In an exclusive interview to CPP-LUXURY.COM, Susan Helstab, Executive Vice President Marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resort, has spoken about the launch of a fully branded jet, a hospitality industry first.
What motivated Four Seasons Hotels launch of a fully branded Jet experience?
The Four Seasons Jet is a natural extension of what Four Seasons has been doing for more than 50 years, introducing industry defining innovations, products and services.
Four Seasons was the first hotel group to provide bath and shower amenities, 24-hour room service and most recently, a new fully-customisable bed. Kids for All Seasons, for example, was an industry first and reflected an early observation that our guests wanted to travel with their families and were looking for enriching family experiences.
The Four Seasons Jet takes our legendary service to the skies and speaks to our pioneering spirit and the aspirations of today’s modern luxury traveller in an imaginative new way. It builds on the private jet experiences we created in 2012 that focused exclusively on stays at Four Seasons properties worldwide. The introduction of fully branded, custom-designed Four Seasons Jet reflects an understanding of our guests’ evolving needs and preferences. It recognises their desire to pair adventure and discovery with the luxury of a fully immersive Four Seasons experience both on the ground and in the air.
How will the DNA of the Four Seasons brand be integrated into the jet experience? Will it be a matter of aesthetics or service too?
From start to finish, this is a fully immersive Four Seasons experience delivering the brand’s signature service, from the moment a guest books their trip. Each of the three itineraries currently available deliver the glamour and adventure of international travel by private jet, enhanced with legendary service and the ultimate luxury of staying only in Four Seasons hotels and resorts.
With the debut of the fully branded Four Seasons Jet, customisation goes beyond the individually state-of-the-art crafted leather flatbed seats, the on-demand entertainment offering or the globally inspired cuisine. It is the ability of Four Seasons staff – characterized by their genuine hospitality and passion for excellence – to tailor the experience for each guest that makes this journey truly special. From personalised spa treatments and tee times to private excursions, experiences can be arranged “on the fly” to augment each thoughtfully planned itinerary.
The Jet itself is a Boeing 757 and it has been outfitted with only 52 guest seats, rather than the standard 233, allowing for more space for guests to relax and enjoy the flight. Global In-flight WiFi where available allows passengers to stay connected and provides the Concierge the advantage of fulfilling requests for destination outings, reservations and special needs, all while in flight. On demand entertainment – movies, newscasts, magazines and more streamed to guest iPad. The Four Seasons Jet will also have new deluxe interiors including plush carpets, in-seat power and USB outlets, premium wall coverings and lighting, plus contemporary lavatories.
With the branded project, will there be a calendar of scheduled trips similar to your previous jet trips?
Yes there will be scheduled trips. The Four Seasons Jet will take its inaugural flight in February 2015. Itineraries can be viewed at www.fourseasons.com/aroundtheworld/
Will the branded Jet experience be available for hire, on demand, for individual guests for special occasions?
Yes it will be. We’ve developed several sample itineraries to provide an idea of what is possible, but we are pleased to work with guests to design their own customised itinerary. I’m pleased to share an outline of an itinerary:
6 day European Escape
• Includes stops in New York City, Paris and St. Petersburg
• Trip Highlights:
o Begin your trip at Four Seasons Hotel New York
o Dinner on the Four Seasons Jet en route to Paris
o Stay at the renowned Four Seasons Hotel George V
o Private sunset cruise along the Seine
o Dinner at Michelin-rated restaurant
o Chocolate experience, fashion workshop, culinary class
o Travel to St. Petersburg and stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg
o Private tour of State Hermitage Museum
o Private gala evening at the Winter Palace
o Vodka and caviar tasting
o Return to New York to connect with your flight home.
Price Per Person: 33,000 USD based on 38 guests minimum
As a charter: 1,654,000 USD
5 day Americas: Ski to Sea
• Includes stops in LA, Jackson Hole and Punta Mita
• Trip Highlights:
o Meet at Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (a Four Seasons Hotel) for a welcome lunch prior to boarding the private jet to Jackson Hole
o Check into the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole and relax in hot spring-style hot tubs
o Ski all day followed by a horse-drawn sleigh ride to dinner
o Travel to Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita
o Enjoy a private boat cruise to Marietas Islands
o Attend surf or stand up paddleboard school, or opt to go whale watching
o Return to Los Angeles to connect with your flight home
Price Per Person: 33,000 USD based on 40 guests minimum
As a charter: 1,654,000 USD
What is the consumer target for the new Four Seasons Jet? Are you targeting any particular markets?
Past private jet travellers are defined less by a demographic segment and more by their commonalities – signifying an attitude, not an age. They are modern luxury travellers who have an insatiable curiosity for new experiences and value technology, identity, design and adventure. They want ultimate personalisation, but simple, seamless service delivery.
Many of our past travellers have booked more than one private jet trip with Four Seasons, which speaks to the popularity of the experience.
How will the Four Seasons Jet experience be marketed and sold?
Aside from www.fourseasons/aroundtheworld we direct clients to consumer marketing (brochure mailings, email campaigns, occasional online etc). Other than that our B2B network, primarily preferred partners and other agents are an important source of awareness and sales. To learn more visit fourseasons.com/jet and follow the #FSJet hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for the latest news, updates and insider glimpses of the Four Seasons Jet.
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