A private jet firm is selling social distance-friendly seats between New York and Florida for the price of first class ticket – see inside the luxurious plane

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider
  • XO is offering a private jet experience where passengers fly between New York and Florida on a VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 for a fraction of the cost of a charter.
  • Passengers only pay for their seat and but still get nearly the full private jet experience.
  • Flights depart from and arrive at private terminals in New York and Florida and in-flight meals and WiFi are complimentary.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Private aviation firm XO has created a unique East Coast air bridge this summer that promises the luxury of private jet travel at the cost of a first class airline ticket.

On weekends throughout the rest of the season, XO will be shuttling passengers between New York and Florida on a VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft. Normally used for airline operations, the converted regional jet offers one of the largest and widest cabins in its class, helping flyers social distance in the sky easier than on an airliner.

Chartering the aircraft to traverse the coast for a weekend normally costs upwards of $US25,000 but for a one-way flight, XO passengers only pay around $US2,000 – and often less – for a seat and can still indulge in all the luxuries of private flying. The only catch is that they have to share the jet with up to 15 other flyers.

It’s called a public charter where XO charters the entire plane and markets it to passengers on a per-seat basis, bringing down the cost for flyers as opposed to chartering the entire plane. Much like how the airlines fill their planes, it allows passengers to experience the private jet set life for less.

Business Insider caught up the jet before one of its trips to Florida.

Here’s what you can expect when a buy a seat on this luxury aircraft.


The New York departure point for the service is Westchester County Airport in White Plains, a 30-mile drive from Manhattan but in the heart of the suburbs on the New York-Connecticut border.

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Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

It’s smaller than the majors like John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, and LaGuardia, as well as less congested than Teterboro, which allows for shorter taxi times and fewer delays.

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XO operates the service out of Million Air, a private terminal on the airport’s south side from where all passengers for the flight will arrive and depart.

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The Million Air private terminal at Westchester County Airport. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

The private terminal offers free parking just a short walk from the main entrance or valet for $US20 per day.

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The Million Air private terminal at Westchester County Airport. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Million Air is one of Westchester County Airport’s newest and arguably nicest private terminals, also known as a fixed-base operator, or FBO for short.

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The Million Air private terminal at Westchester County Airport. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Read More:

This $US70 million private jet terminal looks more like a Colorado ski chalet than it does an airport – take a look inside


There’s no winding check-in lines, invasive security screenings, or long walks to the gate, only cosy living areas in which passengers can relax before the short hop down south.

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The Million Air private terminal at Westchester County Airport. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Well-appointed lounge areas also replace the crowded gates of the commercial terminal just across the runway.

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The Million Air private terminal at Westchester County Airport. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

And there’s no shortage of fireplaces to get that true mountain chalet feel, though the fires aren’t roaring during the summer as much as they are in winter.

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The Million Air private terminal at Westchester County Airport. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Passengers first check-in with an XO representative where bags are tagged and health declarations are filled out.

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The Million Air private terminal at Westchester County Airport. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

While the passengers wait to board, the private terminal offers complimentary beverages, Starbucks coffee, and free WiFi.

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The Million Air private terminal at Westchester County Airport. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Masks are required in the elegant terminal with hand sanitizer stations also scattered throughout.

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The Million Air private terminal at Westchester County Airport. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

The “boarding door” for the flight closes 10 minutes prior to departure – the latest passengers can arrive – but passengers frequently arrive extra early and get to enjoy all the amenities of the FBO that also includes a golf simulator.

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The Million Air private terminal at Westchester County Airport. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

When it’s time to board, passengers are escorted across the ramp for a quick walk to their awaiting chariot.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Tennessee-based Corporate Flight Management, also known as Contour Aviation, operates the aircraft, which XO just charters and markets on a per-seat basis.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Source: Corporate Flight Management/Contour Aviation


Waiting at the bottom of the air-stairs is the cabin attendant, greeting each passenger as they board.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

After stepping aboard, passengers are then immediately greeted by the 16-seat cabin.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

While most airlines typically offer the jet in a 2-2 configuration with around 50 seats, this CRJ200 is in a social distancing-friendly 1-1 layout with mostly forward-facing seats.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Each seat is a leather recliner with plenty of legroom.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Standard amenities include a foldable tray table stored in the armrest that can be extended half-way for drinks…

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

And then all the way during the meal service or for working on a laptop.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Other features include a 110v AC power outlet and USB power outlet at each seat…

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Personal reading lamp and air vent…

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Storage compartment…

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

And XO branded headrest covers.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

As it was originally intended for airlines, the CRJ200 is wider than most private jets.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

This creates more room to stretch out in the recliners and, of course, for social distancing in the skies.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Passengers still aren’t six feet apart but they’re spaced further than on comparable private jets or a commercial airliner.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Most seats face forward but there are four pairs of seats that face each other.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Those sections are ideal for families or couples travelling together.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

The jet also has an enclosed restroom in the very back.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

It’s a standard set up but also comes with some additional toiletries like lotions and hand sanitizer.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Hopping between New York and Florida is routine and typically takes around 3 hours.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

The crew is minimal with only two pilots and one cabin attendant serving all 16 passengers. After take-off, the snack and beverage service begins with brand name offerings like SkinnyPop and Cliff Bars.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Once passengers are settled, it’s time for the in-flight meal service, served by the cabin attendant.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Menus are sent to passengers in advance of each flight with around five options to chose from.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

After the meal, it’s time for dessert and if there’s time, a hot towel.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

The dessert menu is simple with some Ghirardelli chocolates and mints served quite literally on a silver platter.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

The seat-backs are bare on the jet as there’s no in-flight entertainment but complimentary WiFi helps pass the time.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

The seats also offer a deep recline, perfect for a post-meal nap…

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

As long as there’s nobody in the next seat.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Each seat also has its own window for those who enjoy gazing upon the upper altitudes and Earth’s surface as entertainment.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Mood lighting is offered on the aircraft with the cabin changing colours between white…

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Orange…

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Red…

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Pink…

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

And blue.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

When the CRJ-200 is not in operation, another luxury private Gulfstream G400 is used instead with a similar 1-1 configuration and 14 seats.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Source: XO and Northeastern Aviation Corp.


The CRJ200, however, is unique in its design and offering.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Though the airframe is nearly 20 years old, the interior appears brand-new with the leather recliners and carpeted floors not showing any signs of age.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

But you don’t have to be a millionaire to fly on the plane as seats sell for a few thousand dollars one way and are often the $US1,000-$US2,000 range.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

With airlines split on how to tackle social distancing in the skies, flying private is becoming more popular but for those who can’t justify the cost, this service is the perfect middle ground.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Read More:

Private jet industry CEOs say business will boom as the wealthy abandon airlines and reveal what they’re doing now to take advantage


The firm offers memberships where private flyers can crowdfund flights and purchase seats on existing charters but buying a seat on this service doesn’t require one, though non-members do pay an extra $US395 fee for each seat and the lowest membership only runs for $US595 per year.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

XO typically offers one of these flights per day in each direction from Thursday to Sunday though flight times and offerings vary depending on the day and routings can change.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Source: XO


One of the other perks of using an airliner turned private jet is the massive luggage hold, so passengers don’t have to worry about what they’re packing.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Down in Florida, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is used as the southern terminus for the route, nearly equidistant from Miami to the south and West Palm Beach to the north.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Private jet flyers utilising the service, however, still need to quarantine after their arrival from either New York or Florida due to travel restrictions mandated by the governors of each state.

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A VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 private jet. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider