Alex Skjong

Correspondent

  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Alex Skjong is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent based in Atlanta. The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, nurtured his journalistic foundation and the Internet did the rest, as his interest in new media forms such as podcasts and videocasts has grown over the years. He’s contributed print and online content to luxury and lifestyle publications including Michigan Avenue Magazine and Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, and social media content to the guitar website FRET12.com. When Skjong isn’t writing or tweeting, he’s recording music and tightly crossing his fingers for affordable commercial space travel.

  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What's the best way to get to Paris?

    Available in Europe, the NetJets Private Jet Card lets you fly in style to Paris, at your convenience, with a pre-paid card that’s good for 25 hours of flight time a year. You simply choose the jet you’d like to fly on and each time you travel your flight time is deducted from your balance. This program is perfect for passengers who fly less than 50 hours a year, prefer a short-term commitment or just want to test out NetJets. If you like the program, you can purchase an undivided interest in a specific jet and become a partial owner of a plane — which gives you even more airtime and convenience. To become a Private Jet Card holder, all you have to do is cover one upfront payment, then you’re jetting off to cities like Paris for a romantic weekend for two, or a last-minute business presentation. The Private Jet Card is available in amounts of 25 hours for one year, or 50 hours for two years, and in different aircraft-type combinations. The only question is what will you do with the time you saved by skipping the line at the airport? See the Mona Lisa? Enjoy a walk along the Seine? We recommend both.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    How is NetJets dedicated to safety?

    Safety is a top priority at NetJets , which is why the company invests in the latest technology, enforces strict maintenance requirements and trains pilots and crews above and beyond the call of duty, making sure you always get where you need to be without worry.
     
    Each plane in the NetJets fleet is equipped with state-of-the-art safety devices and all maintenance inspections meet or exceed Federal Aviation Administration requirements. Only the original equipment manufacturers and their authorized support facilities are tapped for aircraft maintenance. Before every flight, NetJets operations experts check over everything from weather conditions to baggage weight to make sure there’s nothing but smooth sailing ahead.
     
    NetJets pilots average 7,500 hours of flight experience and are required to undergo additional training twice a year. Each pilot flies only one type of aircraft, greatly boosting the pilot’s precision. When it comes to your medical safety on board the aircraft, rest assured that the crew has received comprehensive training in the use of emergency medical kits, emergency oxygen and defibrillators. In the event of an in-flight medical emergency, NetJets flight crews can connect directly with critical care nurses and doctors at the renowned Mayo Clinic, who are able to provide medical support and make diversion recommendations if someone needs treatment on the ground.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    Can I bring my pet on a NetJets flight?

    ©NetJets When you travel with NetJets, it’s understandable that you’d want the whole family to come along — which is why pets are welcome aboard your private jet. Every passenger — man or beast — gets treated to the same pampering while on board. NetJets follows Federal Aviation Administration requirements, so you know your pet will be safe and sound. Pets weighing less than 150 pounds can sit right next to you or be placed in a pet carrier. Pets over 150 pounds can sit on the floor with a leash hooked up to the seat belt. That way, you never have to let your furry friend out of your sight. Make sure to tell the owner services team at NetJets when you plan to travel with pets so they can be added to the flight itinerary.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What is included in a NetJets ownership?

    Regardless of how large your share is, when you purchase ownership in NetJets you gain access to a worldwide fleet of private jets ready at your beck and call. With NetJets you are a fractional aircraft owner, so you are purchasing an undivided interest in a specific jet — the size of your share is proportional to how often you fly.
     
    In addition to supplying a plane that can take you almost anywhere you need to go in as little as four hours hours, NetJets provides the entire experience of a luxury flight, including experienced pilots, flight attendants and maintenance professionals who ensure the safety of everyone onboard. NetJets maintains more than 800 planes with 13 of the most popular business jets in the world and can accommodate seven to 14 passengers at a time (including your furry friends). You have the option of choosing light, mid-size or large cabins so there’s always plenty of legroom — and room for the family to tag along.
     
    On board, you’ll be served top-notch refreshments and meals worthy of a Five-Star restaurant, such as smoked salmon, fresh crab or a Mezze plate topped with olives and hummus. There are more than 20 in-flight snacks to choose from — ranging from cookies and candy to granola bars and gourmet nut mixes — as well as carefully selected champagnes and wines. On large cabin aircraft you can even curl up with ultra-soft micromodal blankets from luxury retailer Glen Saxon.
     
    For business travelers on the go, NetJets started adding WiFi capabilities to mid-size and large cabin jets in the summer of 2010. Slated to be completed by September, the installation will allow passengers to use laptops, e-readers and tablets at the lightning-fast speed of wireless mobile broadband, as if they were on the ground.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    Who are NetJets' pilots?

    NetJets employs more than 3,500 pilots, each of whom is an experienced leader committed to safety with thousands of hours logged in the sky. NetJets pilots average 7,500 hours of flight experience and are required to get additional simulator training twice a year. On every NetJets flight, both pilots have earned the Federal Aviation Administration distinction of captain, which means only the best and brightest are commanding your flights. All pilots have a first-class medical certificate from the FAA and are tasked with flying only one type of aircraft — which feature identical cockpits — ensuring they could navigate those controls in their sleep.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What are NetJets' newest planes?

    Starting in 2013, NetJets will add Phenom 300 Platinum Edition planes to its already impressive fleet of 13 kinds of private jets that service more than 170 countries around the world. The Phenom 300 holds up to seven passengers and tops out at a cool 495 mph — ensuring you get where you need to go, and fast. The jet features a roomy cabin with plenty of leg and headroom, plus large windows (so you can get a great view of the mountains or the ocean as you fly) and two distinct temperature zones, so if you’re flying with someone who likes the plane a lot cooler, you won’t have to settle for wrapping up in a blanket.
     
    In March 2011, NetJets also announced the purchase of at least 50 business jets from Bombardier Aerospace, include 30 Global 5000 Vision and Global Express XRS Vision planes, which are expected to join the fleet by the end of 2012. Twenty of Bombardier’s newest jets — the luxe Global 7000 and Global 8000 — will be added in 2017.
     
    But you don’t have to wait until 2017 to experience all those modern amenities. Since May 2011, NetJets has been updating the cabin décor of its entire fleet with fresh new colors and fabrics — so your jet will feel like new no matter which one you fly in. (The refurbishment is scheduled to be completed in 2013.) New carpeting, made from New Zealand wool is being installed and the leather is being replaced in the cabin seating with new, sleeker seat base colors. New wall paneling and darker fabrics will provide a contrast that gives the interior a cozy, modern feel. So go ahead and snuggle up with a blanket and indulge in a gourmet chocolate chip cookie — you’re flying NetJets after all.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    Does NetJets participate in any carbon offset programs?

    When you fly with NetJets, you don’t have to worry about the greenhouse gases emitted during your flight — the company participates in a voluntary carbon offset program that allows passengers to invest in projects that remove the equivalent amount of gases from the atmosphere. Carbon offsets can be purchased based on your share size and the aircraft type you own with NetJets or as a Marquis Jet Card owner.
     
    NetJets carefully selected its projects, with the help of outside environmental experts, from 3Degrees, a company that helps facilitate carbon offset and renewable energy projects. Right now, NetJets is participating in four projects across the United States, including the installation and operation of a methane-capture system in an abandoned coal mine in rural Illinois and a dairy farm project in California, Indiana, New York and Oregon that turns methane gas into electricity. You can sign up or stop your participation at any time — NetJets does not profit from this program — so you can rest assured 100 percent of your donation is being used to make a healthier, greener environment.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    Where in France can I go with NetJets?

    NetJets can take you just about anywhere you want to go in France — whether it’s to the action in Paris, the Provincial countryside or the sun-drenched scene near Cannes. The private jet company flies to more than a dozen airports in France, so you can touch down in the area you want and settle in right away.
     
    Our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend using a NetJets Private Jet Card for your European travels. The pre-paid card is good for 25 hours of flight time a year. Just pick the type of jet you want — light, mid-size or large cabin — and each time you fly, the flight time will be deducted from your balance. And don’t worry about a long, lengthy ride — NetJets cuts down your travel time significantly. So while a commercial flight from Chicago to Paris can take an average of 10 hours, on NetJets, you’ll arrive in about seven. 
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What's the best way to get to Martha's Vineyard?

    The best way to get to Martha’s Vineyard is to forgo the ferry and fly right onto the island with a private plane from NetJets. The luxury service takes all the stress out of traveling — no long lines, traffic jams or delays — and lets you become a fractional owner of a jet. The amount you pay will be proportional to how often you fly; but no matter how big or small your ownership, you’ll have access to a fleet of jets that can take you around the world — including the sandy shores of Martha’s Vineyard. So while most tourists are still waiting for the ferry, you’ll already be on the island, picking out scones at The Black Dog Bakery or noshing on lobster rolls at Nancy’s Restaurant.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    How can I get fractional ownership of a private jet?

    You can get fractional ownership of a private jet with NetJets. The company gives you all the perks of owning a jet — total privacy, no security lines, shorter flight times — without the hassle (and cost) of full ownership. Through NetJets, you can purchase an undivided interest in a specific aircraft; the size of your share is proportional to how many hours you fly in a year, with the smallest share available being a 1/16 interest (about 50 hours of annual airtime). Whether you go in big or small, you’ll have access to a fleet of more than 800 planes around the world. Going solo on a business trip to Europe? Request the compact Cessna Citation Bravo. Taking your whole family on a Florida vacation? Opt for the 14-passenger Gulfstream V.
     
    If you’re a frequent traveler who could benefit from having a plane available at a moment’s notice, fractional ownership with NetJets could be a good fit; the company can have a personal jet ready and waiting with as little as four to 10 hours’ notice. And because NetJets chooses your pilot and crew, tends to jet maintenance and enforces top-notch safety standards, you don’t have to worry about all the pesky details — just sit back, relax and enjoy the flight.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    Can I charter a private jet for business trips?

    You can charter a private jet for business trips through NetJets. The company allows you to purchase an undivided interest in a specific aircraft and gain access to a fleet of more than 800 jets worldwide. Prices per share vary depending on the type of jet you choose — light, midsize or large cabin — and how often you fly. The smallest share you can purchase is a 1/16 interest, which gives you 50 hours of flight time a year. Your biggest upfront cost is a one-time acquisition fee: for the Phenom 300 Platinum Edition jet, which is being added to the NetJets fleet in 2013, a 1/16 interest (or 50 flight hours) costs $550,000. The largest share possible is a one-half interest, or 400 hours of flight time, which costs $4.4 million.
     
    The fees will be worth it for the convenience of conducting your business trips via private jet. Not only can you request a plane at a moment’s notice (NetJets can have a personal jet ready and waiting in as little as four to 10 hours), but you can cut down on flight times and skip the long security lines. Plus, once on board, you’ll be treated to gourmet treats, in-flight movies, comfy blankets for sleeping and, on most planes, Wi-Fi. So you’ll touch down for your business meeting prepared and refreshed.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    Can I take a NetJets plane to Europe?

    You can absolutely take a NetJets plane to Europe — in fact, our Forbes Travel Guide editors can’t think of a better way to get there. NetJets has affiliate programs throughout Europe, which means you can be whisked to the continent on a private jet, minus all the hassle of dodging traffic and waiting in long security lines. And since NetJets flies to more than 170 countries, you can get to just about anywhere in Europe, whether you need to take a last-minute business trip to London or want to get away for a weekend in Paris. The best part? You’ll shave hours off your flying time. Say you’re flying NetJets to Barcelona from New York — your flight time will be about seven hours rather than the usual 10. Request a NetJets plane and touch down in Europe refreshed and ready to explore some of the world’s most beautiful cities, with hours to spare.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What’s the best way to travel for business?

    Forbes Travel Guide editors agree that the best way to travel for business is with NetJets. The company allows you to purchase an undivided interest in a specific aircraft and gain access to a fleet of more than 800 jets worldwide. Prices per share vary depending on the type of jet you choose — light, midsize or large cabin — and how often you fly. The smallest share you can purchase is a 1/16 interest, which gives you 50 hours of flight time a year. Your biggest upfront cost is a one-time acquisition fee: for the Phenom 300 Platinum Edition jet, which will join the NetJets fleet in 2013, a 1/16 interest (or 50 flight hours) costs $550,000. The largest share possible in the Phenom is a one-half interest, or 400 hours of flight time, which costs $4.4 million.
     
    The fees will be worth it for the convenience of taking business trips via private jet. Not only can you request a plane at a moment’s notice (NetJets can have a personal jet ready in as little as four to 10 hours), but you can trim flight times and skip the long security lines. Plus, once on board, you’ll be treated to luxe amenities such as Dean & DeLuca snacks, in-flight movies and Wi-Fi (available on most NetJets planes). You’ll touch down refreshed and ready to do business.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    Is there a private jet airline for business executives?

    There is a private jet company that’s ideal for business executives: NetJets. The company gives you all the perks of owning a jet — total privacy, no security lines, shorter flight times — without the hassle (and cost) of full ownership. And it’s ideal for on-the-go business executives. If you get a last-minute request to go to New York or London, NetJets can have a personal jet ready and waiting with as little as four to 10 hours’ notice. Once on board, you can either relax with an in-flight movie and catered meal (plus wine) or prepare for your meetings with the in-flight Wi-Fi. Either way, you’ll land ready to do business.
  • On September 25, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What’s the best way to charter a private jet?

    If you're looking to charter a private jet, there are a some private aviation companies, such as NetJets, that have made that process quick and easy. The company even gives you the chance to become a fractional owner of the jet. Through NetJets, you can purchase an undivided interest in a specific aircraft; the size of your share is proportional to how many hours you fly in a year. The smallest share you can purchase is a 1/16 interest (about 50 hours of annual airtime), but whether you go in big or small, you’ll have access to a fleet of more than 800 planes around the world. Taking a solo business trip to Europe? Request the compact Cessna Citation Bravo. Bringing your whole family on a Florida vacation? Book the 14-passenger Gulfstream V.
     
    If you’re a frequent traveler wanting to have a plane available for last-minute trips, fractional ownership with NetJets could be a good fit; the company can have a personal jet ready and waiting with as little as four to 10 hours’ notice. And because NetJets coordinates your pilot and crew, handles jet maintenance and enforces rigorous safety standards, you don’t have to worry about any of the details of jet ownership — you can just sit back and enjoy the flight.