3 Big Stars Still Using Private Charter Jets

by John Dunkan

You can’t get around it – private planes have been hit really hard of late, especially with the credit crunch, the big 3 auto companies and their executives coming to the congress meeting in private jets, and a sort of backlash against the personal plane as some kind of symbol for all that’s wrong with the economy.

But private charters are still valuable and important to many, and there are several international celebrities who continue to use their own planes. We’ve selected three of the most notable and interesting below — and there’s not a movie star in sight!

#1. William Jefferson Clinton.

Because of the amount of traveling he does every year, President Clinton uses his private plan an incredible amount, working all the while from it. He takes it to as many places as possible, and it lets him use his most valuable commodity — his personality — all over the world.

He also was one of the few people to actually meet with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il, and pushed for that country’s release of the journalists who were being threatened with long imprisonment. How did he get over to the crucial meeting? By private plane, of course.

#2. Roger Federer.

Federer doesn’t make any excuses for using a private jet — he often takes one to the range of tournaments which he (usually) wins, although in the last few months his use of a private charter has actually become more relevant towards his family life.

See, Federer and his wife just had identical twins, and while Federer does often fly commercial, he is now relying on a private jet to allow him to rejoin the international tennis tour far earlier than normal. His wife and kids are happily in tow, but thanks to the convenience of the private plane, what would normally be a stressful experience is now easy and feasible — even for 1-month-old children.

#3. Famous Oilman T. Boone Pickens.

While the world’s most famous Texas oil tycoon — like every other rich person in the world — saw his fortunes take a big hit during the recent crisis, he recently told the New York Times that one thing helped him stay focused and optimistic: watching the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Pickens has put an unbelievable amount of money into his alma mater, and nowhere else is that money more evident than on the field. A few years ago, when he started contributing in earnest, the head coach asked him if he could be present for every home game. And he is — thanks to his private charter, which brings him straight there in a few hours.

While people who were only using private jets to flash their money around are now laying low (and nursing their financial wounds), the big dogs — the ones who have always known about the benefits of private charters — haven’t missed a beat.