For time-strapped luxury travelers, a private jet vacation can ensure less time traveling and more time enjoying far-flung destinations. At an astronomical price, of course.
“You can get many bucket list destinations in one seamless journey,” said Afrodite Pastroumas, director of product development at TCS World Travel. “You can hit Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, and Petra all in one vacation.”
TCS World Travel designs and operates more than a dozen private jet vacations each year, and also operates them as a part of several brand partnerships. TCS World Travel is owned by TUI Group and has operated since 1991.
A 21-day Cuba and South America itinerary, for instance, is priced at $65,950 per person, double occupancy, and features stops in six different countries.
Some luxury tour operators like Abercrombie & Kent and Lakani World Tours choose to run their own private jet vacations, instead of partnering with an external operator run them.
TCS World Travel also operates vacations under TUI Group’s Travcoa, Zegrahm Expeditions, Quark Expeditions, and International Expeditions brands. External travel industry partners include Smithsonian Journeys, National Geographic Expeditions, and Four Seasons.
Many factors determine what destinations a jet vacations can include, especially when it comes to emerging destinations that may not have the suitable transportation infrastructure to support private jet travel.
“We’re trying to still provide a really compelling list of destinations to attract repeat travelers,” said Pastroumas. “That becomes more complciated when working with factors logistically like where can the jet go, how long can we fly and where do we land. We’ve really specialized in going to those developing countries in 2016, we’re featuring anything from first-world to places like Vanuatu.”
The experience on the ground is created at will based on what guests want. A menu comprised of more active experiences, like tours, is usually available along with a more relaxing set of options, like a spa day.
While the traditional private jet vacation lasts for a few weeks, more luxury consumers are opting for shorter trips.
“We’re looking at creating some shorter journeys as well, I think that monthlong formula is less attractive today than it has been,” said Pastroumas.
TCS World Travel’s brand partners infuse their individual brand identities into the luxury private jet experience, while the vacations themselves are operated by TCS World Travel.
Four Seasons, for instance, has created an experience based around its traditional hotel based luxury aesthetic onboard its private 52-seat Boeing 757.
“Even though the Four Seasons guest is well travelled, he or she is continually looking for new one-of-a-kind experiential adventures that deliver uncompromised luxury,” said Elizabeth Pizzinato, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Four Seasons. “These are also guests who value their most precious commodity – time. No matter the affluence, time is the one thing you cannot buy. The inconvenience of layovers, connections, delays and inflexible schedules can dampen the spirits of the most ardent traveler.”
National Geographic, on the other hand, leverages its network of experts to build a luxury vacation that is as experience-based as its traditional expeditions.
“The National Geographic brand attracts travelers to our jet trips because of the high level of trust they have in us, their high expectations for a superior-quality experience, and the promise of access to experts who will bring their destinations to life,” said a National Geographic Expeditions representative. “National Geographic brings its resources and expertise to the trip through the insights and knowledge of the National Geographic experts who accompany the entire trip.”