Trip Report: Private Jet & Helicopter

About a year ago, Jet Smarter, the “Uber of private jets” had a coupon for $1000. However, at that time, you couldn’t actually use the coupon. A couple days ago, Jet Smarter released a three-month trial membership, which momentarily allowed me to use the old coupon. Due to another glitch, I was able to book a round-trip on New York – Washington, including helicopter transfers to/from Manhattan. I even got a cheese/meat plate for free, normally costing $40.

My flight left at 6PM, and I was told to be at the downtown Manhattan helipad an hour before departure. I arrived around 4:50PM, and was brought into a small room with sofas, coffee, and water. There were quite a few people in the room, all Jet Smarter customers. It seemed like most of them made regular trips to/from Los Angeles. The room was pretty dank, with worn-out sofas and was overheated. I was only in there for ten minutes and was brought to the helipad and taken to Teterboro airport in New Jersey.

helicopter

I was alone in the helicopter, and it was amazing. I was on there for maybe eight minutes, and the wind was literally turning us around in circles. You think aeroplane turbulence is bad? Imagine having windows down to your feet, and having a helicopter bouncing, turning, and going on its side. I was surprised we actually took off, considering most flights from New York airports were cancelled that day due to wind.

air

Upon landing in Teterboro, there was a van waiting for me. They said since I was the only passenger, we could leave immediately. I was greeted by my pilots, who took my photo, checked by ID, and explained the safety procedures of the aircraft. They also gave me the meat/cheese plate, which was pretty tasty.

jet

cheese

The aeroplane fit 10 or 12 passengers, but I was the only one. It was small, and you certainly couldn’t stand upright in the cabin. However, the chairs were comfortable, and having the entire cabin to myself was pretty frickin’ cool. Coffee, tea, pop, and snacks were provided, though they used to offer alcohol which was removed due to overconsumption by other passengers.

seat

The short flight to Washington-Dulles was turbulent, but we landed significantly early at the Signature Private Air services terminal. The terminal was pretty bare, with comfortable sofas, popcorn, water/tea/coffee. After refuelling, we flew back to New York, with a helicopter already ready to drop me off in Manhattan.

Since this experience was free, it was absolutely amazing.  While the private aeroplane was cool, I’d say domestic first is actually a more comfortable way to travel. Regardless, good on Jet Smarter for honouring the flights!

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