Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Way To Travel

Recently, the IFR Pilot had BSF had occasion to attend a week-long trial in a southern locale. Due to the necessity to be on time, we had to fly commercially even though Mike Hotel would have provided far more expedient travel. Nevertheless, the flight home was about as close to private jet travel as the IFR Pilot is ever likely to experience.

We had flown on full fare tickets because of the need for flexibility. Sometimes trials end early or last longer than expected. With the amount most airlines charge now for change fees, it's often easy to justify the added expense of full fare tickets so that change fees can be avoided.

So, when I sat down at the computer that morning to change our return flight, I was presented with a list of five available flights home. I had expected four of them, but there was one that wasn't on the list that my assistant had sent me. It was a few minutes earlier than the flight I had intended to book us on, and so with BSF and I both desiring to get home sooner rather than later, that's the one I picked.

We waited at a fairly uncrowded gate for the late arriving aircraft. It discharged a whole group of young ladies and their parents, who turned about to be traveling for a sports tournament. Suddenly, the IFR Pilot and BSF were paged to see the gate agent. We were asked a whole bunch of questions about when and how we had made our reservation. All in all, a rather strange experience.

It turns out that the IFR Pilot had managed to book passage on the return leg of a charter flight. The young ladies were actually a sports team whose flight the prior evening had been canceled due to weather. As there was not going to be any easy way to scatter them on other regularly-scheduled flights, the airline had set up a special flight to take them to their destination. The plane was due to return to our neck of the woods empty.

And that, kids, is the story of how the IFR Pilot and BSF were the only two passengers on a 75-seat Embraer 145 from Atlanta to Cleveland. Here are the (crummy cell phone camera) pictures to prove it. The FA, shown in one of the pictures, was also kind enough to give me part of the passenger manifest, showing a final passenger count of "2."

Truly, this is the way to travel!


Matthew Stibbe said...

Sweet! :)

Mike Bennett said...

To bad you couldn't check in with the pilots.

Toronto Airport Transportation said...

Wow an exclusive flight. I wonder if I'd ever experience this, too:) One for the books!

Windsor said...

Thats pretty cool. I dont even think Net Jets has any EMB's.
Every once in a while when one of my flights is pretty empty I'll make a PA welcoming them aboard their own personal CRJ to where ever the destination is.

Karachi Hotel said...

Nice picture,it is a exclusive flight.Its create a great inspiration for the peoples and especially for me.

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Zafran ali said...

Wow an exclusive flight.I like so much thank,s for so nice post.
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Oakville Airport Limo said...

I wish i could go inside with with pilots and could see all in real:(