Flying in a private plane is the ultimate symbol of success and excessive wealth. In today’s celebrity-obsessed culture, there is no shortage of Instagram and Snapchat shots of young celebrities flaunting their wealth by posing in front of the aspirational symbol of elitism. Who wouldn’t choose to bypass the long security lines and horrible plane food, for the ultimate in luxury and comfort with their own plane to take them directly to your destination?
While a number of celebrities will often charter a private plan to gallivant across the world, (and will happily show off their journey to the world), a select few have taken the plunge and actually purchased a jet to add to their transportation options. Celebrities like Oprah don’t have time to find a chartered jet when they need to travel- they can just hop on their own plane and take off without hassle.
On the other hand, there are a number of celebrities you may be surprised to know who choose to fly commercial and are often seen alongside regular folks just like us, and sometimes even in economy. Check out which celebrities own their own planes, and which ones you may see on your next flight.
20 Beyonce and Jay- Z, Owners of $40 Million Jet
When your career centers around you flying around the world with your husband and performing at sold-out shows, it is no wonder that Beyonce and Jay Z decided to opt for a private jet to transport them across the globe. The powerhouse singer purchased the private plane as an extravagant father’s day gift for her husband for a reported $40 million. The Bombardier Challenger 850 is personalized with her husband’s name (S. Carter) and the family has often shared pictures of them enjoying the luxury on social media. We wonder if Blue Ivy even knows what a commercial flight is like?
19 Mark Cuban, Owner of $144 Million Jet
When you are the owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks and star of the hugely successful entrepreneur show Shark Tank, a completely customized Boeing 767 is almost expected. The self-made billionaire has purchased a number of jets, with his first jet costing $40 million. He has added two more to his collection, one that he rents out and the other that is used exclusively for Maverick team members. While the price is astronomical, the purchase made good business sense for the busy entrepreneur who claims that the jets have saved him a ton of money by simply saving his valuable time.
18 Michael Jordan, Owner of Flying Sneaker
Taking ‘air Jordan’ to literal heights, the greatest basketball player of all time has put a personalized touch on his private jet. He recently upgraded his private jet by repainting it from its previous shade of powder blue and white (which represented his college North Carolina colors), with a coat of an elephant print design that mimics his iconic shoe wear. The jet has a signature ‘N236MJ’ tail number and is adorned with the image of Jordan’s signature jump, so there is a constant reminder of the heights Michael Jordan can actually get to.
17 Oprah Winfrey, Owner of a $42 Million Jet
When you are worth almost $2 billion, it almost wouldn’t make sense not to have a private jet. The Queen of daytime TV decided to opt for personalized and private travel after she had a disturbing encounter with a “fan” in an airport in the 1990s, (before her billionaire status) who she considered as being aggressive and rude towards her. Proving the power of positive thinking, and visualization, Oprah vowed to earn enough to purchase a private plane. She since decided to avoid the crowds and stick to private air transport for the ultimate in luxury and peace of mind.
16 Jim Carey, Owner of a $59 Million Jet
If you have $8000 to spare, you may be able to charter comedian Jim Carey’s private jet for the hour. The aviation enthusiast purchased a Gulfstream V, which is known as one of the highest performing private planes in the world and can take its owner to almost any location in the world, without stopping as it is a long-range aircraft. The interiors offer pure comfort as the plane has been redesigned to accommodate only 16 guests. Imagine taking an entire economy cabin and formatting it to fit 16 people -talk about ample leg room for long distance traveling!
15 David Beckham, Owner of an $18 Million Jet
One of the most famous soccer players in the world (or football players if you like), and married to the fashion icon, Victoria Beckham, (or Posh Spice, if you like), David Beckham’s private plan was often used to travel between his football games and his family who lived in America at one point. The owner of a Bombardier Challenger 350, Beckham is known to fly family members of his son’s football team to their out of city games, and his model and fashion designer wife is known to use the plan to jet set around Europe. No word yet on whether she is smiling while doing so.
14 Tom Cruise, Owner of $36 Million Jet
While his ex-wife Katie Holmes has been spotted riding the New York subway on multiple occasions with her daughter Suri in tow, Tom Cruise is living the complete opposite life and is flying high in his Gulfstream IV private plane. The aviation enthusiast has a love of flying, owning planes and jumping out of them (as his recent appearance on the Late Late Show with James Cordon demonstrated). His private plan can accommodate up to 20 passengers and 2 aircrew members to service their every need in privacy and luxury.
13 Celine Dion, Owner of a $42 Million Jet
With a net worth of $800 million, this almost billionaire has clearly earned the right to fly in luxury and privacy. Celine Dion purchased a Bombardier BD 700 Global Express for a reported $42 million and is often seen using the plane to transport her around the world for concerts and vacations. The private plan is said to have several luxurious bathrooms as well as a full-service kitchen, which ensures that there won’t be any dreaded plane food while traveling in style. She is also known to have purchased a massive home on a private island in Canada, so perhaps the plane comes in handy while trying to reach remote destinations.
12 Taylor Swift, Owner of a $40 Million Jet
The new Princess of Pop has solidified her place in music history by becoming one of the youngest pop stars to purchase her own private jet. The singer purchased a Dassault- Breguet Falcom jet and personalized it with her favorite number (13) on the nose of the jet. The registration of the aircraft is ‘N898TS’, perhaps in reference to the name of her previous album, and of course, her initials. The plane is fitted with 12 seats, so her entire crew can join her for her trips around the world, or just a few friends, with still enough room for her guitars.
11 Bill Gates, Owner of a $40 Million Jet
At the tender age of 31, Bill Gates became the youngest billionaire in history at the time (we see you, Kylie Jenner, coming for his title). Since then, he has said that his biggest indulgences have been the purchase of a Porsche and his private jet. He purchased a Bombardier BD-700 Global Express that seats up to 19 people and says he uses it mostly for business purposes. Similar to Mark Cuban, when your deals involve millions or sometimes billions of dollars, you likely want to save as much time as possible to focus on closing deals, rather than booking travel.
10 Meghan Markle, Chooses Commercial (Sometimes)
Ok, so the recently appointed royalty obviously does have a choice to fly private and probably does fly on a private plane for official Royal business, but the down-to-earth princess recently boarded a commercial flight from England to Toronto to visit her old friend, Jessica Mulroney and went completely incognito. Ms. Markle may have been missing the simpler times of her days in Toronto and left England for a short 3-day visit with friends. While she likely wasn’t seated in coach, the fact that Meghan was brave enough to board a commercial flight, as one of the most sought-after pictures in the world at the moment, proves her humility and courage.
9 Halle Berry, Beauty at the Airport
Can you imagine boarding a plane and settling in and realizing you are being seated next to one of the most beautiful women in the world? It seems Halle Berry has no problem flying commercial as she is often pictured arriving off of commercial airlines from flights around the world. Pictures of her leaving the LAX airport after flights from Paris, or Toronto are always surfacing online in the magazines, and unintentionally making us feel guilty for looking like a zombie after such long flights. In almost every shot, she still comes off looking every bit the beauty queen that she is.
8 Blake Lively, Flying with Children
Traveling with children is a challenge for even the best of us. Blake Lively makes it look so easy as she is often photographed traveling commercial airlines alongside her children. And while we normally complain about the seat size and lack of menu items in economy class, Blake has a slightly different concern that is truly unique to her celebrity status. She recently complained while on an appearance of Jimmy Kimmel Live, that traveling commercial airlines can be quite awkward when every screen around you is playing scenes of her husband, Ryan Reynolds engaged in intimate acts- yah that is one of the may way celebs are NOT just like us.
7 Priyanka Chopra, Long Distance Traveler
The Bollywood turned Hollywood beauty has an impressive and extensive travel schedule that sees her flying back and forth between her home in LA and India. She has discussed at length about the number of times she has made the 20-hour commute and even seems to enjoy it, commenting that she enjoys the people watching in airports. While she is not known to fly coach, she still slugs it out at airports and has to put up with delays, long-haul flights, and sometimes annoying seat neighbors. Just keep an eye out for her plus one- Nick Jonas seems to have grown fond of trips to India as well!
6 Demi Lovato, Commercial with Comfort
If you are a fan of paparazzi photos and a fan of Demi Lovato, you might have noticed an odd trend in her airport pictures. The soulful singer is often photographed arriving at or leaving airports around the world, and whenever she lands in LA, she is often seen carrying around her own pillow. We are sure that first class flights provide the sleeping aid, so it is unclear why Demi finds the need to lug around pillows on long-haul flights. She did, however, allude to a practice of possibly taking a pillow from whatever hotel she is staying at, on a recent Ellen Show appearance- although she was quick to neither confirm or deny such tactics, realizing it probably isn’t best to announce that to the world!
5 Paris Hilton, Commercial Like the Rest of Us
In the early 2000s, Paris Hilton likely wouldn’t be caught dead flying on a commercial plane. At the height of her success, she was often seen traveling the world with her friends in tow and using private planes to take her to exotic locations to party. Now slightly more mature, Paris Hilton is often seen at the LAX airport, and even admitted to flying commercial at times, insisting that she is “normal.” While it likely isn’t normal to fly around the world to attend parties as a host, the fact that she has downgraded to commercial to become more like us regular folk can be seen as noble.
4 Bill and Hillary Clinton
Long gone are the days of private travel on Air Force One. While the former President and former First Lady probably grew accustomed to private air travel, the couple was recently spotted flying commercial not once, but twice in one weekend. Given their status, the couple’s flying experience was anything from normal, however, as they had full Secret Service detail with them to ensure their safety. The couple traveled in first class, and sat in the front row on a flight from New York to Washington, to the delight of other passengers who had to pass them by to get to their seats.
3 Sean ‘P.Diddy’ Combs, Commercial (Sometimes)
The image of successful rap star is usually one of excessive wealth and gratuitous spending. For music producer and self-proclaimed mogul, Sean Combs, the image got slightly out of hand with rising fuel prices. Not one to shy away from being thrifty, the rapper proudly announced that he had to cut back on his trips on his private jet for economical reasons. He estimated that a single trip on his private jet would set him back approximately $250,000. Suddenly the thousands of dollars it costs to fly first class doesn’t seem so bad!
2 Miranda Kerr, Model on Commercial Flight
It is hard to believe that this Victoria Secret beauty ever stepped foot into an economy class cabin, but she claims that up until very recently, she always flew economy class, even on long-haul flights from New York to Paris. However, given her career focuses on her looking her best at all times, she explained that the long flights left her tired and not exactly her best when having to attend photo shoots straight from the plane. She recently upgraded to first class and business class seating, but still regularly flies commercially for all of her trips.
1 Mel B, First Class Commercial Flights
While a part of the global sensation the Spice Girls, there is no doubt that Scary Spice and her crew boarded private jets to tour the world during the sensationalized crazy of the early 2000s. However now, Mel B, the opinionated judge on America’s Got Talent, is often seen in airports traveling between her hometown in England, to her work-town of LA. While she usually documents her trips and has no problem showing off her first class digs, it still seems to be a slight downgrade from her earlier years of private jets and world tours.