In an effort to save money, possibly in the lead up to the United Kingdom Royal Wedding of Price Harry and Kate Middleton, Prince Charles has opted for some alternative travel plans. In planning for a trip to the United States to visit President Obama as well as address an agriculture conference, the Prince chose to forgo a very large, government-owned private jet with full entourage on the British dime, instead opting to borrow his personal friend Joe Allbritton’s private Gulfstream IV as a favor.
On his travels between May 3 & 5, just days after the Royal Wedding of his son Prince William, it is confirmed that neither Prince Charles nor the UK taxpayer will pay a cent toward the flight over, instead having the Texas financier cover the cost.
While some are chiding the Prince for not acknowledging the carbon impact of such a decision, the prince's communications secretary Paddy Harverson argued that they, “always do consider the carbon impact of our travel plans, but we have to take into account a number of important factors when deciding how to travel, such as security, and the guarantee of prompt departure and arrival times…When these and other factors are taken into account, we decided that the use of the private charter was the best practical option to ensure the trip could go ahead smoothly.”
While some view private jets as a lavish, unnecessary expense, chartering such a flight has proven its worth time and time again. With the ability to fly in and out of smaller, less crowded airports with no wait to pass through security, as well as the ability to deal with decreased air traffic, private jets provide passengers the ability to retain the most valuable resource: time.