Something I will mention in defense of the corporate airplane idea though—not the people in this case certainly—is that when you’re paying someone like a CEO $10,000 an hour, the price of a jet easily outweighs the cost of having them cool their heels waiting in Kansas City for a connection. Add a few subordinates at $3,000 to $5,000 an hour on board and the airplane looks like a deal.
But my irritation as an aviation communicator is focused on the PR lady Lori McTavish who Ryan mentioned. She’s obviously been working for the auto industry for a long time to be considered a senior spokesperson and yet she seems to have no idea how the airplane functions in the organization. Her remark about safety was just silly. It made it sound like the company worried the CEO might die in a crash along with the rest of us riff raff.
What she really meant to say, I think, is that the personal security of company personnel is a huge deal, especially since 9/11. Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, the opportunity to grab Mr. or Ms. Big Shot outside the airline terminal in Medayeen or Khartoum is significant. Companies would jump at the opportunity to pay the ransom too, given the chance. Think pirates for a minute. That’s the way corporations see transporting their senior staff.