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Flying Embraer's super posh, quiet $10 million private jet

Feb. 01, 2020
4 min read
Flying Embraer's super posh, quiet $10 million private jet
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For many wealthy individuals, being able to add a private jet to the collection is the ultimate sign of success. It can also be a practical business tool, and — for those on a bit of a budget — "fractional ownership" through a company like NetJets is an option, too.

As much as they may like to have one, not everyone needs a Gulfstream, such as the $45-million G500 I got to check out in 2018. And, at the other end of the spectrum, there's just a lot a $2-million single-engine jet can't do.

That's where the Phenom 300E comes in, the industry's (and Embraer's) bestselling light jet. And, now that the $9.65-million beaut is almost ready to fly customers with the company's slick "Bossa Nova" design upgrades, I popped down to Melbourne, Florida (MLB) for a demo flight down to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), just before an army of private jets descended on the airport for Super Bowl LIV in Miami.

The Phenom 300E is Embraer's latest version of the 300 — the company has sold more than 500 aircraft in the series to date, though this latest variant, which sports a number of enhancements, won't be delivered to customers until it's certified by the FAA, hopefully within the next few months, with an anticipated first delivery in May.

The occasion of this week's visit? An opportunity for Embraer to show off a new package called "Bossa Nova," which translates to "new trend" in the Brazilian company's home language of Portuguese.

The add-on includes several enhancements — outside, customers can add a special livery, including a very slick piano-black finish on the wings.

Piano black is available for cabin finishes as well, including the glossy foldout tray tables, armrests and drink/smartphone holders, and the overhead paneling as well.

The cabin can be configured with seating for up to nine passengers, including six recliners, two on the sofa behind the cockpit and — if someone's willing — a belted commode (yes, I'm talking about the toilet). The cabin is also outfitted with two flip-down displays, touch controls, window blinds, LED lights (with adjustable color temperature) and a whole lot more, including 4G Gogo connectivity.

We had two pilots for our demo flight, per Embraer policy, but the aircraft can actually be safely flown with just one.

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Naturally, the glass cockpit is as advanced as they come, with three large displays, the latest avionics and even a runway overrun alert system.

While the cabin was so comfy and quiet I was happy to spend much of the day in the air, just about 40 minutes after taking off from Melbourne, I spotted the field on the port side of the plane — two left turns later, we were on the ground in Fort Lauderdale, hours ahead of the Super Bowl rush.

While we didn't have nearly enough time on the demo flight, topping out at just 15,000 feet, the Phenom 300E can fly at up to Mach 0.80, nearly 614 miles-per-hour — a record for a single-pilot jet. It can fly more than 2,300 miles with five passengers on board — with a lighter load, it could have carried us from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego (SAN).

Embraer's latest Phenom 300E is available to order now, for $9.65 million. Once you add the Bossa Nova package and special exterior paint, you're looking at about $10 million — although with just about everything in commercial and private aviation, it's worth trying your hand at some old-fashioned negotiation, too.

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
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  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023