Taking a Private Jet to Play Cards in the Bay Area — A Poor Man’s Experience with Shared Private Jet

My annual income is only less than $30k, how was I able to fly in a private jet?!

This is all thanks to a deal: as long as you can prove you have a million miles or elite status with a major airline, JetSmarter will give you 3 month membership for free! A million miles is really not a difficult requirement for us churners, I felt that there would be too many qualified people so I asked to match immediately when I saw this promo. Turns out I was right as JetSmarter has stopped this promo earlier than planned, because there are “overwhelming” requests… I was lucky that I acted fast enough, so I can fly in private jets for free!

Flight information: KHHR (Los Angeles) <–> KOAK (Oakland), King Air 350. This flight belongs to JetSmarter Shuttle, they fly to fixed airports on a fixed schedule. The short flights are completely free. Apart from Shuttle, JetSmarter also has Deal and Charter: Deal means there’s an empty leg to some place and it’s free; Charter means you can order a jet to whatever place at whatever time, as long as you pay for it…

Flying private has many advantages to your typical airline experience: you don’t need wait in a queue to check in, and you don’t need to wait on security check! That’s why JetSmarter recommends you arrive just half an hour before departure. But I need to give first timers an advice: private jets usually fly from/to small airports, or the small terminal of big airports, and they may not be easy to find. For example, I departed out of a small airport called KHHR in LA, and Google Maps navigated me to a wrong location, so it’s better to arrive early and have some time to find the entrance!

The parking lot of the small airport seemed full. When I drove around, I got a phone call from JetSmarter to ask where I was, which I thought was really sweet! I told her I was looking for a parking spot, and to my surprise, she told me I could use Valet Parking for free! That solved a problem for me, otherwise I was worried about where  the cheapest place to park was for two whole days! An agent from JetSmarter explained to me that, not all airports have Valet Parking and it’s better to contact them before arrive to learn where to park.

The place I departed out of is called JetCenterLosAngeles. Here you don’t need to go through a security check, but there’s a K-9 UNIT dog walking around.

There is no lounge in this terminal, unlike big terminals/airports. However, there are comfortable sofas, free drinks and coffee. That’s enough for a half-hour waiting time.

You can give your luggage to JetSmarter agents and they will carry them to the jet:

This is the jet I flied, and it’s the first time that I had been such a small jet:

 

There are 8 seats on this jet, and there were 7 people sitting in this flight. The jet is quite small, people need to sit face to face. My seat was backwards, not the best seat 😂. Compared to first class flights, these kinds of seats are really good for socializing! This is probably one of the best part for shared private jet: you can meet and talk with wealthy people! The two people sat in front of me are doing music, but I basically don’t know anything about music… They were talking with each other happily, but I wasn’t able to join the conversation 🙁

 

On the return flight, I met several people interested in credit cards! We chatted a lot during the time, and I felt amazing! The couple on the left have a youtube channel about credit cards: AskSebby, and please visit it if interested~

There are several drawers on the jet, which contain water, soda, beer, snacks, etc.

The coolest part was that, the pilots were just behind me! You can how they operate the jet, and are able to see the screen clearly!

At first I thought there would be a lot of turbulence, but that’s not true. It’s basically stable, and there were just a few bumps.

 

In summary, I feel the main advantage of JetSmarter Shuttle is to save time from check in and security check, and it’s great for socializing. But if I didn’t get it for free, it’s still too expensive for me. It’s better to wait until when my time is really worth so much money to pay for the private jets!


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