I flew on VistaJet’s Bombardier Global 5000 private jet complete with meeting areas, a dining room, and sleeping space.
We were served delicious food and drinks onboard, like bruschetta, charcuterie, and specialty wines.
While I’ll never afford to fly private regularly, I see how the perks and convenience make chartering worth every penny.
VistaJet is the largest private charter company in the world, operating a fleet of Bombardier Global and Challenger aircraft.
The company recently took delivery of its 10th Bombardier Global 7500 private plane at a ceremony in Montreal, Canada. It was the planemaker’s 100th Global 7500 delivered to a customer.
Insider joined VistaJet at the official delivery and was able to tour the giant plane, which features several living areas and a private bedroom.
After the ceremony, media hopped onboard one of VistaJet’s Bombardier Global 5000 aircraft and flew to Teterboro, New Jersey.
The Global 5000 has a range of 9,630 kilometers (5,984 miles) and can connect cities like New York and London and Seattle and Tokyo, according to VistaJet.
While VistaJet does not publish its price list for charters, one-way rates are thought to be between $12,000 and $20,000 per hour, according to Forbes.
This was my first time flying in a large business plane, and although it is likely something I’ll never be able to afford on my own, it was a treat to see how the wealthy travel.
My journey started at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport where we were driven directly from Bombardier’s headquarters to the airplane.
Our driver entered the ramp via a gate, and none of us were required to go through security before boarding the jet. I was impressed at how easy and quick the transfer was.
After showing my passport to the captain, I was eager to explore the jet and meet the cabin hostesses, which is what VistaJet calls flight attendants. Both were former Emirates crew members and went through specialized training before working private flights.
Onboard, the plane is divided into three sections, including one living space in the front of the jet…
…a dining room in the middle…
…and a second conference or meeting space in the back, which can be closed off with a curtain. In total, the jet can carry 13 passengers and sleep seven.
The front living space has four large leather armchairs that were easily more comfortable than domestic business class on commercial airliners. The seats have a leg rest, an adjustable headrest, and feature a deep recline.
The dining section also features four armchairs, while the aft living space has two armchairs and a couch.
Between each set of seats are wood tables that can deploy from the wall, creating a space to work, eat, or play games if traveling for leisure or with kids.
According to VistaJet, the seats and couch can be converted into beds for passengers to sleep.
In addition to the main three sections, there is also a spacious lavatory and cargo space for luggage in the back of the plane…
…a galley in the front where the cabin hostesses prepare food and drinks…
…and a long counter along the fuselage that has a printer and plenty of work space.
Other amenities include a handheld iPod that can control things like lighting and sound…
…adjustable window shades…
I was impressed with the size and roominess of the cabin. I could stand fully upright and was easily able to maneuver to the seats and between sections without feeling cramped.
Moreover, although the front living space and dining area are connected, there was no sound overlap when I was sitting at the dining table. I could easily hear the person across from me without background noise drowning out the conversation.
However, the engines, which are mounted on the back of the fuselage, were quite loud. It was hard to ignore the sound when seated in the aft section or when in the lavatory.
The flight from Montreal to Teterboro was about an hour and a half, and we were able to enjoy VistaJet’s onboard dining.
Shortly after takeoff, the cabin hostess set up our table with a table cloth, plates, napkins, and utensils. She also placed butter, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper on the table.
Before takeoff, we were given a menu with several options for platters, appetizers, and entrees. I was eager to try the food and drinks available.
Unfortunately, we were unable to try the entrees due to time, but we did try almost everything on the list otherwise, including charcuterie…
Because I’m on a charcuterie kick these days, I ate as much cheese and meat as I could. Even though chefs say passengers lose 33% of their ability to taste in the air, I found the flavors to be bold and delicious.
While the cheese was my favorite, the other options were also tasty, especially the bruschetta, which was nicely presented on the plate.
With our meal, we were served bottomless wine and champagne. However, VistaJet also has regular drinks like soda, water, and coffee.
I favored the white wine, which, according to VistaJet, is specially made to enhance taste when cruising at high altitudes.
After indulging for over an hour, the cabin hostesses started preparing the plane for landing. They cleared the table and stored our belongings.
We were on the ground the Teterboro around 8 p.m. and taxied to Atlantic Aviation which handles general aviation aircraft.
Because we were flying internationally, we had to go through customs, which was quick and painless. We simply entered a dedicated Customs and Border Protection office, showed our passports, and were off within a few minutes.
Overall, VistaJet’s Global 5000 private jet experience exceeded expectations, as I knew it would. The food was delicious and I appreciated the highly attentive cabin hostesses who went above and beyond for their passengers.
While flying private is a luxury that I will likely never be able to do on the regular, I can see how it’s worth every penny for those that can afford it.
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