Silverjet & Eos

So now I’ve been lucky enough to fly both the all-business-class airlines, Eos and Silverjet, to London, as well as the Swiss all-business-class flight to Zurich. My addiction to business class and my suits are the only vestiges left of my life as a corporate executive. So here’s my report:

Eos remains the gold standard. They have fewer than 50 seats, each one a gigantic mini salon that converts to a bed at 180 degrees flat. The goodies are nice. The departure lounge in New York is luxurious and the food good. They get you a car to the airport in New York and a train ride in London, from Stanstead airport. But JFK is inconvenient for me and it costs at least 50 percent more than Silverjet (but half the price of the big airlines’ business class). If it’s not my money….

Silverjet is, appropriately, the silver-medal winner. It has 100 seats on a 767. They aren’t quite as spacious, of course, but they do lie flat, though not quite at 180 degrees. And they stay in place, which means the guy ahead of you can’t kneecap you and make you claustrophobic at bedtime. Silverjet flies out of Newark, which is quite convenient for me, and into Luton, which is small and far less harried than Heathrow. The Silverjet lounge in Newark is, like Eos’ in Stanstead, so-so (and in Newark, they couldn’t get the wi-fi to work with Macs, which drove me a bit batty). But the Silverjet lounge in Luton is quite nice, available both at departure and landing, and the check-in is a dream.

For comparison’s sake, the Swiss flight to Zurich, run by Privatair, was configured like Silverjet’s but the service wasn’t as nice. And about a year ago, I took a Lufthansa flight run by Privatair out of Munich but it had only old-style, not-flat, business-class seats. Waa-waa-waa.

The great thing about the flat-bed seats is that I get enough snoozing in to wake up a normal human on the other end and never miss a minute of work to the stupor of jetlag. It buys me a day and the way I schedule trips like my latest — with a conference and meetings with seven media organizations — that day is valuable. Really, it’s not just my leftover snobbery.

If you have the money or the expense account I recommend Eos and Silverjet heartily. They are luxuries worth the price at a better price than the big guys.

: LATER: To give further information on fares (following a comment, below), Silverjet’s run from $1,800 to $2,500 roundtrip (a premium for flexible changes). Eos’ run from $2252 to $3438 to $7500 (depending on timing).

  • syd

    1 week Monday to Monday round trip on Eos $6,195. I like comfort too, but I’ll pass. Other times increases to $7,500. Two tickets $15,000 before Flight to London or 2007 Honda Civic…hmmmm

  • You forgot MaxJet – all biz class, with current promo of $499 each way….near-flat, louges, etc.

  • CAO

    Wow. I’ll pass too. I say take advantage of the sale Lufthansa is having right now and spend the savings on something else, like a car.

  • Pete

    Good comments. As for Eos, definitely get in touch with them about discounts. They have great deals for repeats; More in line with the cost of a Yugo but Rolls quality. Also, their points programs beats others hands-down, since you can trade for real tickets (no black-outs) on other airlines and get more points!

  • Michael Abbott

    You can’t even spell correctly (Stanstead i/s/o Stansted)

  • Silverjet has a summer deal for UK bookings to 1st June 2007 – £100 off.
    It helps….

  • Gareth

    A business colleague has used Siverjet twice in the last few months. Both times she got to Luton in the morning to be told the flight was cancelled, and far from a business class experience she was dumped into Virgin Atlantic economy class seating – with nothing from Luton other than a handwritten note giving the flight number.

    If this airline wants to perform with repeat business it had better buck up – or go the way of Air Wales (a welsh local airline with a great heart but appalling service which lasted about 2 years!).

    What they don’t know is the calibre of client trying their service and receiving none includes Tony Award winners who generally have the ear of the media.

    Definitely an own goal, I’d say!

  • Eos is incomparable. It’ still cheaper than biz class in Ba of Virgin but better than their first class. the fact that you only have a few peopl on board makes all the difference in time of borading and deplaning, the onbaord staff and the general mood of the expereince. I have flown it 3 times and everytime I fly others (tried Silverjet to Dubai), I miss the Eos service.

  • Nancy W.

    Eos is now defunct…….. :-( We had tickets booked for this Sept. but now Eos is bankrupt. Have rebooked on Silver Jet which will probably be a big step down from Eos. Hopefully they won’t go bankrupt before our Sept. trip.

  • Mike in Bucks County, PA

    As of tonight, my mid-July booking on SilverJet are looking pretty worthless.

    I will never book on a small airline ever again.

  • Although it is academic now, as both airlines have gone, I can see a return to this type of airline / service once we’re over the current ‘downturn’. I think Eos picked the wrong airport. Stansted is a budget airline hub and it was supposed to be an ultra premium product. The airline shared a terminal with Ryanair and offered no connections. I didn’t like the product either. Prices weren’t far off the discounted business fares on regular airlines from Heathrow, with much better connections and an airport that is no worse. I thought Silverjet was right on the money. A ‘business class’ product for around £1000 return, its own lounge at Luton so you didn’t go in the main terminal, and were it not for the worst recession in aviation history, I think it would have made it. Load factors were much better than Eos. There is still an all business class airline from London to New York though – BA from London City Airport. This is more like the Eos model (as are the fares!), but there are connecting flights from London City, it is a business focused airport and it is near the City / Canary Wharf. BA say load factors are good even in the recession. Let me know when you have given it a try !