important for you to fly there, they will wait to say what they have to say.

    • shorty63136 says:

      @shorty63136: Or – buy the plane with your own personal funds and deduct your mileage from your taxes like people do with their own commutes to work.

      My company didn’t pay for MY transportation to work.

  23. Bahnburner says:

    Pffft…didn’t you know? Every church has a helipad…that’s how they fly in all the children to molest.

  24. freelunch says:

    Funny… I could swear that every time the private jet bashing news gets posted, that someone provides justification in the comments regarding how practical it can be for a global company, and for a company that has a single man/woman (CEO) that leads the company and has a income of several million dollars.

    I guess those posts are ignored.
    The global point is posted above, so allow me to make the point of income/leadership. It looks bad for your CEO to show up late to an important business meeting, even if he is flying out of Chicago where everyone already knows he will be screwed.
    At a salary of $2,000+/hr, I don’t want the man earning money while sitting in a 1hr line at security in Cleveland. If there is a manufacturing plant stopage because of some problem, and I need to get engineers and their tools to the problem ASAP (becase a stoppage may represent a loss of $100,000+/hr), a private jet waiting on the tarmac looks real appealing (no security for all the tools).

    • Kevin Collings says:

      @freelunch: That’s the justification that most companies use – and it’s true. I’d rather have expensive company leaders spend time at their destination, not wasting time in lines.

    • orlo says:

      @freelunch: Their money would be better spent on a $25000 CISCO teleconferencing solution.

      • JustThatGuy3 says:

        @orlo:

        Not their fault – the Brazilian government has created huge tax incentives to build factories in Manaus (trying to develop the lower-income portions of the country).

  25. projoe1979 says:

    If timidity didn’t get us here, maybe we should use some now to get as far away as possible.

  26. badgeman46 says:

    Whats next? No private cars? Sure there are some extravagent uses of private jets, but consider this: Time=Money. Think about the last time you flew commercially? Did you make it on time? Did you even make it at all? That day? Did it take more than 6 hours door to door? Private aviation eliminates all of that, and saves TONS of money by way of time. There are so many ways you can look at that. Try finding an airline that flies into the plant you have in Brazil. I can tell you the last time I flew into Manaus, Brazil, which is where Harley Davidson, Siemens, and Sony all have factories, it took me two whole days to get there and three to get back. Food for thought.

  27. I_have_something_to_say says:

    I’ve been in plenty of Skype type and face-to-face meetings and they are only similar in principle. It’s especially important in sales to be face-to-face with the customer. Body language is not conveyed well over a webcam.

  28. ZukeZuke says:

    Dammit, this is what I keep trying to tell my boss!!!

    We take at least 2 flights/month, so this’ll pay big bold dividends in… 3… 2… 1…

  29. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    Well instead of flying there for what effectively amounts to 20 minutes of productive meeting and 7 days (less 20 minutes) of golfing, parties, ass kissing, drinking, dinning out, hookers, gambling, etc… Why not use a video conference facility to make it happen?

    Dumbass execs think the sun shines out their collective assess… and for the vast majority of them, it does not.

  30. wildbill says:

    Tools for your job.

    I have my tools, my computer, my monitor. Those are the tools of my trade, if I am successful then I get better tools that I can AFFORD. For an executive of a large company with offices or sales contacts spread over a large area then a private plane is a tool for that job. I worked for a company that leveraged itself well beyond its means, had a fleet of 4 jets that were primarily used to fly over priced executives from their homes in SC to where the office was in IA. These were the kind that needed to go and eventually did after a chapter 7 bankruptcy

    Then I worked for a private company that was fully funded and only grew within it’s means. They had 2 planes(propeller) and 2 Jets. These were primarily used to fly necessary people between major facilities in different parts of the country. All the execs lived in town and the last jet was only bought when they had cash to do so. I had a fortune to fly on one for an on site visit that didn’t require a rental car, didn’t require a hotel, so averaged over the 10 people or so that day that few it was a real value and offered the face to face opportunity you occasionally need.

    Needless to say the first company is gone and the second is going strong and had a spare $300M to invest in historic preservation effort that has revitalized an entire community.

    • edsobo says:

      @waleeper: Exactly. Private jets aren’t bad if they’re being used responsibly.

      I’m not going to say that all use of a private jet is irresponsible, but a large portion of it is unnecessary, especially given the vast amount of technological options we have for communicating at a distance. “A handshake goes a long way” is no excuse for schlepping some dude across country so he can sit and talk.

  31. Mark Peterson says:

    There’s nothing wrong with having a private jet. If you are the CEO of a successful business and have made a lot of money with hard work and dedication, why not be able to enjoy the perk of flying around in a private jet? I wish I could…

    The problem is that the CEOs who are buying these private jets recently are from businesses that have NOT succeeded in business recently, like the car companies. If you have to ask for money from the government, which in turn is from the taxpayers, then there is a problem. If you can’t make enough money to be able to pay your employees and have to resort to laying them off, there is no way in hell these CEO’s should be spending $50 million when that same money could pay every single employee’s salary.

  32. ElizabethD says:

    When I took piano lessons many a year ago, my favorite piece was “The Spinning Song.” I think it would make a good theme for this ad campaign…

  33. Corporate-Shill says:

    Try doing the “Tour of the Country” via commercial aviation.

    Tour of the Country = Fly from Denver to Boise to Sacramento to Tucson and then back to Denver.

    Hey it is only 3 stops until you return home. Every stop is a major city. Good lucking finding direct flights between the stops.

    Try flying from Jacksonville to El Paso without having to fly through one or two major busy hubs.

    Get the idea? Maybe commercial aviation is not the best for the busy Exec or employee.

    And don’t forget the price of walkup tickets is way out higher than the plan ahead price.

    Does everybody need to fly via private jet? Hell NO. And sometimes who really gives a fart if some Exec or employee needs to spend an extra 3, 6 or even 24 hours of extra flying time.

    But there are times when quicker travel is desirable or even needed.

    And if I am paying the bill, do I want to pay for my employee to sit in a terminal for 6 hours doing nothing while waiting for a connecting flight

    (and yes I am paying for him…. even if salaried…. I am getting nothing in value from the employee while he/she is sitting and waiting)

    or do I want the employee to be doing something constructive or at least getting to the destination quicker?

  34. RedwoodFlyer says:

    1) Fine…exec XYJ needs a jet…but he doesn’t need a Gulfstream – those are more luxury than practicality. There’s no reason you need an aircraft that costs more than a 737 to go from HVN to HEL…

    - Point being: Use an Eclipse, D-Jet, Pilatus, etc…

    2) Most business don’t need to own the aircraft outright… Notice how airlines like Southwest work tirelessly to shave even a minute off of a turnaround? They realize that aircraft are a huge tie-up of capital, and they want to get the best return on investment. Keeping a Cessna Citation that costs more than a Canadair around and only utilizing it 2 hours a day is a VERY poor use of resources. Netjets has plans that guarantee an available flight with as little as 40 minutes notice.

  35. Oakie Pokie says:

    i think private jets are excellent tools for the executives who need them to make their business more efficient as long as they CAN AFFORD THEM.

    and im sorry to bear bad news, but any business that has to rely on a government bailout to stay afloat CANNOT AFFORD A PRIVATE JET.

  36. u1itn0w2day says:

    Should selling private jet time be something the major airlines should look at ? Just like a taxi service an executive could call up and arrange for a private jet -the only difference you have to pick it up at the local airport .

    Everybody’s affected by the economy at this point so why is this one segment of the economy so important .And for that matter if the economy was so important why are these planes being bought in places like France .

  37. Saboth says:

    I guess that business executive should leave a day early or catch an early flight or something.

    Pretty funny how these guys spin it. “Are you going to let these peons push you around? Who are THEY to tell you what you can do with their…I mean YOUR money?” “You didn’t climb to the top by being timid…you did it by scratching the backs of all the other people on the board when they wanted their 5 million dollar bonus!”

    • JustThatGuy3 says:

      @Saboth:

      It’s a very valid point. Question should really go like this:

      1. Are you being bailed out by the US taxpayer?

      If Yes: Explain REALLY REALLY hard why you NEED that private jet. There might be a good reason, but you damn well better tell Congress what it is.

      If No: Who gives a damn what Congress thinks, they’re just trying to score political points, but fundamentally, the issue is between you and your shareholders, and Congress is neither.

  38. f3rg says:

    Blah, blah, blah… buy a plane ticket. Corporate jets are one of many wastes of money that got us in this mess in the first place.

  39. unpolloloco says:

    If there’s a high-profile exec in the picture (e.g. bill gates), I’d say that the jet’s warranted just from a privacy/security point of view.

  40. RogueWarrior says:

    Congressional committees are saying that these companies getting bailout money shouldn’t be allowed to have airplanes and must sell them. Okay, smartass, who the hell is going to buy one when the economy is so bad? Huh? Don’t have an answer for that, do ya? Auction them off at boneyard prices? Oh, well, that’ll depress the market and we can’t have any of that now, can we?

  41. pilot25d says:

    I am a pilot for a private corporation with a jet. Year after year we have to prove our efficiency and beat the airlines without a contest. Our passengers get more done and do it better. They are not all “Fat Cats” but regular people doing their job. If we didn’t have jets I am sure that at least 30 people would be out of a job and that is only counting those directly associated with our company and doesn’t include hundreds of other businesses that we work with and buy from. If you are complaining – then work harder. The people I fly are VERY GOOD AT THERE JOB AND WORK 16+ HOURS A DAY USUALLY 6 + DAYS/WEEK! Why bring someone down when you can work harder to have what they have. That is what America use to be.

    Some people in the past also considered a car a luxury item too and I am sure someone that didn’t have a car called them a “FAT CAT” back then. And before them the people with horses were “FAT CATS”… you get the idea?

  42. Anonymous says:

    I am not a big fan of unnecessary corporate jets, but based on the illusion that a teleconference is the same,why dont courts, or the US Senate just teleconference all hearings. Politicians dont need to go to Washington, they should just videoconference laws from their homes. A CEO looking for a credit facility, looking into a merger, planning on building a plant somewhere need to be there in person.

  43. kreatre2009 says:

    I think something a lot of the class warfare crowd do not realize or bother to even think about is that when these private jets are built, the need workers to build them. Building private jets creates high paying jobs. Of course that doesn’t matter because the only important thing is to stick it to the rich and blame all of your problems on them. When was the last time you were employed by a poor guy? Think about it.

    • BluePlastic says:

      @kreatre2009: So we should waste money on something just so some people can have jobs? Yeah, people having jobs is important and I certainly need to have a job. BUT jobs are lost or downsized when no longer needed all the time. Why should jet plane makers be exempt?

  44. burnedout says:

    My guess is being a CEO is like being a university professor – you tend to know a lot of other people with the same job all over the country simply because of what you do and where you went to school. It’s an incestuous field. So, maybe I’m being selfish, but I REALLY think that CEO’s flying commercial air will force commercial air travel to improve. So, YES, I do want a big CEO to show up 3 hours late due to flight delays – maybe then they’ll complain endlessly to their executive pals at the airlines, and the airlines will finally feel some personal obligation to improve their business. Since we’re all packed in together, it’ll mean the rest of us get there on time, too, right??

    • Joe_Bloe says:

      @burnedout: Either that, or the airlines will see a profit opportunity in creating completely “executive-class” flights that they spend more money on, make more money on, and you still get screwed.

  45. NessaArachne says:

    This is eerily reminiscent of Clinton’s luxury tax on yachts that did harm to the yacht industry and put people out of work.

    Don’t we want MORE jets built? Or is that not “green”?

  46. darkryd says:

    Private jets have their purpose – however they don’t need to be multi-million dollar aircraft with every single amenity known to man.

    Put the damn exec on a simple little turbo-prop and call it a day.

    Much cheaper than a Gulfstream.

    Oh – and execs: try “carpooling” and put more than one exec on a flight if they’re going to be headed that same direction.

  47. Tiber says:

    Yes, owning an aircraft may be cost-effective, so if your company is doing well and it will help the company that much, go for it. However, this ad and the egotism/entitlement it implies pisses me off. Just because something can improve efficiency does not mean it is necessary. Flying around everywhere on a private jet may be better, but you can make do with teleconferencing or commercial flights if need be.

    If you’re going to be 3 hours late, just call the guy. You can reschedule, or talk over the phone. Is the guy going to be mad that circumstances beyond your control happened or something? Or are executives immune to bad weather too?

    Also, one other point of contention. Maybe that executive would miss his meeting if a commercial flight got delayed. So? What about the guy rushing over because a family member had a heart attack? Or the guy who’s been working his ass off, and just wants to enjoy his vacation with his family? Do they deserve private jets too? An executive’s time may be worth a lot more money, but money is not the sole measure of a man’s worth. As far as I’m concerned, unless it’s a matter of life and death, no one’s time is more important than anyone else’s.

    • Firethorn says:

      @Tiber: If they want a private jet, there’s nothing stopping a private citizen purchasing one. Or, for that rare emergency, renting/hiring one. It’s not that difficult to get a private non-commercial pilot license; you can rent a plane.

      If you have a family of six or so, hiring a private flight, especially if your origin and destination are at non-hub locations and you have too much baggage can actually be a very economical choice. Especially if you look at it as gaining yourself an extra day or two of vacation due to reduced travel times.

      • Anonymous says:

        @Firethorn: Actually no. I’m a pilot and aviation writer/enthusiast, and as much as I’ve tried to find the economic justification for private flight over commercial, it just isn’t there.

        With fuel costs, insurance, maintenance, etc. owning is very expensive, and chartering factors those costs in.

        There also is no way that even the most expensive baggage charges will begin to equal the cost of a charter or rental.

        “Gaining a day or two of vacation” is not an economy measure, it’s purchasing more vacation time through the cost of a charter.

        If you want/need to vacation to/from non-hub locations and you want to fly, there is no “economical” way to use aviation to do that, you simply pony up the cost or you don’t.

        Flying is fun, it is NOT economical. If you expense the cost for business, then you are transferring part of the cost to the taxpayers, and that’s about all the savings you can get

  48. BluePlastic says:

    “…businesses with the good judgment and courage to use business aviation to not only help their businesses survive the current financial crisis, but more quickly forge a path toward an economic upturn.”

    Somehow they got themselves into this mess WITH private jets, so not sure how private jets are going to help get them out.

  49. TVarmy says:

    “Do you really want a major executive to show up three hours late to a big meeting because of flight delays?” said Robert Baugniet…

    Okay, really. This is from the Onion.

  50. Trick says:

    CEO’s and corporate fat-cats can have all the planes they want. As long as they are not begging the American taxpayer for a handout over their crappy business choices.

  51. Anonymous says:

    What I find most interesting is the appeal to ego. No matter what the ad says, the implication is “you’re with us because you’re better/smarter/bolder than all those sad little executives who blink.” Clearly, they know their market well.