Those that partake in the business of luxury know that this particular category is going through some upheaval. Shiny things are slowly becoming passe and the market is showing some wear and tear as luxury brands scramble to recoup lost market share.
The news is definitely not as bad when it comes to luxury experiences. In fact, the luxury travel category continues to boom and luxury travel providers continue to expand their offerings to accommodate ‘experience hungry’ affluent spenders.
Luxury events, or more specifically luxury sporting events are the pinnacle of upper crust social interaction. Houston saw a massive pile up (not literally) of private jet landings back in February during an epic and historic Superbowl. This month (April) the next grand event hits the links in Augusta as the world’s best golfers come to compete in The Masters.
The Masters is such a popular event that tickets to watch the golfers take practice shots at the driving range were sold out months in advance. Watching actual match play can be considered a ‘bucket list experience’. CBS’s Jim Nantz hit the ball squarely when he referred to the tournament as ‘a tradition unlike any other’.
These types of events spool up demand for private jets as affluent spectators demand an end to end luxury experience. We asked private jet provider Wheels Up for their perspective on the business:
“Private aviation continues to experience a significant surge in flights highlighted by huge events like The Masters and Super Bowl. The Wheels Up members’ Masters experience begins by landing a quick 10-minute drive from the course thanks to flying into Daniel Field on the “SUV of the sky,” the King Air 350i. The Wheels Up Hospitality House, open through Masters week, offers members a place to get breakfast, lunch or to mingle over cocktails that is steps off of the course. This is also the fourth year where Wheels Up will host an exclusive party with some of the most recognizable names in golf and sports broadcasting.”
Demand for jets will be high during the tournament and Wheels Up shares its plan of action:
- Wheels Up is expecting to fly nearly 200 flights into and out of Daniel Field between April 6th -9th.
- The Wheels Up fleet of King Air 350i’s can land at Daniel Field (10 minutes from the course) whereas most others will need to fly into Augusta (40 minutes from the course) due to the length of the runway.
- Wheels Up is investing further by adding shuttle flights for members from traditionally popular hubs for golf travel.
- Atlanta (PDK) to Daniel Field
- New York (Teterboro) to Daniel Field
To celebrate golf’s grandest tourney, Wheels Up will offer a complete lineup of experiences and hospitality at The Masters that will ensure participants will get the most our of this once in a lifetime experience. Twice in a lifetime if you are waiting to watch Tiger play.
Wheels Up Member offerings around the Masters Experience:
Fourth Annual Wheels Up Hospitality House – Wheels Up offers their members exclusive access to this “home base” that is steps off the course and offers complimentary breakfast, lunch and cocktails. The house opens on Wednesday and will remain open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm daily through Sunday.
Fourth Annual “Wheels Down at the Masters” – The members-only party will provide refreshments and live music. Wheels Up celebrity golf ambassadors will also provide an insider “chalk talk” on what to anticipate at this year’s tournament. Last year’s attendees included Scott Van Pelt, Rickie Fowler, Andy North, etc.
By Doron Levy Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media / Wheels Up