How the super-rich beat jet lag, from IV drips to Aztec rituals

Writer Hazel Plush on board a VistaJet plane – Sam Churchill

“If you as CEO are paid five million pounds a year, losing just one day to jet lag will cost the company tens of thousands – or more,” says Matteo Atti coolly, unfazed by such extraordinary figures. “That is why wellness on board is not an indulgence: it is an investment. You have to be in good shape to meet your investors, or to do that billion-dollar deal.”

While the rest of us make do with eye masks and neck pillows, private jet passengers have a wide range of gadgets and advisors to help them jump between time zones. Onboard menus designed by nutritionists, onboard double beds with memory foam mattresses, pre-departure IV drips to boost rehydration: these are all de rigeur in Atti’s world. And as Chief Marketing Officer of VistaJet, the world’s second largest private aviation provider, he not only has first-hand experience of this way of life, but he encourages it.

We met on a gray morning in March at Farnborough Airport, one of Britain’s busiest private aviation hubs – and not even the driving rain could dampen the rhythm of the runway. Gulfstreams, Embraers, Cessnas: these sleek, multi-million dollar planes sat on the tarmac, ready to take the jet set to Geneva, Dubai, Aspen and beyond.

VistaJet's client list includes the Clooneys, the Obamas and the BeckhamsVistaJet's client list includes the Clooneys, the Obamas and the Beckhams

VistaJet’s client list includes the Clooneys, the Obamas and the Beckhams – Eric Thayer

But the most eye-catching of them all was VistaJet’s Bombardier Global 7500, the largest purpose-built private jet in existence, dubbed by experts as the ‘Ferrari of the skies’. The list price is $75 million (£59 million), and VistaJet has 18 in its fleet – the largest collection in the world – each available for $25,000 (£19,700) per hour, the flagship of its membership-based charter offering.

The company’s client list is equally dazzling: the Clooneys, the Obamas and the Beckhams have all been spotted out of their silver and red livery in recent years. Taylor Swift even reportedly used a VistaJet plane to fly from Tokyo to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas last month, making even bigger headlines than the game itself.

Food fit for F1 champions

You might think that if you travel around the world sleeping in the Global 7500’s double bed, or reclining in the ergonomic ‘zero gravity’ leather seats, you’ll land at your destination pretty crisply. “But what if you arrived feeling better than when you left?” Atti thought rhetorically, a smooth transition to VistaJet’s new wellness program, created with the expertise of nutritionists, doctors and other health experts – the first of its kind in the aviation world.

Taylor Swift's flight from Tokyo to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas attracted bigger headlines than the game itselfTaylor Swift's flight from Tokyo to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas attracted bigger headlines than the game itself

Taylor Swift’s flight from Tokyo to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas made bigger headlines than the game itself – Getty

“We start with a 90-minute consultation prior to the flight,” explains Jenna Daou, the company’s private dining specialist and a trained dietitian. “I learn about the members’ lifestyle, tastes, medical history and dietary needs, and create a profile that I use to create menus for all their flights.”

No time for a consultation? Daou has also devised sample menus, including a Performance Athlete menu created in collaboration with F1 champion Charles Leclerc. Think grilled chicken, vegetables, salmon, whole grains – the kinds of foods your doctor recommends. VistaJet flies Ferrari’s drivers all over the world – “and they are very picky about what they eat,” laughs Daou.

Alternatively, the Rejuvenate menu offers ingredients packed with probiotics, collagen and antioxidants, such as beet juice, asparagus and fermented foods. The Revitalize menu includes iron-rich organic filet mignon, served rare, with raw spinach and watercress.

Buddhism, bathing and ‘biohacking’

VistaJet’s billionaire founder and chairman Thomas Flohr reportedly spends more than 200 days in flight every year, traveling between his homes around the world – as well as those of his daughter Nina, who lives with Greek and Danish royal families married.

Hazel tries out some of the Guerlain cosmetics provided during the flightHazel tries out some of the Guerlain cosmetics provided during the flight

Hazel tries out some of the Guerlain cosmetics provided during the flight: Sam Churchill

The reach of its aircraft is equally extensive: Since 2004, VistaJet’s fleet has flown to 2,400 airports in 96 percent of all countries. “And we thought to ourselves: this puts the best wellness treatments in the world at our fingertips,” said Atti, as he handed me a thick brochure entitled Private world. The pages are filled with extraordinary destination experiences: think helicopter flights to Everest base camp for guided meditation with Buddhist monks – or ‘biohacking’ at Six Senses Ibiza, with cryotherapy (extreme cold) and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, both commonly used by elite athletes . athletes to promote muscle recovery.

If you fly to Mexico, you can take part in a cocoa ceremony, a “euphoric experience” rooted in Mayan and Aztec rituals, the brochure explains — where you drink pure cocoa while you “meditate, do ecstatic dancing and breathwork.” In Costa Rica, ‘sound bath’ healing uses the vibrations of Tibetan singing bowls to remove ‘excess negative energy’ after your trip, while in India mangal snãn (meaning ‘auspicious bath’) involves oil anointings and massages – all guided by live therapy. musicians, a ritual historically performed on royalty.

Yoga on board and ‘daylight simulation’

True to the brand, the Global 7500 also offers a wealth of ways to reduce the toll of air travel. I poked around the airy plane – all soft leather and polished wood, with large windows and temperature controls at each seat via a touch screen. The cabin’s ‘daylight simulation’ lighting system uses fixed wavelengths to synchronize passengers’ circadian rhythms with their destination time zone, and is pressured to simulate altitude at 4,000 feet: a more forgiving environment than the usual 8,000 feet of commercial aircraft.

Hazel talks to Naomie Shortt, a VistaJet 'Cabin Host'Hazel talks to Naomie Shortt, a VistaJet 'Cabin Host'

Hazel talks to Naomie Shortt, a VistaJet ‘Cabin Host’ – Sam Churchill

“When you land, it feels like you’ve barely been anywhere; no bloating, no fatigue,” laughs cheerfully Naomie Shortt, one of the cabin attendants – or ‘Cabin Host’ in VistaJet parlance. I peeked into the bedroom, with its high-thread-count sheets and built-in library, and wondered if Clooney had ever dripped into his hypoallergenic pillows.

Cashmere socks, cotton pajamas, custom face creams and serums from premium brand Guerlain – all are provided on board, as are yoga mats, massage balls and rollers (there’s more than enough room in the cabin for an ashtanga session on board). I had to stifle a laugh at the four-disc yoga DVD, a rather years-nought throwback – just in case you can’t stream a workout from your phone.

It’s all so noble, so antithetical to the idea of ​​a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle on a private jet. When did that 1 percent become so healthy? “The jet set has a reputation for being excessive, but that’s not true at all,” laughs Atti. “Once you’ve tasted the best champagnes, you’ve tasted them all: it gets boring, doesn’t it? But with wellness, the possibilities – and benefits – are endless.”

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