““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
The Next Jet Set
Some parents are booking jets to fly their children to summer camp rather than sending them off by bus, according to two New York-based
air charter companies. Revolution Air assigned more than 20 aircraft to the task in June, and Blue Star Jets has reported making "more and more" such flights.
"The kids don't really want to go three and a half hours on the bus and it's very traumatic [for parents] to see the kids go on the bus," said Revolution Air president Ronald Goldstein. "So they hop on the plane and it gives them a good memory." He added that in past years some of his customers used the airlines to deliver their kids to camp but "service has deteriorated. And no one wants to have their nine-year-old going through security, taking their shoes off."
The flights to camp typically cost $7,000 to $10,000 and last about 40 minutes, according to Marco Larsen, vice president of publicity for Blue Star Jets. He said parents generally book three such trips-first to drop their offspring at camp; then to come up on visiting day; and finally, to take the kids home.
Goldstein reported that his camp flights cost an average of $8,000 and often are from the New York area to upper New England. He did, however, recall one flight that replaced a mere 90-minute drive from Teterboro, N.J., to Monticello, N.Y.
Revolution Air has developed a special onboard menu for the youngsters that features peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, chicken fingers and ice cream sundaes. "If it's a morning flight, we make sure we have children's cereal for them," Goldstein said, confirming that one child put in a request for Cap'n Crunch.