It’s the lifestyle that Tom Cruise’s character Les Grossman talks about so memorably in comedy Tropic Thunder – flying in a Gulfstream G5 instead of earning ‘frequent flyer b**** miles’.
And businessman Sam Huang reveals how he lived it for free, using a ‘status match loophole’, a perk for hitting an air miles target.
Huang flew in a G5 from South Beach, Miami, to Chicago, on a $50million G5 for the grand total of $0 – instead of $2,863. On his blog he describes stepping on board a plane that was ‘covered in bling’.
Businessman Sam Huang, pictured, flew in a G5 private jet from Miami to Chicago for free
Huang wrote on his blog that his jaw dropped when he entered the cabin and saw how luxurious it was
The jet, which is worth $50million, has an old-style CD changer for its passengers to use
Opulence: The bathroom, Huang said, was one of the stand-out features of the plane
Details: Even the flush button for the plane’s toilet has a touch of class about it
It even had gold-plated seatbelt buckles and air vents.
He wrote: ‘Upon entering the cabin, my mouth dropped as I saw the gorgeous cabin for the first time, with its beautiful leather stitching, wooden panels, and plenty of gold trimmings.
‘My assigned seat was in the front part of cabin, which consisted of a long couch, along with three pairs of plush light beige leather seats facing each other.
‘Once we hit cruising altitude, snacks were served a flight attendant took our drink orders. Over the course of the flight I had a couple glasses of Champagne, which was poured in beautifully glazed goblets.
An opportunity for a G5 selfie was never going to be passed up by Huang, who travels the world in style using air miles and travel loopholes
Buckle up – in style: The seatbelt fastenings are gold-plated, of course. Jet-setters would expect nothing less
The seats on the G5 swivel 90 degrees, so that passengers can talk to their neighbours with ease
Golden ticket: Huang’s itinerary showed that a Gulfstream IV would operate the flight, but a G5 was used instead
‘My seat was quite spacious, with plenty of padding. An added bonus the seats can be rotated up to 90 degrees using a gold handle, so you’re able to talk to your seat neighbor.
‘Each pair of seats shares a rather large dining table. Interestingly enough no small detail goes unnoticed: the table hinge is made of faux gold brass. There were golden seat belt buckles, air vents and reading lights. Even an old school CD audio controller.’
But he said that nothing compared to the size of the bathroom, which was even bigger than the first-class bathrooms on A380s.
Other perks of the trip for Huang, who was born in Pasadena but currently lives in Taipei, included a boarding process that took mere minutes – and being able to drive right up to the airport terminal building.
- To read more about the amazing trip and for tips on using air miles, visit Huang’s travel website.
Access all areas: Huang was allowed a sneak peek into the cockpit during the flight
Tom Cruise’s character Les Grossman (right) talks about the G5 lifestyle so memorably in comedy Tropic Thunder