Gorgeous dishes and champagne, all served to highly paid individuals is all part and parcel of the real story behind private jet dining! With a wealth of experience in the private chef industry, working with a wide range of clients including HNW individuals and families, I know firsthand how jet dining takes dining to a whole new level (quite literally!).
It should be noted that some jet owners converts their huge planes solely for private use with a hefty price-tag to match! That said, regular private jet travellers understand the limits of in-flight cooking. While at lot of passenger desire simple food, cocktail party canapés are proving ever popular too. What’s more, sandwiches and salads are also popular.
Some establishments overseas have packaging designed specifically for the private jet service such as Cipriani in New York and Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami. In remote locations it can be difficult to secure specific requests, even something as mundane as a brand and flavour of Greek yogurt, although the industry mantra is to do whatever it takes.
The best option for private jet dining is anything that doesn’t drip, and things you don’t have to twirl. It is important to remember about strong aromas. With this in mind, it’s recommended to stay well away from food like curry. You can have curry, but if you have curry, you are going to have the aroma of the curry until you land and open the cabin door!
Typically, volume is largest at breakfast and moderates at lunch, tailing off at dinner. Private jet travellers are often making multiple stops in a day. For many, when passengers get onboard for a flight, it’s their only time to eat, so a full meal is most welcome! In essence, the general rule of private jet is small portions, clean food and high quality. There are often regional menus so in-flight meals require lots of planning.
One thing that is true about the private aviation segment is the industry is always trying to do whatever it takes to accommodate the customer. It’s filling all customers’ needs on that flight to make it the best possible experience. Furthermore, catering varies widely based not only by length of travel, but who’s flying. While what’s being served may not be as luxury as one would think, a big benefit is being able to get exactly what you want.
In terms of alcoholic consumption, it’s mainly a glass or two of wine with the meal, perhaps one cocktail or more often a beer. Again, since many customers don’t plan on drinking, specific wines and spirits that haven’t been ordered aren’t always in stock. As a further impediment, caterers aren’t always licensed to sell alcohol.
In all in, flying privately does mean perks. Here’s some important things to remember when it comes to private jet dining.
Punctuality is not polite, it's crucial
Being late isn’t an excuse. Time is money and the plane needs to get up and into the air as planned. If you miss your slot, you may go hungry!
Behave as you would on a yacht
Luxury jets are likely to be bespoke in terms of decor and interior. Whatever you do, don’t cause any cause as this could prove excruciatingly expensive to repair.
Here's a tip: don't
As a gesture, if you’d like to thank your pilot this will be most welcome but don’t tip them as you would waiting staff.
Resist taking selfies and posting them on social media. Luxury jet dining is an experience to experience, not an opportunity to take selfies.
Dress the part
If it isn't a business trip, cocoon yourself in the accepted high-net-worth travel uniform. Wear something you feel comfortable in, but dress to impress.