Ever wondered what life is like on the road for a crew member of a private jet charter company? Our very own Falcon 7X pilot, Sam Morris is spilling the tea on what a typical “rotation” looks like for a Planet 9 pilot.
Being on the road as a Planet 9 crew member is one of the most unique ways a person can live for two weeks. While still maintaining thrill and excitement, traveling the world has become our profession and globe-trotting our “norm”. From traversing time-zones, adapting to last-minute trip changes and coordinating all of the logistics to make each flight impeccable, to say that our 2 week duty on the road is a “vacation”, would be far from the truth. However, when these variables are coupled with an amazing team of a well-spirited “road family” and the unparalleled support of our management and operations teams, the lifestyle becomes one we embrace and live for.
When I recount some of my rotations with my friends and family, I often forget how incredible a 2 week rotation can be. Nothing can ever be expected.…one minute we are planning to fly from LA to London, and within an instant our destination has changed from London to Tokyo, then Paris. Being a Planet 9 crew member requires becoming a professional situation-adapter as we strive to make each flight an unforgettable trip for our clients, while balancing an ever-changing global environment.
With the world as our office and our “floating fleet” business model, Planet 9 crew members live all throughout the contiguous United States. We work on a 2 week on / 2 week off set schedule, which allows us ample time for plenty of rest in between “shifts” to ensure we are at peak performance for our 2 weeks on the road.
A Rotation To Remember
I am lucky enough to reside in the beautiful and vibrant city of Scottsdale, Arizona, so when the day came to start my rotation I headed to Phoenix airport to catch a flight to Paris, where I would meet up with the Falcon 7x and the rest of it’s designated crew.
Our first trip on the schedule was a quick flight to Cannes, France, where we were welcomed with a stunning visual approach. After dropping off our passengers, we closed our doors and set course for Orleans, France. Upon arrival, we ran into an issue we encounter every now and then with our last-minute lifestyle: no available hotels in the entire city. Thankfully, we were able to find accommodations in a neighboring town named Beaugency, France. The town was like something out of a fairy-tale and had very few English speaking residents…. even so, it quickly became one of my favorite European discoveries. That evening, we joined as a crew to eat a delicious outdoor French dinner before finally calling it a night for some much needed rest.
The following morning, feeling energized and eager for our next mission, we returned to Orleans for a flight to New York City. Less than 24 hours of being in New York, we found ourselves back in the air flying Trans-Atlantic to Nice, France.
After a late-morning arrival, we ate lunch as a crew and mozied off to bed at 2PM to ready ourselves for our 4 AM show-time the following morning. Much of our responsibility as crew members is managing our sleep schedule to ensure we are operating at the high levels of efficiency in order to uphold our high Planet 9 safety standards.
Well rested and ready to fly again, the following morning we departed Nice and headed on to Naples, Italy to pick up our passengers along with some delicious pizza and pasta catering. A few hours and another Atlantic crossing later, we found ourselves back in New York City, just in time for dinner and an early bed-time. We made sure to sleep in the following morning because at 7pm that night we were scheduled for another long flight, this time over to Moscow, Russia.
Upon our early afternoon arrival into Moscow, we were told we’d have a few days to enjoy the city. While the majority of our time on the road is spent alternating between flying and resting, the most rewarding part of the job is when we get to spend time exploring a brand new city. In Moscow, we tried local Russian cuisine and, of course, explored the famous Red Square and captured an obligatory picture at St. Basil’s.
After a few days of fun and much appreciated downtime, our next mission led us to Copenhagen, Denmark. We arrived in Copenhagen just in time to have dinner on the famous Nyhavn canal where we enjoyed the sight of the picturesque pastel buildings, and even made a few new friends.
The following day, we welcomed our passengers and carried them home to Miami, Florida. Of course, while being in Florida, an authentic Cuban dinner is a must. The night of our arrival, we fulfilled our cultural duties before heading out again the following day to Nassau in the Bahamas.
Our journey, led us from the Caribbean to yet another hidden European gem: Laval, France. A few days later, we concluded our 2 week tour with one last flight to London, where we swapped crews and finally headed home.
As Planet 9 crew members, we have the ultimate privilege of delivering our passengers with an unforgettable 5-star experience, while being given an incredible opportunity to meet new people, explore parts of the world we’ve never even heard of, and create memories that will truly last a lifetime. It’s a fun, challenging, and spontaneous lifestyle, but surrounded by the support of our Planet 9 family, it has become our home.