Author Topic: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy  (Read 3775 times)

Offline Something Fishy

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I got the text on a Motzei Shabbos:

@DansDeals: Have 1MM Miles Or Top-tier Elite Status? Get 3 Months Of A Free JetSmarter Membership! https://t.co/MXntlh4CkD

Free private jets? Don't mind if I do!

I fired off the email with my status screenshot and two days later my JetSmarter account was active. Being a hopeless aviation geek, flying private has ranked high on my bucket list for years. I've missed out on some earlier JetSmarter promos, and haven't yet had a chance to buy a JetSuite SuiteDeal. So when someone offers three months worth of free private jet flights, I wasn't gonna let that slip away.

There are two kinds of JetSmarter flights available: JetDeals and JetShuttles. JetDeals are ferry flights, where the aircraft is needed in a particular location for a paying customer. These flights were pretty random as far as timing, destinations, and aircraft type, but that was part of the fun - you never knew which interesting things will become available. Best of all, you were allowed to bring a guest along on these flights. These flights tended to become available only a day or so before flying, so being able to make last-minute plans were key.

JetShuttles, on the other hand, are scheduled charters between a few specific destinations and at a set time. Shuttles were for members only; you couldn't bring a guest along. However, you were able to book those months in advance and so it was easier to build more complex itineraries around them.

After all was said and done, I flew five times: three JetDeals and two JetShuttles. Definitely less than I expected to, but between family, work, and spending a week in paradise, I had only so many Sundays available.

I got to fly five different aircraft types, visit a whole bunch of new states and a national park, spend a magical day alone with my daughter in Boston, and have some great times with friends, including a number of airborne DDF DOs.

Yellow: JetSmarter flights
Red: Positioning flights
Blue: Return drives

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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 12:25:30 AM »
Flight 1

Route: Teterboro, NJ - Lebanon, NH (TEB-LEB)
Aircraft: Bombardier Challenger 300
Operator: XOJET
Flight type: JetDeal
Return: One-way car rental
Went with: Co-worker friend

My first flight was just a few days after getting my membership. A JetDeal to Lebanon, NH was posted, and I grabbed it right away. I had never been to New Hampshire, so that was part of the draw for me. A cheap one-way car rental was procured, and I roped in a friend for company ("Want to fly in a private jet? For free?" was enough to convince him in ten seconds flat ;D).

We met at Teterboro, where the private jet experience began right away. No shuttles, parking shenanigans, or taxis - we just drove up to the terminal as if we owned the place. A woman at the desk welcomed us warmly, asked for the tail number of our plane, and directed us towards the sitting area. No crowds, no lines, no overly intimate TSA patdowns - nothing. Just drive up, walk in, and that's that.

A few minutes later our pilot walks up to us to introduce himself, and - completely nonchalantly - tells us that "your jet is ready, but if you prefer, we could give it a few minutes A/C to get going before your board". If that statement didn't make me feel like a spoiled billionaire I don't know what will.

The pilot was back before long, and, ignoring our protestations, grabbed our bags and let us across the apron to... our very own freaking jet:



The only way to fly:





My friend discovering the cordless phone:



Climb out from TEB:


(@rots5)



Snack bar:



My friend insisted on wearing something Lebanon-appropriate:



(Yes, yes, I know that's Moroccan ;D.)

Fancy bathroom, whose toilet seat doubles an an extra passenger seat:



Final approach was quite pretty, with nothing but dense forest all around. The airport itself was a tiny affair, and they happily let us hang around on the apron for some pictures:



We had reserved a car at Enterprise, but it was an off-airport location. No worries - the lady at the airport desk had a couple of Enterprise forms laying around, so we filled that in while she called Enterprise to deliver our car.

While waiting, we had a fascinating discussion with our pilots about the differences between flying for an airline vs. private. Unlike airlines, they don't bid on trips, nor have separate Captain and FO seniority lists. Instead, they have one list, so that more experienced pilots could move to the left seat if they wish. The biggest advantage of being a Captain is that you can choose the better of the two available schedules, and thus get most holidays off. They are also typically current for more than one aircraft and switch between them constantly. Our Captain flew both the Challenger and Citation X; he loved the sportiness of the X but prefered the Challenger due to its roomier cockpit.

After a bit they needed to get back to their aircraft, and our car had arrived, so we said our goodbyes and headed our different ways.

For the first time flying private, I could not have worked out better. Wonderful airport experience at both ends, a large and luxurious aircraft just for ourselves, and some great conversations. From the five JetSmarter aircraft I ended up flying, the Challenger remains my favorite.

Now that we were in New Hampshire, it made sense to do or see something local before heading for home. We weren't much interested in anything normal, so before we left I had pulled up Atlas Obscura's wonderful map tool to see if there's anything weird along our route. Right away I discovered the Main Street Museum, which seemed to be essentially crazy town.

And so it was... "This is the Place":



There was no one around when we walked in, so we went into the main museum space, calling out if anyone is there. Still nothing. I heard a dog bark and looked through a window onto a side porch, and spotted a man trying his best to put a shirt on while simultaneously shoving a half-empty bottle of scotch under a bench.

He finally managed to dress himself, and came through the door only slightly unsteadily. "Welcome to the Main Street Museum!"

This was the perfect introduction to the place, which was basically one long acid trip. The guy was the owner, curator, and today, our personal guide. He led us through the exhibits, and didn't stop speaking for one second. We never know when he was being serious, fibbing, or just crazy.

The place was packed to the rafters with all manner of who knows what. Some things were organized by type, and some just a big jumble of stuff. More than once he would stop at something, say "I have no idea what that is or how it got here", and move on.

The main space:



A real, live, taxidermized Jackalope:



"A sea monster that my friend pulled out of the Connecticut River. He might have been drunk when he did it":



Art made out of human hair, meant to be worn on the forehead:



"Bugs Eating Bugs":



"The Happy Family":



There's a theory:



Chinese tea brick:



Nightmare fuel:



Hmmm:



A llama in a tiara, because of course:



Ah, yes. For when you want to whet your appetite:



I think this telephone is to be used if this thing tries to eat you or something:



No idea if this is an informational sign, or the exhibit itself:



Seems legit:



Things:



A jar in a jar, a mailman's uniform, and a preserved alien. Sounds like the opening to a bad joke:



"Tiny Shoes and More Tiny Shoes":



Spot the odd one out:



There it is - if you've always wanted to see John Denver's breath, you've come to the right place. Hand gathered in Aspen, CO in 1979:



No such thing as Gold or Silver donors here; in this place, it's Seraphim and Cherubim:



Outside:



All in all, we had a great time and I honestly can't recommend the place enough if you're ever in the area. It's a truly unique and entertaining place. And best of all, it's free ;D.

So we headed south again and after a few hours figured it's a good time to stretch our legs, so somewhere in western Massachusetts we made a detour to see the Bridge of Flowers. It seemed to be the biggest attraction in the area, and I figured I may at least get some nice pictures.

It ended up being a complete waste of time, and not even particularly pretty. No need to go even five minutes out of your way for this:







A few hours later we were back at Teterboro, picked up one of the cars, dropped off the rental at the local Enterprise, and went back to the airport for the second car. Got home, had dinner, and went back to refreshing the JetSmarter app waiting for the next great flight to appear.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 09:18:21 PM by Something Fishy »
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Offline davidmal

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2018, 12:48:31 AM »
No kosher food or Synagogues in Lebanon ?

Ps. Your photo makes the bridge worth flying there!!!
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2018, 01:08:10 AM »
There are two kinds of JetSmarter flights available: JetDeals and JetShuttles. JetDeals are ferry flights, where the aircraft is needed in a particular location for a paying customer. These flights were pretty random as far as timing, destinations, and aircraft type, but that was part of the fun - you never knew which interesting things will become available. Best of all, you were allowed to bring a guest along on these flights. These flights tended to become available only a day or so before flying, so being able to make last-minute plans were key.

There is something thrilling about the JetDeals. I would refresh my phone every hour and sometimes more often, just to see what is available. Most times I wouldn’t have been able to make it work in either case :)

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2018, 01:09:55 AM »
No kosher food or Synagogues in Lebanon ?

No idea, we didn't hang around there too long.


There is something thrilling about the JetDeals. I would refresh my phone every hour and sometimes more often, just to see what is available. Most times I wouldn’t have been able to make it work in either case :)

Indeed. I still check it now and then :(.
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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 01:12:47 AM »
Great pic of the TEB departure.

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 01:14:04 AM »
Indeed. I still check it now and then :(.

I deleted the app once my membership expired and reclaimed my day :)

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2018, 11:39:35 AM »
Was waiting for you to finally start posting! Amazing pics of the plane! Looks like the museum was a fun stop.

Offline Work-for-ur-muny

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2018, 06:07:35 PM »
.

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 01:01:27 AM »
On a little trip like this, what camera, gear do you take with you?
T h a n k s !

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2018, 07:55:50 AM »
On a little trip like this, what camera, gear do you take with you?

Kept it simple, typically only one camera and lens - 16-35 on a Nikon D600, D800, or Sony a7R2.

For the second trip though I took a full bag of gear, since I was flying to Acadia National Park. I believe I also took an 85mm along to Bedford.
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Offline davidmal

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2018, 11:32:50 AM »
Kept it simple, typically only one camera and lens - 16-35 on a Nikon D600, D800, or Sony a7R2.

For the second trip though I took a full bag of gear, since I was flying to Acadia National Park. I believe I also took an 85mm along to Bedford.
ALL CARRY ON??? lol
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2018, 07:04:04 PM »
.
Was this one of the artifacts from the museum?  What's this post all about?
Don't try to be someone else , be who you are because everyone else is taken.

Offline Dr Moose

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2018, 11:42:23 PM »
The best is the tag of @Rots5
Hey there! I am using DansDeals Forums.

Online davidrotts63

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Re: Free Private Jets? Sign Me Up! A JetSmarting Summer by Something Fishy
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2018, 11:43:54 PM »
The best is the tag of @rots5 
fixed so he gets notified.
I'll tell you later