Well, this trip was not exactly on an airliner, but it was interesting so I'll file a report. Hope you enjoy.
Friday, September 15, 2000.
The stretch limo arrived at our house for the 90 minute ride to hartford's Bradley International Airport at 3:30. My parents and were going to South Bend to watch my alma mata, the University of Notre Dame, take on the Boilermakers of Purdue. We got to the Signiture Aviation ramp at 4:45 and met my aunt and uncle, who is the CEO of a major U.S. financial services corporation and the "owner" of the plane. We climbed aboard the aircraft, a Falcon 50, a few minutes later. I was able to ride the jump seat, which I got into. The plane was pretty small inside and it took an act of contortion to get into the seat. I said hello to Captain Charlie and First Officer Mike and we were soon off to the runway (24, I think). After getting airborne, we climbed quickly to 35,000 feet and I left the cockpit to have some dinner. Ingrid, the flight attendent set-up my table and served me a delicious lobster salad with a warm role and a Diet Coke with lime. After this, she came around with a tray of shrimp cocktail and lobster claws, which was followed by desert. As this was being finished, we started our descent into South Bend, so went back to the cockpit. At about 3000 feet, we flew over the Notre Dame campus, which, of course, was magnificent. Soon we were on final approach to runway 36. After landing, I directed the crew to the Corporate Wings ramp (as I have made many flights to South Bend I knew where it was). We got off the plane and our bags were loaded into our rnetal car, which was parked next to the plane.
Saturday, September 16, 2000
Notre Dame beat Purdue 23-21 on a last minute field goal by our new sophomore kicker!
Sunday, September 17, 2000
We got back to the plane at 12;30, parked the car and got on. There was no need to mess with any forms to retrun the car as I gather this was done by the Corporate Wings' staff after we left. In fact, we never saw anyone from the rental car company. After takeoff from runway 27L, we climbed to 37,000 feet and flew obver Detroit, Lake Erie, the Finger Lakes and northern New York. I had a turkey snadwhich and some pasta salad served by ingrid, but I also could have had chicken ceasar salad, tuna fish or ham. I returned to the cockpit after lunch, just as we began our descent. The flight took about 90 minutes. On landing, we made a swooping turn over Springfield, MA and then had to avoid a plight plane flying a banner. After landing, it was a quick taxi to the same ramp where we left and in about five minutes, we were in the limo and back on the road to home.
Next year, my uncle's company will be getting two new Falcons, one of which will be able to fly with one stop to anywhere in Asia. Although it is a luxurious way to fly, it does, I think pay for itself in the time that my uncle can save in tavel (which I estimate to have been ten hours on this trip.
Stay tuned at the end of the week for a report on my flight to London via Paris on Air France traveling in L'Espace 180 (first class) . . .