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Four Seasons has just revealed its completed private jet that it announced last year, and, as hoped, it is a haven of luxury travel inspired by crisp champagne and snappy caviar.
The design of the cabin is contemporary, characterized by pleasing contrasts, with light playing off a blank canvas framed in texture and glossy finishes. The white hand-crafted flatbed leather seats are from Italian VIP aircraft seating manufacturer Iacobucci. The trim of hand-woven woolen carpet, and a touch of burnt orange panache in the decorative throw pillows enliven what is otherwise a stark, neutral modern minimalism.
Other luxury passenger touch-points include include Bose noise-cancelling headphones, Bvlgari amenity kits, fine tableware for the dining service, and soft Mongolian cashmere blankets to keep your toes toasty.
“In our hotels, spaces are conceived as settings for great experiences,” says Dana Kalczak, Vice President, Design, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “The same is true for the Four Seasons Private Jet. Along with the core objectives of comfort and functionality—and adherence to strict aircraft safety standards—we wanted to create an exceptionally luxurious ambiance, and Champagne and caviar became our inspiration.”
Adam White, owner of Factory Design, London, the project’s designer, says the Four Seasons was emphasized a light, open, lounge feel for the interiors. “It was key that the onboard experience felt like an extension of the hotel experience in a really joined up way,” he says.
The team also considered how the Four Seasons looks after their guests in its hotels, and ensured that same feeling carried over to the onboard experience, both in the product and the service.
The 10 smartly-dressed Four Seasons-trained in-flight crew (including an Executive Chef, a Sous Chef, a Four Seasons Concierge and a Global Guest Services Manager) are onboard to pamper passengers in the manner to which they have become accustomed.
In-cabin dining is prepared to be as close to standards of Four Season dining on the ground as being onboard an aircraft permits. As the airline’s Chef Kerry Sear explains:
“Our aim is to recreate the hotel experience on the Four Seasons Private Jet, which means creating innovative meals using fresh ingredients, served on the finest tableware and linens, all with impeccable Four Seasons service. The only real difference is that occasionally we have to do a little juggling when there’s turbulence!”
A curious feature missing from the aircraft are the large In-Flight Entertainment screens, so often called upon to distract passengers on commercial airlines from cabin conditions. White tells us that was entirely intended. “This really adds a to the sense of the space being more like a glamorous lounge than an aircraft,” he says. And passengers aren’t missing out on entertainment.
“By providing all passengers with iPads, passengers are able to behave in the way they would at home or out and about, relaxing, sitting back and browsing a hand held device,” says White.
Each Four Seasons journey includes air travel and ground transportation, planned excursions, all meals and beverages throughout the trip, and luxurious accommodations exclusively at Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world. The Four Seasons Private Jet, including accompanying staff and crew, can also be privately chartered.
Passengers whose budgets don’t quite stretch to the level of an exclusive Four Season’s experience, can find some of these features onboard commercial carriers too. Here are some beer budget for the champagne-lifestyle suggestions.
If you like the white leather seats, but don’t quite like paying an arm and a leg to sit on them, try Virgin America’s First Class instead:
You get 55 inches of leg room, what the airline describes as a “curated menu of premium snacks” and a full meal on flights longer than two hours.
If you like receiving personal comfort items as part of your ticket, but no-way want to pay for first or business class to get them, try flying Etihad’s new Reimagined Economy which gives passengers in coach a lovely bit of kit to make the flight more restful.
If you’re an in-flight foodie but can’t quite stomach the bill that goes with a private jet flight, then we might suggest giving Singapore Airlines a shot. You’re bound to eat well regardless of the class of service you fly with this airline, and its new Premium Economy Cabin now comes with a Book-the-Cook flexible in-flight dining menu. It lets you mix and match from the appetizing selection of treats and reserve your bespoke in-flight dining experience when you book your ticket or up to 24 hours before your flight.
If you’ve got a bit more money to toss around, and want the personal attention due to the “V” in your “VIP,” consider First Class on Lufthansa. Your cabin will literally feature rarified air (seriously, the airline researched and engineered more restful, jetlag-reducing First Class cabin air settings). And, if you fly out of select European cities you get access to a dedicated lounge, in a dedicated terminal, which includes a dedicated limousine ride out to the aircraft. So there’s that.
Of course, if you’ve got the dosh (i.e. dinero) and want to avoid the hassle of flying on commercial airlines, the Four Season’s Private Jet succeeds in putting the ‘love’ in ‘luxury’ at 30,000 feet.