Business Travelers Sharing Private Planes – Realistic or Not?

Forbes published a blog post a few days ago on social travel specifically for the business traveler flying private jets.  Specifically Forbes is trying to figure out “if people would be willing to share their travel plans, share a flight together, let others know what they are up to, so they can meet up on trips, share rides from the airport to the hotel and so forth.”

My thoughts?  I don’t think the concept of business travelers sharing private airplanes will take off broadly.  Why?

People affluent enough to do their business travel via private planes are doing so for multiple reasons.  Their trip needed to be scheduled at the last minute; they’re flying to a hard-t0-get-to location; a deal or otherwise requires quick travel; etc.

The last thing business executives want is to have to “small talk” with strangers in a small airplane.  It’s uncomfortable.  Plus, there’s pressing business to attend to that required the private plane in the first place.  Having strangers on-board would require the business traveler to temper what they’re saying with others in their party.  They may have SEC disclosure, M&A privacy, or general business competitive intelligence concerns.

Plus, most private business flights are very specific when it comes to destinations and travel times.  It may require a lot of work for assistants or otherwise to figure out the flight sharing agreement.  And the last thing an executive wants to do when taking a private plane is have to meet a schedule or wait on another party because their plans changed.  Private planes provide flexibility and flight sharing may take that flexibility away.

Yes, in an ideal world sharing private planes would happen more frequently to save money, the environment, etc.  But in the real world of business travel sharing often isn’t realistic.

What are your thoughts?  Am I missing something here?  Please comment.

Business Travelers Sharing Private Planes – Realistic or Not?

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