The Four Seasons Hotels 757 landing in Sydney, Australia last year - Photo: Bernie Proctor

The Four Seasons 757 landing in Sydney, Australia last year – Photo: Bernie Proctor

Last year, the Four Seasons hotel and resort chain did a hospitality industry first: They made an inclusive, sometimes round-the-world, travel experience called the Four Seasons Private Jet Experience. By inclusive I mean that everything you saw after arriving at the airport was either arranged or directly handled by them.

The biggest of the trips is the 24-day Around the World adventure. And because this is the Four Seasons, everything is going to be high-end. That includes transportation to your destination(s) on one very VIP Boeing 757. During a stopover in Seattle, I was invited to take a tour and I was impressed.

Turn RIGHT BERNIE YOU WENT THE WRONG WAY! Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Turn RIGHT! BERNIE, YOU WENT THE WRONG WAY! Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Enter a former Transavia (and later Air Finland) 757-200 currently registered as G-TCSX and managed by an English firm called TAG Aviation.

During its previous life, this 757 spent its time with a high-density, all-economy configuration. The overhead bins were of the older style and quite dinged up.

Millions of dollars later, with the help of Italian furniture makers, upholsters, and a firm called Jacob Bucchi Aviation, the aircraft has never looked better.

The 52 seat Four Seasons 757 is configured in an open 2-2 configuration - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The 52-seat Four Seasons 757 is configured in an open 2-2 configuration – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The Four Seasons 757 has become a sky-interior reminiscent wonder-plane with special mood lighting, giant overhead bins, and gorgeous carpet (yes, even the carpet is noticeably high-end). This plane looks, and smells, like it rolled out of the Renton factory yesterday.

Fancy a relax on your short flight between four seasons property? Well, the seat has you covered. Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Fancy to relax on your short flight between Four Seasons property? Well, the seat has you covered. Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Of course, the seat doesn’t merely offer a “relax” setting.

Each passenger seat on the Four Seasons' 757 folds into a bed a little over 72" long - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.

Each passenger seat on the Four Seasons’ 757 folds into a bed a little over 72″ long – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Unlike some airlines, the Four Seasons’ bedding extends all the way to the footrest. It is also among the softest and most luxurious feeling I have had the ability to inspect.

Instead of underseat storage, the Four Seasons' 757 has a chest hidden under the footrest - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Instead of underseat storage, the Four Seasons’ 757 has a chest hidden under the footrest – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Between the (above) storage chest and the giant overhead bins, passengers should also have no worries of crowded bins. Even then, if there was an odd instance of gate checking luggage, it is not like they would have to pick it up at baggage claim.

The amenity kits are well appointed, and produced by the luxury Italian brand Bvlgari. Clearly the Four Seasons is bringing every possible luxury from their hotels to the plane.

The Bvlgari amenity kits are giant. Passengers get a new one every leg - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The Bvlgari amenity kits are giant. Passengers get a new one every leg. – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

I think what really sets the Four Seasons’ jet apart from most airlines’ business and first class product is the catering. Not only did the corporation poach former Four Seasons Seattle executive Chef Kerry Sear, they also don’t use the “big boys” when it comes to airline catering. Instead, they use high-end boutique private jet caterers. Should those not be available, every destination the jet visits has a Four Seasons and that is used for catering support.

Chef Sear not only designs the menu as much as he can, but he and another chef travel aboard and prepare the meals. Now, I admit that the flying chef is not novel. My favorite airline has one. The thing is, imagine a flying chef not hampered by the dreary catering of LAX! There’s even things like duck confit on the menu. When was the last time you saw that on a commercial airline? (Never for me)

Of course, where would any Four Seasons product be without their partner Dom Perignon?

Nowhere! They even serve the 2004 vintage on board - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

They even serve the 2004 vintage on board – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The rest of the alcohol on board consists of decisions made between the Executive Chef and the Four Seasons Sommelier. In all, the printed beverage list is usually around three pages long.

The plentiful lavs aboard this 757 befit the elegance of the rest of the frame. They even feature Bvlgari branded lotions - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The plentiful lavs aboard this 757 befit the elegance of the rest of the frame. They even feature Bvlgari-branded lotions – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

If you have to ask how much this three-week experience costs, you probably don’t want to know. I’ll give you a hint – you could fly the Etihad Residence, one-way, almost five times for the cost of one of the around-the-world trips (that’s $132,000 for the trip).

This aircraft is a revolution in luxury travel experiences, and other companies have noticed.

I’ve been hearing rumblings of a US-based luxury cruise line getting a 787 to do something to “one-up” the Four Seasons’ experience. If that happens, you better believe I am going to want to check it out.

CONTRIBUTOR - SEATTLE, WA. Bernie has traveled around the world to learn about, experience, and photograph different types of planes. He will go anywhere to fly on anything. He spent four years in Australia learning about how to run an airline, while putting his learning into practice by mileage running around the world. You can usually find Bernie in his natural habitat: an airport. Email: [email protected].

http://www.airlinereporter.com
Getting a LOT of Value for Your Money – LOT Business Class Review
4 Comments
JL Johnson

Be still my heart! I’m no FourSeasons guy, but this looks amazing. Here’s hoping Marriott, the hotel chain I’m stuck with does something similar and allows me to cash in the gobs of otherwise worthless points for a quick walk through.

JL Johnson | AirlineReporter

How are Marriott rewards points useless for an #avgeek like you? My parents traveled to Europe with them. (You can convert them to United miles, I think or book flights with points directly). Also, maybe the availability isn’t great, but I’ve never been disappointed by a JW Marriott. I have to imagine a Ritz Carlton is pretty nice too.

JL Johnson

I’ve jumped between gold and platinum with Marriott for the past 11 years now and have witnessed first-hand not only significant devaluations nearly each year but the outright cumulative gutting of the program since I began. The points are nearly useless and status gets you little to no recognition. Lately I’ve been converting my MR points to airline rewards but the conversion factor is less than ideal and generally not suggested. I tried to defect to Hyatt but my employer made a new Marriott exclusivity clause in the travel policy, so there goes that option. Oh well, close enough to gold for life that I might as well just push through.

Great article. I wonder how this compares to the FI bird that is configured similarly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *