How do the wealthy travel?

So I’m planning to win the PowerBall–currently at $181 million–and I’m wondering (having just returned from China in the cheap seats) how I should plan to travel once I do. We’re talking rock star/sports hero wealth: $60 million take-home. How do Billy Joel, Oprah, Vick (oh, wait. Vick might not be traveling that much any more), Brangelina, etc. travel? Are we talking private jets? What does it cost to rent/lease one of those puppies? Do you have your personal cook and CMT travel with you? Do you just stay at the nice hotel in the penthouse suite, or do you rent a villa?

I need to make plans! Please help!

If you win the Powerball of $181 million, I hope you realize that the take home of $60 million (after taxes) will last all of one year … but what a year!

The big time moguls (someone like Oprah, though I don’t know if she actually has her own jet, but I’d be surprised if she didn’t) probably only travel on chartered planes, or their own private jets, or the private jet of some business associate. I would be surprised if anyone on the “A” list ever traveled with the hoi polloi. It probably happens when there aren’t any other alternatives, but the richest people aren’t going to bother with commercial airline travel (in most cases). It’s good to see you’re concerned about how to travel once you get this windfall. There’s nothing worse than new money unsure of how to be a jet setter. Assuming the Powerball doesn’t go up, or you can’t get a good accountant to keep the government from taking a huge cut, there’s also fractional ownership of a private plane through companies like NetJets.

There have been recent features about some commercial airlines out of India or the Middle East that are the equivalent of a private suite on the plane. I don’t remember the exact figure, but it was a lot of money to a regular guy like me. Though to a high roller, it’s a rounding error.

However you decide to travel – and if you’re going all out for travel, might as well go all out – make your destination Dubai. That is the place to be for those with crazy money that want to live over the top.

There was an article in the New York Times (i think it was last year sometime) that covered this very issue.

According to the article, even many very wealthy people find it either uneconomical or inconvenient to own their own jet. Also, apparently the well-known private jet manufacturers (Lear, etc.) are backed up with orders for a few years.

The article described companies that allow you to buy flight shares in a private jet operated by a sort of charter company. The company runs a bunch of small jets, and you pay them a certain amount of money for a certain amount of flight time aboard the jet. Then, when you want to fly, you tell the company where you’re leaving from and where you’re going to, and a jet is made available. The amount of money you had to pay was somewhere in the six-figure range, but i can’t remember how many hours of flight time that bought you.

I’ll do a search and see if i can find the article.

How would $60 M last only a year?
This site has 1/8 shares for Gulfstream jets for about $1.3 M. That gets you about 100 hours of flying time.

In actuality, I think you’d be surprised how many of them ride regular commercial travel (first class though). I rode a flight with one of the Olsen twins and they have a shitload of money. I’ve also seen politicians and fairly wealthy business people riding the Acela train between NYC and DC.

Back when Diana and Charles were getting their divorce, I remember reading an article which claimed that it takes about $600k per year to be a jet-setter, and one of the problems with the Royal Family was that even though they have a lot of wealth, they didn’t have that much cash income.

I know that one of my customers gets about $1500/hour to provide an AS350 helicopter with a pilot. A couple of prominent celebrities chartered one to a music festival out in the desert. It sure beats driving.

the wealthy don’t care about the cost…only how they prefer to do it. many of the private jet setters are really using corporate jets rather than personal ones.

also depends on the entourage. are there bodyguards, nannies, chefs, assorted minions travelling along?

an awful lot of global 100 CEO’s travel corporate jets, have a large entourage, and stay in hotel suites. same with heads of state.

if you’re worried about security, then it seems to be hotels & private jets. after seeing and/or meeting many of the rich and/or powerful in work related stuff here in china, I would prefer to have $10m anonomously t
an a public billionaire.

My parents have a share in Flight Options, which is a bunch of six to twelve seater or so jet planes. They can land at pretty much any smaller airport, and most large airports have a small airport nearby, it seems, so you seem to always land a lot closer to your destination than you would with a major airline. I would guess that my parents use it an average of once a month with an average flight time of 2 to 3 hours, which matches up well with the “buy 25, lease 25” plan on the Flight Options webpage. I don’t know how much it costs, but I’m sure I’m no where near able to afford it. :stuck_out_tongue:

While my parents were still working we always flew commercial (in first class) and had no real issues with that. The main reason that they switched to something like this is that they like to be able to take their dog with them, and this makes that a whole lot easier. Though, having started it, it would definitely be addictive. No lines, no running through the airport; you just drive up next to the plane, hand a guy the keys to the car, hop on, and go. It’s great. :smiley:

The wealthy go Greyhound.
At least, I saw someone who was a dead ringer for Warren Buffett on a Cleveland-bound bus last week.

I came in here to mention fractional shares also. They are a rather new business model that took off (pun intended) because only people in the mega-weathy range can afford to own their own private jets. Even smaller private jets can cost $10 million dollars, require two pilots, and cost several thousand dollars an hour to operate once you get into fuel and regular maintenance. An single engine problem could set you back several hundred thousand dollars alone. That just isn’t something your run of the mill multi-millionaire can afford. Fractional shares let them keep the lifestyle while acknowledging that even very frequent travelers are only in the air a fraction of the time and don’t need their own plane. The cost per hour hour still sounds absurd to those of used to coach travel (or even first class) however.

The OP said:

If the OP is willing to live more modestly, then it wouldn’t be a problem. If they’re dead set on taking home $60 million, they’re only going to get one shot at that figure (after the taxes and any other associated costs). There will still be money left over, but not the magic number of $60 million.

My friend used to work in a country club nearby here. A group of (presumably rich) businessmen had chartered a helicopter to bring them to a golf course. Because of weather conditions the helicopter wasn’t able to come. The businessmen then inquired about getting a limo. My friend suggested they take a taxi as it was only a 15 minute ride away to the golf course.

Unless you’re SRV. :frowning:

Yeah, even before making travel arrangements I plan to make the “avoid the publicity” arrangements.

What’s nice about travelling on the corporate jets, it’s the convenience. I flew on a corporate jet from Cincinnati to Brussells. I showed up 10 minutes before takeoff, walked onto the plane, flew directly to Brussels, arriving around 7:00 AM local time. I virtually never broke stride leaving the airport. A glance at my passport from the immigration guy, and out to the car, where my bags were already loaded. I think I was in my hotel less than 30 minutes after the wheels hit the tarmac.

It’s a sweet ride, and the amenities on board are great, but not that much better than first class commercial. Having the plane leave when you get there, and the ease of deplaning and getting out of the airport is what you’re paying for.

I have no knowledge of this subject at all, but I’m wondering about security here. Are these strictly flights that don’t cross international borders? But even then, isn’t there supposed to be some security, as in showing ID to airport officials, getting your stuff scanned, taking off your shoes, etc., before getting on the plane? Do the wealthy not have to do any of this? Or is it a question of plane size? At what point do you no longer have the security bit? I’m guessing if you own a little Cessna, keep it at a local airstrip and take it up once in a while, you don’t go through security, but where’s the cut-off? How small does the plane have to be (or how small does the airport have to be, or how rich do you have to be, or whatever) before security is waived? This kind of worries me.

Anyway, I once landed at a small airport in Central America. The locals were all excited about a sleek-looking jet that sat at the end of the runway. Supposedly Bill Gates was in the country on a charity run. No idea if it was true, but man, it was a nice-looking plane. I guess when you have $50 billion (or thereabouts) you just buy the jet, to hell with shares.

The $181 million dollar current jackpot (drawing on 15Aug07) works out to about $60 million take-home, since that’s $84.6 Million Cash Value, less about 30% tax withholding (might do better, but let’s not get carried away). So I’m figuring to start with $60m in the bank.

From there, we’ll need a bigger house, since we’ll almost certainly be adding to our passel of kids*. That means a nanny, and a room for same. Then there will be the music studio for me and the art studio for VeryCoolSpouse. After that I’m looking at travel to China to bring home the aforementioned additions to our family.

The Flight Options thing looks good, but the planes are limited to just over 3000 miles cruising range. That won’t get us to China. I used frequent flyer miles once for 1st class to China, and I don’t feel it was worth it. Those “pod” things aren’t big enough for me. I’m looking for a comfortable bed for me and VeryCoolSpouse, room for all the kids and (to be hired) nanny to travel with us, as well as a spot for my (also to-be-hired) personal massage therapist to make the timezone transition easier. If I can’t get that on a budget of, say, $0.5 million, then maybe I need to wait until the jackpot is larger.

I guess $60 million just doesn’t buy what it used to. :slight_smile:

*We currently have 8, of whom 4 are adopted from China.

First class on British Airways is pretty damn good from what I saw. You get a “Demi-cabin” with a 6’ bed. Your meals and video entertainment are on demand and a la carte and you get fine chocolates and wine.

On a lark I looked up flying round trip Miami to Heathrow (for two) first class. It came out to more than $27,000. And that was a couple of years ago.

What’s the point of having a nanny if you can’t send them to China to pick out a few kids?