Well, having checked if there were any empty leg (ie flew someone out but had nobody to return with) private flights returning to the U.K. and being told no, suddenly out of the blue an opportunity was put our way to return on a private Boeing 737 business jet, but we had to leave on 6th September (we had been contemplating 13/14/15 September for example). Nice opportunity and a once in a lifetime opportunity, so we grabbed it quickly (after they massively reduced the price back to 2 x commercial airline fares again) and we started to get the house ready.
Quick lunch at our favourite – Frenchy’s the day we left, and then off we went for our short ride back to St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport to ride up to Washington DC. Nice plane – Embraer Legacy 450. Nice flight and, after an ‘episode’ with the door to the toilet, we disembarked and sat for a few minutes in the terminal. Then, our pilot came to collect us, and take us over to our aircraft ! Wow !
All masked-up ready to go !
Oh my gosh. It was amazing. Some obligatory photos before boarding, a nice welcome drink on board, and the captain asked if I would like to sit up front for take off and landing. I wasn’t going to say no ! What a great experience being buckled into the seat with a headset on listening to the air traffic controllers and various aircraft. Once airborne, back for dinner and some more photos 😊
A real bed, in a real bedroom on the plane ! We probably didn’t really want to sleep though !
After a nice dinner served at the dining table (all terribly civilised), of a shrimp starter, then mahi-mahi for me and chicken for Betsy, then some cheese, we headed off for some sleep on what was sadly going to be a very short flight at 6hrs 30mins or so. Nice to have a real bedroom on board (had never seen one on a plane before), but we did indeed sleep some. Woke up in time for breakfast (I think I had the omelette, but it was very good), before heading back down to the cockpit for the arrival and landing. Another great experience, but this time I had the camera !
First aircraft of the day to land in Farnborough, taxied up to our stand, immigration officers boarded, quick check of docs, and we were done, luggage offloaded, then straight into the car that was parked alongside the plane. Nice !