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.)