SkyWest: Director Didn’t Fly on Delta “Private Jet”

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Comfort Plus seats on a Delta Air Lines flight Embraer 175 operated by Delta Connection.

The viral travel story of the month apparently doesn’t fly. Film director Vincent Peone’s video depicting him as the lone traveler on a Delta Connection/SkyWest flight 3652 from Aspen to Salt Lake City may involve some Hollywood storytelling.

“Last week @Delta gave me my own private jet…kind of,” Mr. Peone tweeted and included a video of his experience that has been watched over 2.7 million times (as of this post).

His video showed the boarding process (him being called by name and noted as being the flight’s sole passenger), crew loading sandbags into the CRJ-700 to add weight, and the flight attendant’s welcome greeting and safety briefing. Toward the end of the short film, the reported Delta Diamond Medallion tells the pilots, “Thank you so much for flying me.”

Yet he never explicitly shows any footage of him in flight— or even taxiing. Or says actually says he rode the plane.

Probably because SkyWest says Mr. Peone never left the ground on the plane.

Delta Air Lines said the plane taxied to the runway — but a mechanical problem forced the aircraft to return to the terminal.

Delta said the plane was “completely empty” when it was finally airborne (which leads me to wonder who was at the controls if absolutely no one was aboard 😉 ).

The mothership, for their part, seemed to be kind and playing along with the filmmaker.

According to ABC News, a spokesperson said, “their agents were ‘responding to something in the moment,’ and were glad that Peone looked like he was having a good time.”

Mr. Peone told the Washington Post, “I have never flown on a true private jet. But I have filmed on them before; I’ve physically been on them, but they were grounded.

I think you should end the story with an invitation to a private jet for me. Invite anyone to actually fly me private.”

If put in the same position, how many of us would have nerded out similar to how he did? (I know I would have.)

Meanwhile, if you have a private jet, Mr. Peone will be happy to fly on it — and probably get you tons of publicity.

—Chris

2 comments

  1. Why would sandbags have to be added for weight? Can’t believe balance would be a problem with only 2 people onboard a 700. Or maybe cargo was unbalanced?

  2. @Bill G: Balance is a good guess. I know airlines have contracts with some shipping and delivery services, so maybe some of those payloads were in the hold?

    If the pilots who read René’s Points want to share their insight we’re all ears eyes!

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