Why endure a five-hour drive from Manhattan to Cornell in a rental car, when for just $150,000 you can undertake a 12-leg American college tour in the comfort of your own Gulfstream G200? As The NY Post reports, "dozens of families are taking advantage of the convenience by visiting colleges this way," which includes introductions to "high-profile alumni," such as athletes and successful businesspeople.
“It’s less about the decadence, more about the timesaving,” insists Jet Edge president Bill Papariella, adding that the tour costs the customer around $80,000. But as The NY Post reports, while most high school seniors complete the dreaded college circuit in a rental car or their folks’ worn-out station wagon, an increasing number of parents are spending tens of thousands of dollars on private jets to ferry their privileged kids to college campuses.
“It’s becoming a bigger part of our business,” says Anthony Tivnan, president of leading private-jet charter company Magellan Jets, which organized the 12-leg, $150,000 trans-America tour for the son of a California-based financier and his relatives in August 2014.
“Dozens of families are taking advantage of the convenience by visiting colleges this way.”
The service is so popular, last month Magellan launched a special package for “budget-minded” college-goers. The National Bank of Mom and Dad can now buy 10 hours of flight time aboard a Magellan jet for a bargain price of $43,500.
The deal includes varsity wear for the entire family emblazoned with the letters and emblems of each college — Princeton hoodies for everyone! — plus matching notebooks, and pointers from an independent admissions adviser.
Magellan even goes so far as to offer introductions to “high-profile alumni,” such as athletes and successful businesspeople, either in person or by phone.
“We take care of everything,” explains Tivnan. “Many commercial airlines don’t have direct flights into airports near the universities, making it difficult to see multiple colleges in one day.
“Fly privately and you can visit as many as five or six colleges in the space of two or three days.”
Of course, the types of families who use these services are card-carrying members of the 1 percent. “We have a lot of private individuals, in real estate, investment banking and hedge funds,” says Papariella. “It’s not so much Fortune 500 CEOs, who live [under the microscope].”
Manhattan-based author and social anthropologist Dr. Wednesday Martin, whose much-anticipated memoir, “Primates of Park Avenue,” somewhat wearily tells The Post that it’s another symptom of what she terms “privileged parenting” among wealthy families, and the “luxe-ification of childhood.”
“It’s cradle-to-college coddling,” she says.
“That basic reproductive impulse to shield kids from predators, disease and starvation is now rerouted to protect them from discomfort and inconvenience.”
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“Their kids are growing up fast, and these tours are bittersweet,” she says. “But the most difficult part is further down the road, when they hire a jet to drop them off at college [for good].
Poor little loves...
It seems to us that everyone should have this opportunity - free private-jet college tours for all!