Very few people can afford to buy their own private jet, which is why only the select few have their own. These are Hollywood A-listers, as well as musicians and entrepreneurs. These are the ones who can plunk down a cool forty-two million to own a Bombardier Global Express XRS or sixty-five million for a Gulfstream III.
And with owning a jet, you get bragging rights. You can show it off to friends, give them rides, or allow you to hop on board at the last moment to visit your private island. Or you can travel from New York City to the Hamptons in style and in less than forty minutes.
So face it, riding your own private jet is the ultimate way to get around. For practical reasons, it’s a big time saver, but for most celebs out there with money to burn actually need one, so they don’t get followed by paparazzi at LAX when they’re trying to go somewhere private. And some celebs are so famous that first class just won’t do, as there’s always someone from coach sneaking into your part of the cabin to beg you to take a pic of you and them together. And hiding out on a plane? How long can you keep those floppy hats or that baseball cap and those big black sunglasses on to prevent someone from noticing you?
So, yeah, it’s a big deal having your private jet; you get the privacy and you get to your destination faster without that pesky thing called “refueling.” And since we’ve never been on a private jet and would love to, this list of 15 celebrities who travel in style with their own private jets is a way for us to live vicariously through them.
15 Oprah Winfrey
When it comes to Oprah Winfrey, she only wants the best of the best. And she has it with the Global Express XRS Jet. Well, you know she also wants the latest version, which is why she has the XRS, an improved version of the popular Bombardier Global Express jet. In case you were wondering, the Global Express was the first long-range jet to have a large cabin. Winfrey’s version, clad in the most exquisite leather, seats up to 10 passengers. The jet is decorated with the most luxurious features in the galley and bathroom, and it's yours if you have just $42,000,000 lying around.
While it’s not the biggest private jet owned by a celeb, it does perform as a premier long-range business jet. Oprah can be assured that it can fly her to any place in the world, with only one refuel stop.
14 Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg has good taste, and so of course, like Oprah, he too has the Global Express XRS, which is known for being an ultra long-range jet that's powered by twin Rolls-Royce BR710 engines.
The jet can attain a maximum altitude of 51,000 ft. But we want to know how many stops we need to refuel. If you’re spending millions and millions of dollars and your jet is stopping so much, why have one? Luckily, Spielberg’s jet can travel up to 16 hours without refuelling. And apparently, Spielberg always travels in style. He also owns his own yacht, which is called Seven Seas, and has an estimated value of $200 million. It can fit up to 14 guests in seven suites and has a crew of around 26 people.
13 Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is one of Hollywood’s finest actresses. Now, apart from being known as a philanthropist, she can also be called something else, a licensed pilot. And unlike other celebs who have their own private jets and have spent literally millions on them, Jolie owns the efficient Cirrus SR22, which is worth around $650,000. That’s nowhere near the cost of the other jets on this list, and perhaps that’s due to Jolie wanting to spend her money less on extravagant things and more on charity.
Before her split with Brad Pitt, there was eight in her family; she, Pitt and her six children. The Cirrus SR22 only fits five, so we’re guessing that Jolie isn’t taking the whole family along to spend vacation on her private island. She got the idea about flying from Maddox, one of her sons, whom she wanted to impress, telling the Daily Mail:
“Every time Mad sees a plane, he's amazed. . . If I could actually fly a plane... I'll be like Superman to him.” And was there ever fear of flying? Apparently not because an interview on Inside the Actor’s Studio, she said about flying, “It’s the best feeling. They say it’s better than s*x. It is so much better."
Ah, remember the time when your wife bought you a jet for Father’s Day? Just, you know, out of the blue? Instead of yet another Brooks Brothers repp tie this year? And not just any jet, it’s the Bombardier Challenger 850 Learjet that has an estimated cost of $40 million.
Yes, in Jay-Z's reality, his gorgeous wife Beyonce, gave him the jet as a gift. Isn’t that the best gift? Oh, honey, I just bought you a jet? Not a Starbucks gift card? And it’s actually huge inside, with a main room clad in cream leather, a master bedroom fit for a king, not one but two bathrooms, and even a kitchen. Now that's what we call the friendly skies!
11 John Travolta
John Travolta loves planes so much that he has seven of his own. These include the Boeing 707, the Bombardier Challenger 601, Boeing 727 and three Gulfstream jets. And not only that, he keeps his jets close to home. Actually, on his home property in Florida, he built two customized runways for his jets so it’s super-convenient for this lavish star to pack a bag and board the plane in a matter of seconds.
His planes take up so much space that he has to park some on his front property, so if you go to his house, you’d think you just landed on a mini-runway. And, jetting is such a part of Travolta’s life that he is actually more than an aficionado. He’s also a qualified pilot, having completed the Australian airline Qantas coursework, as well as the company’s honorary pilot. So far Travolta has amassed a whopping 35,000 miles on his own.
10 Tyler Perry
The man behind Madea, Tyler Perry, owns a Gulfstream III. The jet costs around $65k, but this plane has been so tricked out with necessities and luxuries that the estimated cost for the final product is rumoured to be around $125 million.
And you know those shades that drop down on the windows? Well, those weren’t good enough for Perry and he installed a type of glass that allows you to control the opacity in order to create the right mood inside. And you thought Oprah had it good? Well, Perry’s jet is all about entertaining, which is why he calls it a “Flying theater,” having amassed several big displays to watch movies and more. There’s also a personal library if Perry tires of watching.
9 Bill Gates
Bill Gates, the co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, is one of America’s top philanthropists. He's also one of the richest men in the world. It makes sense that he has his own jet to use to travel to board meetings in different cities, philanthropic events in far-flung worlds and galas a good distance from Seattle, which is where he lives. He’s so rich that you wouldn’t expect less from him.
He owns the Bombardier BD-700 Global Express, known as the Global 5000, which is the most luxurious and priciest airplane in the world. The Global Express can travel at the speed of sound (Mach 1) up to 9,300 km non-stop. It is the best out there not just because of its-up-to-date aviation technology but also because of its sophisticated refinement.
8 Jim Carrey
Like John Travolta, Jim Carrey has a passion for private jets. He owns one of the most respectable and safest planes in the world, the Gulfstream V. This high-performance jet, which costs a cool $59 million, can go an astounding amount of time in the sky, and can near the speed of sound while cruising up to 51,000 feet in the skies.
Carrey, known for his funny comedy movies like The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, has the ability to travel the world, but unlike Travolta, he can’t fly his own plane. Not a problem, as Carrey has his own personal experienced crew of two, and can just chill out on his plane without worrying about safety issues. The 16-passenger jet exudes luxury in every sense of the word, with a beautifully finished cabin and only the best appointments.
7 Tom Cruise
Remember when Tom Cruise starred in the blockbuster hit Top Gun as an elite naval fighter jet pilot? And how he said his now famous line, “I feel the need for speed?” Well, it seems that Cruise is reliving the movie, as he owns one of the classiest and safest planes around, the Gulfstream IV or G4 jet, which is famous for being the first choice for people who can afford the $36,000,000 price tag.
But it’s been said that Cruise has more than the G4 jet, and that he owns anywhere from three to five private jets, but that’s only speculation. We do know, however, that he does own a second jet, the luxurious Aviat – Pitts S-2B, and that he has a pilot’s license dating back to 1994 and often chooses to fly himself.
The G4 was actually a present to his newly-wed spouse Katie Holmes, who made headlines when she said the jet was “just like a bus, only quicker.” In any event, the jet exudes luxury; it not only has a screening room but also a Jacuzzi. How’s that for fun up in the air!
6 Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is a pilot, which is kind of cool because he owns eight planes, several which are vintage. But when Ford wants to get around, he uses his Cessna 680 Sovereign, which costs around $18,000,000. The long-range jet can seat nine and can reach speeds of 527 mph and with an elevation of 47,000 feet. Although it can’t compete with the Bombardier Global Express XRS, whose owners include Oprah, Celine Dion and Steven Spielberg, it is nevertheless a highly-respectable jet known for its advanced performance and efficiency.
Ford explained his love for private jets to the Daily Mail by saying that flying “[E]levates the spirit and it's an exhilarating freedom.” He then added, “I love the machines, I love the aviation community. . .I used to own airplanes and have pilots flying them for me, but I finally realized they were having more fun than I was."
5 Ralph Lauren
Fashion icon Ralph Lauren has always been lavish. His rooms in his Bedford, NY estate, for example, look like one of his stores, clad in either high-gloss black or sumptuous wood and featuring many different versions of preppy plaid, from wallpaper to accents like throw pillows. Which is why it doesn’t surprise us that he has spent a fortune on two of his private jets, the Hawker, known for its efficiency, and the Gulfstream G650, which costs a cool 70 mill.
The G650 has a rich wood grain mini kitchen in the galley, room for two beds, a large leather sofa with a pull-out bed, single seatings that look like high wingback chairs as well as dual seating opposite each side of the grand dining room table that he, his wife and his family use for meals. There’s also WiFi, satellite phones to make conference calls, and a large flat-screen to watch movies.
4 Celine Dion
Celine Dion can clearly afford to own the Bombardier BD-700 Express, which costs $42,000.000. According to the Daily Mail, the Bombardier introduced to the world the large cabin long-range jets upon its launch way back in 1983, and is so stylized and special that it comes in several different versions.
It is by choice the best jet for Hollywood’s elite, and Oprah and Steven Spielberg own one too. Powered by twin Rolls-Royce BR710 engines, the sought-after plane can go up to 51,000 feet and can travel for up to 16 hours without the need to refuel.
Like Dion herself, the cabin is classy and classic. Fitting anywhere from eight to 14 people, the spacious cabin features an all-leather interior. There are two tan leather seats flanking the highly glossed wood table, a coordinating console table, a light palette throughout for an airy feel, and the most luxurious fixtures in the bathroom and galley. And when Dion flies, she really does so in style. She has her own private chef to go along with her jet just in case she needs a light snack while traveling.
3 Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman owns three private jets, the Cessna Citation 501, the Cessna 414 twin-engine prop and the Emivest SJ30. Today Freeman has his pilot’s license, which means he can fly any of his planes whenever he wants.
He has always harboured a desire to fly ever since he was a kid, and it’s been reported that he would daydream about piloting a fighter jet rather than pay attention to his teacher. When he joined the Air Force as a mechanic, it was not the right time for him to get licensed. In fact, it took several decades for Freeman to learn how to fly, back when he was 65 years old.
Freeman experienced an aviation set-back in 2005. His plane was forced to crash land in Mississippi after a tire blowout. The plane veered off the end of the runway and into a dirt field. Freeman wasn’t piloting the plane, and he was unharmed. He told the Daily Mail, “'I cannot say the same about my plane. I appreciate the concern and prayers for our safety.”
2 Marc Cuban
Marc Cuban has a lot of money. We’re talking billions. Which is why he can afford to buy the NBA franchise the Dallas Mavericks. And which is also why he has three jets. The first one he bought was the Gulfstream V. That was in 1999 and the approximate cost was around $40 mill. Then he bought a Boeing 767 and a Boeing 757, with the former being used as a rental and with the latter being used for the Mavericks. But he claims he’s different. That he’s not showing off. Rather, he owns the jets because time, to him, is important. Using his own jets means he can have more time to spend with what matters. As he put it to the WSJ,
“This means I have more hours in my day to spend with friends and family. . . It means I can get more work done. It means I can travel comfortably with my family. It’s a life-and-game changer.”
Cuban has always been wealthy but it wasn’t until he sold his company, Broadcast.com to Yahoo for just shy of 6 mill, when he became a true billionaire.
1 Donald Trump
Donald Trump can probably afford to buy a private jet every few months because he’s worth billions. But the extravagant former real estate mogul has had his Boeing 727 for more than 20 years, which means he changes wives more than he does planes. That’s perhaps because the Boeing is one of the best planes around, and one of the most popular choices for those who have a high-net worth.
Before buying the jet from Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, the President spent millions on renovations. So without even entering the jet, you already get to see a glimpse of Trump’s trademark opulence, as the Trump logo on the side of the Boeing is made from 23-carat gold leaf. The tacky but expensive use of gold or gold tones is what Trump is famous for.
For interior renovations, Trump added a lot of gold accents, leather armchairs with their own personal high-tech flat screens, crystal lamps from Waterford and seatbelt buckles plated in—yep, you guessed it!—gold! The plane is so large (it can fly up to 32 passengers) that it includes two bedrooms—one is the master—a dining room, a lounge, a conference room and a marble-clad bathroom.