Imagine you had an entire commercial flight to yourself. No lineups, no sweaty people, no fights for the armrest, no toddlers kicking your seat and no squealing babies two rows back. The flight attendants know you by name, the pilots welcome you into the cockpit and you have free rein of the entire plane, from first class to coach.
Vincent Peone lived that dream on a Delta Air Lines flight from Aspen, Colo., to Salt Lake City, Utah, earlier this month — and he recorded every delicious moment of it.
The New York City-based director scored the solo trip after his Delta flight — operated by SkyWest Airlines — was grounded last week. The airline offered him two alternatives to get home from Aspen and he chose the latter one: a short evening flight to Salt Lake City, followed by a longer flight to New York City.
He didn’t realize until he showed up at the Aspen airport that he would be the only passenger on the flight.
“The tiny airport was completely empty so I approached the lady at the gate, who told me I would be the only passenger,” Peone told NBC News. “She wasn’t sure there was a need to make an announcement, but I told her: ‘Oh, please make the announcement.'”
That’s when Peone decided to record the entire trip with his phone so he could share it later on social media. His Twitter video has been viewed more than 2 million times since Monday.
“Everyone from the sky team from that point on got a kick out of it and played along beautifully,” Peone said.
The video, which is recorded with a phone from Peone’s perspective, starts at his gate in the Aspen airport, before cutting to various moments of the trip.
“Would the only passenger on this flight kindly board at this time, Mr. Peone?” the flight attendant at the kiosk says.
“That’s me!” Peone mutters to himself.
Another scene shows two runway attendants loading large bags into the plane’s cargo hold.
“We’re just adding weight to the plane because there are no people,” Peone says from his perch by the aircraft’s doorway.
Next, the video shows a flight attendant reading out all the standard airline information and instructions for her audience of one.
“Good evening, Vincent, and welcome aboard,” the flight attendant says. “We look forward to taking care of you today.”
Later, Peone drops into the cockpit to shake hands with the pilots. “Thank you for flying me today,” he says.
Another shot in the video shows row upon row of empty seats in the plane.
“I was tempted to try to set a record and sit in every single seat,” Peone later told the Washington Post. “But I didn’t feel that ambitious.”
He says an airline employee told him the flight probably cost Delta US$30,000 to operate, but Peone thinks they ran the flight anyway because they needed to get the plane to Salt Lake City.
“It was an altogether very fun experience with a couple of tequila sodas involved when I finally sat down,” he said.
Peone says he’s never flown on a true private jet, but he appreciated getting the rare chance to enjoy the next-best thing.
Delta hasn’t issued a public statement about the unusual flight, but the airline did reply to Peone’s video on Twitter.
“Hi Vincent! That looks like an awesome experience!” the airline tweeted. “Thank you for the shoutout, and we truly appreciate you for choosing Delta!”