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Not your average 737: This $80 million VIP jet has just 13 seats

Oct. 25, 2021
6 min read
Not your average 737: This $80 million VIP jet has just 13 seats
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Have you ever wondered how the other half lives — or flies? I recently got a taste of the good life when I toured the Boeing Business Jets 737 demonstrator plane at the National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition earlier this month in Las Vegas.

I've been on plenty of 737s before but this one was like no other. While the 737 is usually used for short trips for large groups, this one had the completely opposite mission of flying small groups long distances. It has a range of over 6,200 nautical miles so it can fly routes as long as Los Angeles to Paris.

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The demonstrator I toured was a 737-700 built in 2016. New 737 BBJs would be part of the MAX family but this plane is used to give customers an idea of the interior possibilities of the aircraft.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Upon boarding, passengers are greeted by a walk-up bar. It might not be as glitzy as Emirates' onboard bars, but it is a refined amenity to have on a private jet.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Before entering the plane’s main living space you'll pass by a fully enclosed crew rest and crew lavatory. While you'll never find crew rests on commercial 737s, they're needed on the corporate variants as these jets can fly 12 hours nonstop.

Related: Honda wants to build the first transcontinental light jet — and it’ll only need one pilot

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

While 737s can obviously fit many more people, this one is configured to seat up to 13 passengers, plus six crew members. The first half of the main room is set up like a living room. There are multiple chairs and a couch facing a wide-screen TV.

The second half of the room is set up as a conference or dining space, with seating for four (and seat belts for everyone, so you don’t have to move if things get bumpy).

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Unlike some private jets, such as Crystal Skye, the goal of this cabin wasn't a flashy design, but rather a residential feel with neutral tones. Of course, if you want a more eye-popping cabin, you can certainly get that.

On the other side of the dining area is the first of two passenger lavatories (remember, the crew members have their own lavatory). It boasts two windows and a shower. Unlike the showers that you'll find on some commercial jets, there's no time limit on the water — although there's obviously a finite supply.

Just past that is an office with a desk, chair, TV and divan. However, you can use this space as a guest bedroom as the divan converts into a bed and there are doors for privacy.

Related: A look inside the largest and longest-range business jet

At the rear of the cabin is the primary bedroom. It features a proper queen-size bed with a nightstand on both sides and plenty of room to move around. It also feels much airier than the typical 737 thanks to the lack of overhead bins.

As you might expect at this point, the bedroom also features an en suite bathroom. It has a second onboard shower and is larger than the bathroom in my New York apartment.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

It goes without saying that I'll gladly fly on a BBJ 737 any day of the week. While this specific jet features a bedroom, office, multiple bathrooms and a large living room, the configuration possibilities are endless. That said, if budget isn’t your primary consideration and you'd prefer something even bigger, you could wait for the BBJ 777X, which is expected to start flying in 2024.

 

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Featured image by (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees