Fly Silverjet, please

I was going to write a post after returning from my latest trip to London urging anyone who could afford to to fly Silverjet, the last remaining independent all-business airline (after the death of Eos and Maxjet) because I want this one to stay in business. Today, there was some bad news as Silverjet is having issues with getting cash out of its latest line of credit. They say they are still flying the usual schedule between New York-Newark, London-Luton, and Dubai. But clearly things are at risk. Damn. Damn. Damn.

I’m telling you: This is the way to fly. That was the conversation among passengers in the lounge going over and in the line for U.S. Customs coming back. It’s no nonsense: Arrive at the lounge, hand them your passport, sit down and have a drink, they bring you your boarding pass, you get on the jet, you have your own space, you can lie down and go to sleep, you arrive at an uncrowded airport in London — no Heathrow madness — and head easily into the city. The food is good, the service wonderful. Everything I hate about other airlines today, I love about Silverjet. (And I’m not getting a thing out of saying this; it’s a happy and frequent flier’s endorsement, pure and simple.)

BA is about to start its mostly business-class airline, OpenSkies, but it’s flying only from New York JFK to Paris CDG*, two nightmare airports, and it is maintaining three classes (business seats recline only 140 degrees). Drat. And Virgin is supposed to follow. But I’m afraid their prices will be high so they don’t cannibalize their regular services. Silverjet’s prices are reasonable considering the level of service.

I don’t fly Silverjet to get free wine. I fly so I can lie flat, take my Ambien, sleep through the night, arrive in London in the morning full of my dreaded vim, and get a day’s work in. It’s worth the money to me to save the lost day. And on the way back, I can plug in my laptop and get a good seven hours’ work done (with a little free wine).

If you have a chance and if it stays afloat, please fly Silverjet. You will thank me. And I will thank you.

: By the way, OpenSkies is trying to market itself virally with a blog, even, which I learned about in a comment here from someone who wondered whether they were following my advice. We’ll see.

* CORRECTION: OpenSkies will fly into Orly, not CDG. I’ve not flown into Orly but it has to be better than CDG. Also note that OpenSkies objects to my calling the highest of three classes on the plane first class; they call it business class. I’d say this is rather like fighting with Starbucks over small, medium, and large — a fight I obnoxiously continue to the death. But duly noted. (I’m sure they call it that so company accountants will not object to expense reports.)

  • asdfklj

    really rich people will pay big money to spend hours on a bed in the sky.

    so wheres google jets ? they got billions they can figure out a way to make money and beat everybody else.

  • http://baldysblog.com Phil Balderson

    I completely agree! SilverJet has set a new standard for travel. I actually enjoyed my last flight to NY – which is the first time I’ve enjoyed a commercial flight for ten years.

    This business deserves to win!

  • Udang Siput

    Fully agree – BUT – But what if after buying the ticket, the airlines collapses? Now I will end up stranded and having to find a way to get my money back and hope for a last minute seat on another airline.

  • Rawn Lee

    I have the same concern. What guarantees for paid up customers stranded if SilverJet goes? They will surely not give us 24 hours notice, will they? After yesterday’s news in the Int. Heradf Tribune, it will be a hard sell.

  • Cooler Heads

    What does it cost to fly SilverJet versus another airline? Also, rising fuel costs are going to make it even more expensive.

  • http://benmetcalfe.com Ben Metcalfe

    Jeff – do you fly on your own money or client’s?

    I only fly business class when I get upgraded from premium-econommy (flying so often between SFO-LAX and SFO-London gives me status). I would never buy business class out of my own money. It’s a total waste of money imho.

    Im not going to say don’t fly silverjet, or any others, but for me the fact these other airlinesa are going out of business is indicative that many seem to agree. I’d much rather see an all-premium economy airline that has amazing service at a regular price.

  • Tim

    Seems to me if a company is offering a worthwhile service, people will line up to use it and it will become profitable.

    There’s something about this type of travel that isn’t working. Not that I’m an opponent of Silverjet; sounds like an awesome idea.

  • bruce

    silverjet is the best. just flew for the first time on may 25th, 2 days after the shares stopped trading. bought plenty of insurance. got to new york and hopefully will make it back.
    the service was incredible and food more than adequate.
    the price $4200 for two was considerably cheaper than klm or delta at $7100. we did have to take a short hop from a’dam to luton and stay overnight but even that added cost put the price well below the others.
    highly recommend silverjet if you can afford it.
    i’ts a great business model for $80 oil, but i’m afraid that silverjet is doomed at $100+ oil even with all flights filled to capacity (100). too bad.

  • Alex

    They have just gone under. I got a call ten minutes ago from clients that said the Luton airport has Silverjet with a sign on it that says it has gone out of business. Crap….

  • paul

    What a shame, I flew Silverjet in january and was thinking of going to Dubai in November. The Flight to NYC was fantastic I cant belive that such a good product can go bust!!!

    At least the outlasted Ken Livingstone, who as a right slimmy so and so and never apoligised for complaining about Silverjet when in fact he was complaining about turbulance, (acts of god are not Silverjets doing).

    anyway, was the best flight to NYC i ever made

  • http://SILVERJET Langdon Stevenson

    Silverjet was great, but my wife and I were stranded when it shut down. As we had been traveling in the UK we had no notice that operations had ceased, and when we arrived at Luton Airport on June 10 we found a note on the lounge door stating that fuel prices had put them out of business.We had to retreat to London and then complete our trip back to Newark on Continental tha next day.

    If SILVERJET flies again I hope they will remember their loyal customers who were stuck as we were with an extra hotel night and additional transportation costs. Langdon Stevenson, Mill Valley, CA.

  • http://www.tribalaviation.info/ Fractional Air

    Came across this post looking for something on Eos, MaxJet, or SilverJet. Looks like they are all now dead. I am sorry I missed the party, but from what I can tell their pricing was quite low. The idea was first class service for about what a full-fare coach ticket would cost on the big boy airlines. But such great service as you describe maybe another grand per ticket would have kept them afloat. First-class for transatlantic is about $10K? Half that would still be a bargain.

    Hopefully, someone new will come about and try again.

  • http://www.uk-airport-lounges.co.uk UK Airport Lounge

    I was booked to fly Silverjet in the November after they went bust for the annual trip to New York. It took some hard work tp persuade my wife that the extra cost was worthwhile, but we happened to be travelling on business via Luton and I walked her in to the lounge there and had a couple of their staff talk to her. All booked up, then they went bust. Needless to say I have not been able to persuade her to upgrade us ever since. Thank you Silverjet.