Air Travel the Way It Should Be

Skip the commercial airlines and discover the benefits of flying with a private charter company.

I’m on a plane from Orlando to Key West and we land in another 30 minutes. But here’s what's truly remarkable... I just left the house about an hour ago!

No exaggeration. This is what flying with a private charter company is all about. And after the experience we had with the Key West Executive Air Charter crew, I wouldn’t recommend flying with anyone else.

Andy Yasurek and owner Joe Lamiroult have been working together since 2008. “My official title is flight coordinator/pilot but as far as the business goes, I run the day-to-day operation,” Andy explained. Joe is the chief pilot. And along with their office manager/accountant Natalia, chief pilot Greg and operations director Mack, they have up to seven pilots on the crew. The fleet consists of four Cessna 441 Conquest II turboprops and their newest toy, a Citation CJ4 Gen2 — the fastest single-pilot in production.

“All of us have worn captain’s uniforms in the past, but none of us like it. And that’s not why people come to us. It’s because we treat everyone like family and have fun,” Andy shared. “Whatever their status in life, regardless of how much money they have, we treat everyone the same. We know them, we know their families.”

He remembers one year at Augusta on Easter day. “I had nothing better to do so I ran to the store and got little baskets to put on the seats. When the kids boarded the plane, they were like ‘Look, the Easter Bunny came to the airplane last night!’” It’s moments like this that speak volumes about the company.

While the idea of chartering a jet for your next vacation or business trip may seem out of reach, consider this. When we arrived at Orlando Executive Airport, we parked our cars and were boarding the aircraft a few minutes later. While waiting for one other plane to finish its takeoff, we settled into our seats. Minutes later we were in the air enjoying the stunning view. And the flight back from Key West was no different. There were no long waits anywhere, like standing in line for ticketing and TSA screening. And the entire process was seamless.

Then there’s the cost. “We get a lot of small groups like bachelor parties. Let’s say you and your friends want to fly to an island in the Bahamas using a commercial airline. We’re talking between $800 and $1,200, and it’s going to take you all day to get there,” Andy estimates. “It’s actually cheaper for you to pool your money and fly with us. Plus, you don’t have to worry about missing the plane because you control the schedule. And you can bring all your stuff, like a beer cooler. We’ve had clients bring everything from tile for replacing their bathroom floor to an actual toilet!”

Sometimes things don’t pan out and trips fall through. That’s when the crew gets creative. “I had a group of people who were on their way to do a ski trip. Unfortunately, there was a bad ice storm and the slopes were closed. The whole trip went south instantly. My client, his daughter and her friends were stuck in Washington at the airport,” Andy recalls.

“So, he calls me up and the next thing you know I’ve got the whole thing set up — the Atlantis Bahamas resort in Nassau. ‘Why Atlantis,’ he wanted to know. I’ll tell you why. You’ve got a group of girls who aren’t going to want anything to do with you. Atlantis has everything possible for them to do — a water park, swimming with sharks and laying by the pool for starters. They can do all this and never leave the area. Maybe you want to go to the casino,” he explained. “Better yet, you could set it up to where it’s all-inclusive, and you don’t have to keep handing them a credit card. So that’s what we did.”

It’s not hard to tell that Andy and the rest of the crew love what they do. “Before your team got here, I told Natalia, ‘I can’t wait to see the expressions on their faces because here’s what’s going to happen. You guys are going to get on the plane and be like, ‘This is cool.’ But it’s not going to hit you until you’re on the ground, you smell that salt air and you’re in Key West. Then you grab a bite to eat. And when you get back you’re going to say, ‘My goodness, I just flew to Key West for lunch!’ You did something epic and you’re home in time for dinner. That is why people fly private.”

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