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The History of Luxury Flying and Why It’s Valuable Today

Luxury Flying - The Early Air Way

Luxury flying has been around for decades and isn’t a new way of traveling by any means. However, availability, cost, and numerous other factors have evolved. Today we soar through the years of luxury flying and give you a unique perspective of its valuable history. Read below for more…

Those who have traveled via a private jet will be the first to tell you that it is one of the most luxurious ways to travel – and it comes with so many perks. And the long list of those who can vouch for this being true is quite extensive. After all, private travel and luxury flying date back decades. 

Before there were large, congested commercial airliners that treated passengers as if they were going through a cattle call – flying was a private affair. Commercial aircraft didn’t begin to turn into what it is today until the 1960s. 

What does this mean for you? It means the history of luxury flying is extensive – and it has been around for many, many years yet it still shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it is safe to say that it has been growing quite exponentially – allowing more and more people to experience all that it has to offer. 

But was luxury flying always luxury? Let’s take a look at its history – and why it is so valuable today.

The History of Private Travel: A Timeline

1963: The market became ignited by the Learjet 23. This jet was built for the private jet experience. 

1966: The Gulfstream II brought us a jet with a large cabin. It could carry more passengers and travel farther distances. Imagine how they could be considered luxurious.

1968: Embraer began building its luxurious private jets. They became a huge player in the private jet industry – and still are today. 

1977: Boeing joins the party and also still remains a big player today. 

1980: Paris Le Bourget Airport turns its focus to private jets – and is now the busiest private jet airport in the world.

1990: Business jets make their way into the private jet world. These would carry business executives and board members – and really changed the way corporate air travel was done. It was possible before, but this is when corporations made private travel a common practice. 

This is also the year that fractional ownership became a thing. Many corporate parties, as well as wealthy individuals, would take part in this fractional ownership so that they would have access to private travel when needed.  

And, finally, in the 1990s, private jet charters started to grow in popularity. This brought the possibility of luxury flying to a whole new class of travelers. 


1993-1996: Cessna Citation X and Cessna Citation XL became the fastest flying private jets in the industry, with the latter becoming one of the most popular in the world. 

2008: The Gulfstream g650 was launched and became the longest-range private jet to date. This jet can travel from London to New York on one single tank. This had been unheard of until now. 

The Future?: Private space travel is beginning to take over – with SpaceX carrying the first private passengers into space. 

When Flying Became Luxurious

The 1980s and 1990s were the time when jets became the focus of remodels. Rather than purchasing new jets, more and more people began to upgrade their current jets to create comfortable interior cabins as they had never been seen before. They took their jets to new heights just by redecorating their interior. 

Sure, the elite, CEOs, business executives, celebrities, and socialites had been flying on private jets for decades, with at least tens of thousands in the sky by the late 1950s. And while they may have seemed luxurious for the day, they have only grown better and better. 

Who would have thought back then that some private jets may have bedrooms and full bathrooms onboard these days? 

The Value of Luxury Flying Today

When we fast forward to today, the luxurious experience that comes with private travel today is far greater than it has ever been. And we are not just referring to flying in the sky. 

Private travel is an experience. With today’s airports so full of thousands upon thousands of passengers, long check-in lines, baggage restrictions, security checkpoints (more long lines), having to arrive hours in advance of your flight – and not knowing whether it will be delayed, long layovers for connecting flights, scrunched in an enclosed space with hundreds of strangers, and so much more. The horror stories that can come from commercial travel are extensive. Even more when you include the increased risk of COVID-19 while traveling and the unruly passengers who don’t want to wear a mask. 

More and more people are turning to private travel for their travel needs. It always comes with a much more enjoyable experience, Just look at all the perks: 

  • Increased safety and sanitization
  • Flexibility in flight times
  • No layovers
  • No need to share cabin space with strangers
  • Arrive right on time to fly – not hours before
  • No luggage restrictions (even bring your dog!)
  • You will not have to stand in any long lines

Not to mention that you can do what you want to do onboard the flight. You can watch a movie, get some work done, have a private conversation, take a nap, and more – without being bothered. 

As the global pandemic took over our lives and travel came to a screeching halt, fears of passing germs and being around large crowds made many hesitant to travel. This is when a rush of people turned toward private flights for comfort and a sense of ease. No longer were these flights just for the elite or the business execs – but they were accessible by everyone. By families with small children, couples wanting a romantic weekend away, and even a group of college kids just trying to get back home. 

Today luxury travel is more valuable than ever due to its ability to keep us traveling when we otherwise couldn’t. And keeping us safe when other avenues wouldn’t. 

Booking Private Travel

Perhaps the most valuable part of luxury travel today is that it is easy to book. No longer do you have to figure out how to fly via a private jet charter – you can just hop online and book it. It is so easy. 

Well, now that you know the history of luxury flying, it is time you book that flight. Where will your travels take you?