Private Jets: Just Another Week on the Road

Sure life on the road looks glamorous, but it can be a grind.

The past couple weeks I kind of felt like I was living my own small version of Groundhog Day, as I left on Wednesday to hop a flight on Southwest, only to get home after Midnight. I then waited 45 minutes for my shuttle that took me long-term parking, so I could then make the drive back home, so I could get a few hours sleep before I woke up to help get my kids ready for school. Since I was in Boise and Las Vegas the past couple of weeks, I needed to take a plane, but I never really enjoy it.

A lot of people think I must take a plane week after week to my gigs. I’ll be in some gig 5 hours away and they will ask, Did You Fly? I truly don’t understand why anyone takes a plane, if it is less than 10 hours away by car, considering the time involved in being at the airport and all the pains of current air travel. When I’m in my car, I know I can bring whatever I want. Bottles of water, exploding shoes, suicide letters proclaiming my actions were in the name of some deity…no problem when I’m traveling in my car.  But these same things can get me thrown into a federal prison if I bring them to the airport. TSA has no sense of humor, I say. Anyway, I always feel like I’m forgetting something or that my driver’s license is going to magically disappear when I’m at the airport, keeping me stuck in Boise.  I don’t fear the flight going down, I just have anxiety about getting through all the checkpoints that go with the modern travel.

I have heard from a number of people who are pretty wealthy that the thing they would buy if they were really wealthy is a private jet.  At the peak of his popularity, my friend, Frank Caliendo, was sharing a small plane with a couple other people. He asked if I could do a week with him in New England (not to be confused with this). It was going to be a tour of some great historic summer venues in the Northeast, plus the bonus of celebrity travel. Sign me up.

Now for you mere mortals, flying on a private plane is pretty awesome. Best part of it is you skip all the crap that goes with the regular airport. When you fly out of a private airport, you walk-in, show your ID to the front desk person with the info of your flight, then you grab some complimentary free fresh cookies and coffee, and sit down in your comfortable waiting room. Their was only  1 or 2 other people. Blissful in comparison to the madness that is the Municipal Airport. Then your 2 pilots come in and introduce themselves, grab your bags and lead you onto the plane.  It really is ridiculously great.  It costs a ton of cash, but as Frank explained it to me, between the 15 percent he was pumping out to a manager and the 10 he was pumping out to an agent (standard world of most big-name comics), the cost of this wasn’t so bad, since travel costs came off the top of what he made, before they got their combined 25 percent. Since Frank had young kids at the time, he also said the extra hours it saved him made some gigs worth doing that he wouldn’t consider otherwise.  Frank is a very sensible, bottom line guy, so his reasoning seemed pretty solid. And anyway, I was just along for the ride.

Now this was a small plane, but it was nice inside. Leather seats, plenty of room to stretch out. Most importantly, no morbidly obese dude rubbing his sweaty flesh against you, no kids kicking the back of your chair, no one dropping their overstuffed luggage on your head as they try to sardine it in the overhead compartment. It was the only time I’ve ever went to the airport and enjoyed it. The whole experience seemed to go by way to fast. After just 1 week of this type of travel I totally understood why you would never want to fly commercial again. Then reality set-in, that these flights cost more than what I make in a 3 month period, so I realized I need to spend 100’s of hours working on my impressions or forget about getting to do this again.  Back to my car.

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