Review: Hawker 800 to San Antonio

 

What would it be like to travel in a private jet? That question has been on my mind since I could remember. Over the holiday break, fellow Backseat Flier, Pete, approached me with an offer I couldn’t refuse. Using his connections, he was able to get us on a positioning flight from Houston Hobby to San Antonio. We secured our flight back using Rapid Rewards points on Southwest.  We arrived at the general aviation terminal at Houston Hobby Airport an hour ahead of our scheduled departure, even though we could have arrived much later.

 All ready to go!

All ready to go!

 

Once “checked in”, we met up with the two pilots and quickly went outside to see our Hawker 800 being prepared for the upcoming journey. We hung out in the cabin while the crew performed the preflight checks.

 Sporting my plane socks for the special day

Sporting my plane socks for the special day

 

During preflight checks, we were trying out every seat and walked around the plane a few times until the pilot said it was time to go. All of the ground staff at the general aviation terminal knew this was our first time flying private because we both had a huge smile on our faces and were asking people to take pictures of us. I didn’t care one bit!  

 

There was no catering on the flight so we had to bring our own drinks. Living in Texas with a Sunday morning flight meant the stores can’t sell alcohol. I grabbed whatever I could out of the fridge to bring with us on the flight. We loaded our “catering” on the plane and got settled in for the best 45 minutes of our lives! 

 One of the best beers in America

One of the best beers in America

 

While taxing to runway 30L, I couldn’t believe I was about to experience my first flight on a private jet! Takeoff roll was quick and smooth. I’d expect nothing less for such a light payload!

 Later Houston!

Later Houston!

 Slightly outdated but comfortable seats

Slightly outdated but comfortable seats

 That view... 

That view... 

For the duration of the flight, Pete and I tried out every seat, looked through every window, AND even checked in with the pilots. There’s something so awe inspiring when you look out of the pilot’s windows at cruising altitude. As quickly as the flight began, we were already descending into San Antonio. We sat in the forward facing seats so that we could watch the landing. The copilot made a silky smooth landing and just like that, our ride in the private jet was just about over.

 Spacious cabin

Spacious cabin

 

The general aviation terminal offered us a shuttle in a new Mercedes E-Class sedan to get to the commercial aviation terminal just as I thought my luxury afternoon was coming to an end.

 

Debrief synopsis:

Traveling private is a luxury only a few can afford. Both Pete and I were very fortunate to have the ability to fly on a positioning flight to San Antonio. The overall experience was as good as I had imagined. Will this become a regular occurrence? Absolutely not. Will I jump at the chance to fly on another positioning flight? 100% yes! I just hope the next flight will be longer than the first.