Four Seasons Introduces 757 Private Jet Experience

Four Seasons has just announced that they’ll soon be introducing a private jet experience. It will be a 757-200 aircraft with just 52 seats, and should start flying in February 2015. If the rendering on their website is accurate, I’d say that’s one sexy paint scheme, giving Air New Zealand’s 787-9s a run for their money.

Four-Seasons-Private-Jet-1

The 52 fully flat seats will be in a 2-2 configuration. They look nice though not like anything special, given that they’re pretty standard business class seats nowadays.

Four-Seasons-Private-Jet-2

Here’s a video about the private jet:

If I’m reading this correctly, they’ll basically offer private jet “experiences,” whereby you can book a seat on an itinerary that stops in multiple cities with Four Seasons.

For example, the website has an itinerary for February 9 through March 4, 2015, with the following stops:

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Kona, Hawaii
  • Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Bali, Indonesia
  • Chiang Rai, Thailand
  • Mumbai, India
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • London, England

So while I assume you could purchase all 52 seats or pay to charter the whole jet, it sure seems like this is more of a charter experience than a private jet experience.

Anyway, given how remote a lot of Four Seasons properties are, it is pretty awesome to be able to fly to each destination in an aircraft with fully flat seats.

I can’t even imagine how expensive this is to operate, though. It’s not just the cost of operating a private jet, but the fact that it’s presumably sitting on the ground for days at a time at each stop.

And to some degree I have to wonder how much of a market there is for this. Millionaires probably couldn’t reasonably afford this, while billionaires would presumably want a more tailored experience than a month-long journey with 50 other people and no flexibility — they can just get their own jet. Maybe they’re going after “poor” hundred millionaires? šŸ˜‰

Check out the full FAQs on the private jet service.

What do you think of the service, and who do you think they’re targeting with something like this?

Comments

  1. This has been going for years:
    There is no lie flat seating on their charter plane. and it is 70-80k per head.

    No thanks considering I can “Do More” for about 15% of the cost.

  2. I briefly looked at the T&Cs and it looks like cost is $119K per person, based on double-occupancy. All accommodations, food, and drinks (including alcohol) are included. But it looks like you have to get yourself to LA to start and back from London at the finish.

    I think Andrew yvr has it right: one can do more for less.

  3. I know they do the OAK->Kona “Kona Shuttle” which is a mediocre 737 several times a week for the super high end property they have there. I’d be guessing 4S would be using this for that route more substantially since the Shuttle is totally overpriced.

  4. The around the world trip you linked to looks amazing. What an awesome adventure that would be. However, at $119,000 per person, definitely something only very few people could afford.

    It would seem for $119K/person, you could build your own trip that beats this one by a mile. Not necessarily the same experience, but certainly the same level of accommodation and travel.

    But people spending that type of money probably are not interested in managing any aspects of the trip, and are essentially paying to simply not have to worry about any logistics at all.

  5. whether u can afford that in a lump sum or not is one thing, but otherwise that price sounds good for all that F class travel, hotel rooms at highest level under suite and all that 5 star food plus all the excursions.

  6. I guess their target audience are retired couples with lots of money to spend but who are not savvy with the winders of booking online, redeeming awards and reading blogs like One Mile at a Time. šŸ™‚ Seriously, i can see the specific audience paying that kind of money for a “worry free” travel experience. People that like to be baby sited all the time and do not have to worry about ground transportation, booking restaurants, luggage, etc… This program has been going for a while and I guess it is pretty easy to fill those 52 seats.

  7. Seems like it’d compete with high-end luxury around-the-world cruises vs. other kinds of air/hotel deals.

    @santastico is right – rich retirees. My parents have become cruise lovers in their retirement – not at these prices – but all the catalogs have packages in the best rooms for year-long trips over 100K.

  8. A&K and other high-end travel companies have been doing this for years and there is a significant demand for it. Not just rich retirees but also “regular” folks who save for years in order to take a trip-of-a-lifetime.

  9. I know of at least 2 other tour operators who have similar dedicated chartered 757. And of course, the Iron Maiden “Ed Force One” which was the ultimate round-the-world chartered 757.

    The 757 is such a wonderful and versatile aircraft.

  10. You can find the price on their website:
    Around the World – Feb 2015

    Let the people, places and rich traditions unique to these nine destinationsā€”from fire dancers in Bora Bora to architectural wonders in India and Australiaā€”guide you along this transcendent, 24-day journey.

    February 9-March 4, 2015

    USD 119,000 per person
    See below for details

  11. Man, if I had it right now, I’d book 3 seats and take my toddler with us. Just so we can have a thread about whether toddlers belong on the FS private jet šŸ™‚

  12. @ Lucky – if $119,000 is too much, this two week journey is a bargain šŸ˜‰


    Backstage with the Arts
    Immerse yourself in the art, music, culture and history of Europeā€™s most celebrated cities, enjoying exclusive performances, behind-the-scenes tours of landmark attractions and museums, and sensational dining throughout the 16-day journey.

    April 20-May 5, 2015
    USD 69,000 per person

    @ Ed — toddlers aren’t really welcome per their FAQ:


    Are children allowed?
    Itā€™s important to note that our journeys are designed with adults in mind, including the itineraries, menus and alcohol service. If you would like to travel with children, we recommend that you consider only well-traveled, older (12+) children. Please feel free to discuss specific recommendations with one of our Guest Service Managers.

  13. The aviation geek in me loves this. As 757s are being retired from passenger service, there is a great opportunity for them to be used as chartered aircraft. Uses the legs of the plane to the fullest and the cost of acquiring the plane has gone down so it doesn’t need to be flown daily.

    Although yes, one can probably book a better RTW for less – but you’d likely need to eliminate the Bora Bora stop. Good luck finding flat beds into Kona, and flights into Bora Bora are definitely tricky

    What i could see this jet doing is running LA-Kona-Bora Bora round trips to support the Bora Bora resort.

  14. I run private trips for billionaire and millionaire clients, though we are strictly word-of-mouth. Our clients do one of two things with planes: they bring their own or fly first class to the area of travel and then have a chartered Gulfstream waiting to take them throughout the region. I much prefer the latter.

    When clients insist on brining their own plane, let’s say to Thailand, they usually have to stop and refuel in Alaska. Then, they need to refuel in Japan and the pilots need to sleep, they have to overnight near the airport. Then they finally get to Thailand and someone needs to arrange for pilots and crew to sleep, tour, etc. Fuel and associated costs are also enormous. My favorite setup is flying in on a 380 F class and having the G6 waiting.

    I still haven’t made up my mind on this Four Seasons service, but I’m leaning towards no:

    Firstly, while the FS does have great hotels, they are not always the best in each location. These people usually want the best. Four Seasons in Chiang Mai, sure, and then Aman in Indonesia and Orient Express in Sicily.

    Secondly, the people in this group are a well-traveled bunch. Likely, they are not interested in one or more of the destinations. They have probably been to Sydney and London enough times. To many of these guys, time is their most valuable asset and they absolutely won’t suffer through something they are not thrilled about. Additionally, I’ve found people like to see places and cultures in more depth than a one-stop hop.

    Third, the turnkey argument doesn’t really jive with me. If you can afford to spend $220k on a 3-week vacation for you and your partner, you can pay someone $10k to make ALL the arrangements and never have to lift a finger. For not much more someone will accompany you every step of the way.

    Fourth, the inflexibility is debilitating. What if you want an extra day? What if you want to do a daytrip to visit some friends? Again, at this level of travel you don’t expect to hear “no ” a lot, but then again you don’t expect to be on a 52-person tour group either.

    I don’t profess to know what all “these people” want and feel, these are just my thoughts after traveling with similar clients on many, many occasions. However, 52 seats aren’t that many to fill, so this would be the niche within a niche within a niche.

  15. It appears that Stanford is using this exact aircraft for a trip in October, marketed to alumni. Same pricing, but no mention of Four Seasons. SFO to Paris via Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, Oman and Morocco. Appeal is probably traveling with fellow alumni and regional experts from the University. Still, seems steep for people who could afford a great deal of personalization and hand-holding via other means.

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