As I sat in the back of a luxury sedan on the way to Teterboro Airport, a sudden euphoric feeling hit me. A type of feeling that you’ll only feel a few times in your life. It’s so indescribable, that typing it out will absolutely do it no justice. Why was I feeling like an excited kid as if it were their birthday or it was Christmas day? I mentally sat in the luxurious car and whispered to myself “I’m going to fly on a private jet for the first time ever”.
I truly had no idea what to expect, but all I wanted to do is document every bit and show off. But, then again, I didn’t want to look or feel like an unsophisticated charterer by snapping selfies. I decided to take a few photos, but I was more curious about the experience. How do the rich and famous fly private?
We pulled up to Teterboro Airport and arrived to some private terminal called an FBO(Fixed base Operator). I paid the driver, stepped out of the car, grabbed my luggage, and casually walked into the FBO. I asked myself a series of questions, who do I talk to? Where do I report to? Where is TSA or security? I walked up to the main desk and kindly told the young lady “I’m here for my flight, can you please help me?”. She asked me for the aircraft registration number, to which I gave to her, and she instantly pointed at 2 gentlemen who were dressed in business casual attire by the glass sliding doors. I walked over, introduced myself, and was greeted with smiles. The Captain had a smile that mimicked Tom Cruise in Top Gun and he playfully greeted me with “Mr. Molina, are you ready to hop on the Global 6000?”. That euphoric feeling, I had earlier, just got amplified. I replied with “let’s go to Atlanta!”.
I was asked to show my I.D. to the captain for safety purposes. Then suddenly, the Captain made a gesture to the young lady at the front desk, in which the glass sliding doors opened. I walked out to the “ramp”, which is also known as the staging area for the outgoing jets. I was standing in an area of an airport that no one is really allowed to be on. I couldn’t really hear because both massive engines from a Gulfstream 550 were starting up and a Challenger 300 was taxiing out to the runway. I was absolutely overwhelmed by this. My senses and adrenaline were on overdrive. I followed the captain and second in command to the private jet. Once we walked up to the jet, the stairs were pulled down for me to walk up on and a lineman, an airport employee, whisked my luggage to the back of the aircraft. I slowly stepped up the ladder and cautiously looked around. I smiled, entered the private jet, entered the cabin of the aircraft, and took the first available seat in front of me. Before takeoff, the captain quickly briefed me about the safety procedures that were mixed in with some cheesy aviation jokes, and the next thing I knew the engines started up. We started to move and as anticipated, my heart started to race.
This is surreal. Where were the long lines to speak with an airline ticket agent? Where were those atrocious TSA lines with the intrusive security pat downs? How did I just arrive 15 minutes ago to this airport and all of a sudden taxiing out to the runway for my trip to Atlanta? After answering these questions in my head, it hit me. I’m flying on a private jet down to Atlanta, meeting with a group of music artists that are ready to do a worldwide music tour.
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