Flying on a private jet from Chicago to New York

In mid June, Jetsmarter, a broker company selling empty seats on private jet flights, had a promotion called ‘Million Miler’. If you had the highest status with an airline, 1.000.000 frequent flyer miles or 1.000.000 credit card points you were entitled to request a status match. This match would grant you a free 3-month-trial membership with Jetsmarter. The promotion was limited to 500-1000 participants.

Shortly after I heard about this promotion, I requested a match and got an email about a week later that I am one of lucky few who got a trial membership. I just had to provide some details and I was all set.

Then I started planning my very first private jet flight…

There are two different ways: 1. There are shuttle flights, mostly in the U.S., connecting major cities such as L.A., NYC or Chicago. A few of those flights were available free of charge for members with a trial membership. 2. There are ferry flights with empty seats, which can be booked for free as well. The only problem is that you can not really plan in advance as these flights show up only one day before departure.

I decided to book one of the shuttle flights. The route which fitted the best regarding time, availability and of course aircraft type was Chicago to New York. Actually it was bound for Westchester County, which is north of New York City.

Finally the day was there and one of my dreams was about to come true. I was the first passenger, who arrived at the executive terminal. On the app I had seen that the flight was fully booked; 11 other people would accompany me on my very first private jet flight. Around half an hour before departure everyone was there and the pilot cheched our IDs and the pax list. There was no security check at all. Thereafter the ‘boarding process’ started and we walked to our Gulfstream IV.

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Waiting area

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Boarding the Gulfstream IV

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Boarding the Gulfstream IV

A day before departure I received my seat assignment together with a seat map, so that I knew where I was seated. I got a window seat on the right hand side, facing forward.

Besides the two pilots there was a flight attendant as well, who greeted us and secured the cabin for take off. Shortly we were ready for departure.

We departed Midway to the east, the city of Chicago was clearly visible on the left side. Then we passed Lake Michigan and continued our climb to 41.000ft.

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Departing Chicago Midway

A few minutes later drinks were served and who wished could order lunch. I chose an Caesar salad combined with some sandwiches, freshly made in the rear of the cabin.

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Beer with a view

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Caesar salad and sandwiches

After lunch I sat down on the couch behind me and enjoyed the magnificent view.

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The couch where three people can sit down next to eachother

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Lovely wingview

The flight time was calculated with approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. It was quite easy to get in touch and converse with the other passengers. We had some good talks and laughs and soon we were already on approach to Westchester County.

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Approaching Westchester County over Rye Lake

After landing we taxied to the general aviation area where the ground staff was already waiting for us. I was the last passenger to leave the G IV in order to take some clean shots of the cabin. I got invited to the cockpit as well and the flight attendant was happy to take some pictures of me.

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The cabin

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Looking towards the cockpit

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The cockpit

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After landing the flight attendant took some pictures of me

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On the stairs while leaving the Gulfstream

As we walked towards the executive terminal the Gulfstream got already prepared for the flight back to Chicago.

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Bye bye!

I then took a Lyft and reached Manhattan about an hour later. That was an awesome day I will never forget!

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