London to Shanghai on a Private Jet

Unfortunately, I am not wealthy enough to have experienced the luxury of private jet charter myself.  Instead, I thought I would compose a short story to illustrate just what it is like to fly on your own private jet, and have enlisted the help of luxury private jet charter service JET D’OR to fill in the blanks.  I hope you enjoy it!


Private Jet Experience with JET D’OR – A Short Story


Slowly I open my eyes.  It always takes me a minute to remember quite where I am on any given day – for the most part, all these hotel rooms are the same. The accents and faces change, the décor more traditional or contemporary; but in reality I could be anywhere.

As I start to come-to, and as I look around, I realise I am in London.  I flew into Heathrow not 24 hours earlier for an hour-long meeting with a potential client.  I reach over the pick up the telephone to order breakfast, and more importantly, coffee.  As I wait, I fire up my laptop to find a whole stream of unread emails.

Groaning, I discover there’s a crisis at one of my company’s manufacturing plants near Shanghai. With the Chinese being 8 hours ahead, it would appear things started to go wrong shortly after I fell asleep around 2am.

I need to get to China. Inconveniently, I was meant to be flying on Emirates back to JFK later this evening.  Even more troublingly, my Executive Assistant reminds me it’s Chinese New Year this weekend, and it seems the entire world is flying to China – she can’t get a flight.  This can’t wait; it’s just too important.

It’s times like this that I’m very aware, but also very grateful that I have the means to be able to do this:  I call JET D’OR to see if they can arrange a private jet, and am immediately get through to Diana.

“Good Morning, Mr. Stowe. Where to today?” It’s the small things, but straight away, just by Diana’s greeting and familiar voice, I already feel reassured – at least about the flight.  It’s short notice, I know, but whenever I need to fly on a private jet, it’s usually some kind of emergency.  I explain my situation, and find to my relief, that they have a Gulfstream G650 available and we can be wheels up from Luton within a few short hours.

Done. At least for me. Behind the scenes, back at JET D’OR, people are springing into action. Standby pilots and cabin crew need to be ready, flight plans need to be filed.

Thankfully, I can be left to enjoy my breakfast and reassure my team that I will be in China for the start of business tomorrow.

Unfortunately, I can’t do anything about the 8 hours I will lose in the air.


I’m just finishing up my breakfast, when I get a call from Diana.  We’ll be ready to take off at 11:30am.  A car will be with me in an hour.

Frantic packing isn’t required. I’ve only got carry-on, and I’ve barely had time to open my suitcase.


Straight out of the front door of the Langham, a quick glance up Portland Place, where the myriad embassies are just starting to come to life, and into my waiting Rolls Royce Phantom.  Out comes the laptop, and connecting straight to the wifi hotspot in the car, I settle in to do some damage control while the driver expertly navigates his way through the rush-hour traffic of Marylebone.


Somewhere in between trying to juggle my laptop and mobile phone, what feels like hundreds of emails, and about 10 phone calls and two teleconferences, we pull through the security gate at Luton’s private airport.  There’s no three hours required between check-in and departure required here.  Security is a breeze, and passport control almost cordial.  We pull up alongside the waiting Gulfstream, the massive Phantom suddenly feeling miniscule alongside the massive wing of the aircraft.


Up the stairs of the G650.  The pilot comes to greet me, “We’re clear to taxi out as soon as you’re settled in Mr. Stowe.” Given I’m the only one on the flight, I have the pick of the seats.

Private Jet Experience with JET D'OR - Interior

“Given I’m the only one on the flight, I have the pick of the seats”


The stewardess hands me a glass of Dom Perignon as we’re cleared for take-off – “wheels-up”, right on time.

The private jet comes fully equipped, and has global wi-fi, so out comes the laptop and I settle in for a working flight.

13:00PM (GMT) (Flight Time – 1.5 Hours)

Lunchtime. Laid out in front of me on the ash burl-veneered table is silverware.  The team know what I like, and a light lunch of chicken tagine has been pre-ordered for me.

18:00PM (GMT) (Flight Time – 6.5 Hours)

Stefany the stewardess sets the table before me, and pours a glass of wine ready for dinner.

After I finish, I ask the flight crew to bring me one of their pre-loaded iPads and dim the cabin lights.  I settle in to watch a film and try to get a little bit of sleep.

21:00 (GMT) (Flight Time – 9.5 Hours)

I come around and ask for the lights to be turned up and for a much-needed coffee.  We’ll be starting our descent in a little over an hour and a half.

23:00 (GMT) 07:00 (Local)

Touchdown.  I’m whisked off the aircraft and through border control, back into an S-Class, and back to the madness.  As I sit and watch the sun rise in a smoggy Shanghai, I realise I feel refreshed. A rare feeling indeed in international travel, where ordinarily I would have had to fight my way through baggage claim, customs and taxi ranks by now.

As T.S. Eliot says: “It’s the journey, not the arrival that matters.”  He was only half right, however, as feeling this good on arrival after flying this far, really does matter.  None of it would be possible without the journey – care of JET D’OR.


Thanks to the JET D’OR team for filling in the blanks on this short story.  If you would like to experience this for yourself, contact  A trip like the above would start at around $140,000.


NB: This piece was written with the help of JET D’OR, but entirely free-of-charge.  Manporium receives no commission or sales as a result of the article!

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