Well my day in a rapper’s entourage is over and what a weird experience it was. Hilariously, I found out that there was a Rue Ryan AND an Avenue Ryan in the city some 15 km apart on different sides of the airport. So there was a hundred dollar taxi ride around a part of town I don’t usually see.
But even after a twenty something minute detour I was then so early to the VIP lounge that there was nobody there and no lights on so I wondered around a bit and bumped into security. They told me that I did in fact have the correct door but that people don’t usually arrive so early. There I am, acting like a poor person again and arriving at the airport an hour and a half before the flight time.
The security folks called across to the lounge to make sure I could get in and I was greeted with the enthusiasm and hospitality of a professionalism of a customer satisfaction rep. Anne asked me about my accident, and how I arrived in Canada. In hindsight a very clever play, in the space of 15 minutes she had most of my life story and yet I know absolutely nothing of hers. Although I did appreciate some of her assessments. When I refused her offers of coffee or tea, she instantly switched to “well a do have a selection of tequilas”. Bit early for that, but I think that confirms my suspicions that tequila is the new scotch.
The jet itself was a little underwhelming. The decoration was that of “fancy caravan”, with the sofa being functional foam rather than a real sofa. But us poor folks still sat in the back which meant that we got to experience takeoff sideways. Which is surprisingly unpleasant as soon as the nose pulls up and you’re thrown sideways.
Interesting to see how the other half lives though. The eight of us had climbed aboard and were sat waiting in the aircraft, when the boss makes the predictable big balled move of turning up twenty minutes late and having her SUV drive across the tarmac to the plane’s stairs. The pilot obviously knew her by name and had prepared her coffee.
On the other end, a motorcade of blacked out SUVs worthy of the president in a knockoff TV show drove to the plan and whisked us away to our destination. Formation driving on the highway drew the horns of a few truck drivers, but our own chauffeur appeared to have not been programmed with emotions.
The drivers dropped us off at a discreet distance from the main entrance to our destination such that nobody looking out a window would notice our arrival.
The meeting itself was brisk, but surprisingly uneventful. It wasn’t quite the bloodbath of lusty hard selling I’d perhaps hoped it would be. Context was set ahead of time and it was mostly just pleasantries with a clear expectation that we’d be working again, just as soon as they’d got a rubber stamp on the finances for next year.
After that we were whisked away in the same SUVs and taken directly to the plane. Within 20 minutes we were in the air.
I wouldn’t rate the private plan experience as any better than business class. But not having to deal with crowds at an airport. The huge queues at drop off and the taxi rank of leaving. Just walking onto a plane without security demanding you take everything apart. Heck! I just grabbed some water and walked on the plane with a bottle. The private terminal experience was amazing. And of course, the lack of the constant clock watching. You know you’re never going to miss the plane when the plane is waiting for you.
I would estimate that the whole experience was probably around the $10k mark. But considering nine of us travelled down and Air Canada was wanting over $1000 per person last minute. There is definitely a case to be made for it.
I’ll be surprised if I have a day again anytime in the future where anyone tries to give me so many bottles of free water !