Friday, December 29, 2017

Private Jet ?

pic from robbreport

Something for serious consideration is the use of private jets to travel internally within America. There are several private jet companies in America including Delta and it's mainly about corporate travel, although people do use it for luxury vacations and getting to hard to reach places (no frills). To charter a private plane start from $10,000 (一万), if you can fill it up it works out to about $1,000 per person for in-country travel. This is about the same price on commercial airlines for less popular routes, state to state. 

pic from Delta Private Jet

From my personal experience I can tell you commercial flight is just not comfortable in America. I flew around quite a bit in my student days in the US and there were countless baggage checks on non-US citizens, you had to be physically fit to open all your luggage for checks and repack it, then repeat it a few more times even for check-in baggage. 

Then there is the infamous "special service" from United / Delta / America / Southwest airlines. I have had flight delays for almost 24 hours simply because the crew didn't turn up. People didn't used to talk about it but now they do when airline stewardesses have bad days and just freak out on passengers full on. I am not sure if that's racism or just accepting that they're stressed out.

Just checking out the newer Jet Charter companies like JetSmarter co-funded by Jay-Z. Pay a flat $10,000 1 year membership fee to download a phone app that allows you to charter a flight or show chartered flights near you with available seating. If you spend more than $10,000 on flights that year,  you can top up the payments as you go. Magellan Jets appeared on Shark Tank and it sells Jet Cards with flight hours like a phone card. The popular 25 hour Jet Card costs $200,000 to $350,000 depending on the plane model you prefer (gulfstream/challenger/sovereign).

Friday, December 22, 2017

Considering Other Cars

Over a decade ago, everyone was about Cadillac Escalade and I have to agree it is pretty amazing. You can fit 4 plus size people in with 4 full 82cm luggage bags and have space to stretch out or 6 people and 6 cabin sized luggage. I did consider the Escalade seriously for my holiday as it's well suited for luxury travel. List price starts at $80,000 (USD).

What really caught my eye is Cadillac CT6 a luxury sedan priced at the lower end of the luxury car market. When this car rolls up it says "Boss" and all the reviews agree. List price is around $60,000 (USD)

GMC Canyon pickup truck meets my budget with a list price of $21,000 (USD). Truly shocking as GMC is a premium brand of trucks, SUVs and vans only, with starting price around $60,00 to $80,000. Similar to Chevy Colorado it has 5 doors, touchscreen control pad in front and the new safety features. There are upgrade packages to choose from including GMC's Denali luxury options.

Chrysler 200 is another American 4 door sedan that comes within budget @ $24,000 (USD). The price includes rear camera, adaptive cruise control (stop and go), remote vehicle start, car diagnostics display. I like the exterior LED lights, very futuristic.

Lincoln Continental, a luxury car named after a former U.S. president. This 2017 updated vintage classic still carries old-world sophistication and will appeal to retro fans like me. Prices starting from $45,000 to $55,000 (USD), it sounds affordable but the upgrades will double that amount.

If you are into classic American cars, you don't necessarily need to get a vintage fixer-upper. Daytona brand Dodge still sells its classic muscle cars Charger, Challenger and Viper.

Dodge Charger (pic above) is a 4 door mid size sedan and Dodge Challenger (pic below) is a 2 door sports car. Both car models retain their vintage appearance and both are priced around $28,000 (USD). Customization is possible and interiors are usually Sport.

Dodge Viper (pic below) is a made in America super car with a V10 engine, priced at $100,000 (USD).

Dodge Dart (starts from $17,000 USD) compact sedan and Dodge Journey (starts from $22,000 USD) SUV comes within budget. Something to consider.

Maybach is a truly American innovation born out of requirement. The roomy interiors allow for 4 fat people to fit in comfortably with space to spare. It even allows for reclining seats in the back for the ultimate passenger relaxation. Now that its part of the Mercedes Benz group, Maybach cars include more luxury features like Burmester Surround Sound music system, Air Balance fragrance system, in-built refrigerator bar. Retail price from USD $200,000.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Chevrolet Cars

"Chevy" is another American icon. Some more cars to consider.

Chevrolet Spark $$17,000 (USD) / Chevrolet Sonic $21,000 (USD)
Both Spark and Sonic are 2 door minis. Touch screen control pad in front, rear camera, front & rear alert. Sonic has slightly better performance and is slightly bigger with almost double trunk space.

Chevrolet Cruze starts from $17,000 (USD) / Chevrolet Malibu starts from $20,000 (USD)
The starting price is a really conservative estimate. Cruze is a compact sedan, this year its available as a hatchback for more trunk space. Malibu is a mid-size sedan that offers features like report card on the road and alert when seat belts are not worn.

Chevrolet Trax starts from $21,000 (USD)/ Chevrolet Equinox starts from $24,000 (USD)
Trax and Equinox are SUVs with the new safety features like rear camera, front and rear alert system, rear cross traffic alert system and side blind zone alert system. Equinox has a visibly bigger trunk and additional features like hands-free foot-activated liftgate and surround vision.

Chevrolet Colorado starts from $20,000 (USD)
It's a 5 door truck at almost half the starting price compared to other brands. There are safety features like teen driver technology (audio is muted until front passengers buckle up etc), rear camera, forward collision alert system, lane departure warning. Loads of customization available, limited editions and accessories to personalize your ride.

Chevrolet City Express starts from $23,000 (USD)
It's a commercial van. Compared to the Ford Transit Connect, it fares slightly better in fuel economy and cargo space.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Ford Cars

If you are all about the ATVs because of price, consider these Ford cars. An iconic American brand name for an American adventure. 

Ford Fiesta
Formerly a 2 door mini now a 4 door mini, with a list price between $14,000 to $16,000 (USD). It's now got a touchscreen control pad that comes standard in all Ford vehicles. Not to mention a car has all those modern conveniences like radio, ac, optional heating etc.

Ford Focus
A slightly bigger and slightly better 4 door than Fiesta, list price between $17,000 to $20,000 (USD). The Focus has Park Assist (hands free parallel parking), reverse sensing system, rear view camera as standard. Touted as America's best-selling model.

Ford Fusion
Proper 4 door sedan, list price is around $23,000 (USD). Touted as safest drive, Fusion comes with Park Assist (parallel & perpendicular), Pre-Collision Assist (pedestrian detection), Adaptive Cruise Control (automated start/stop in traffic jams), Blind Spot Information System, Cross Traffic Alert System, Lane Keeping System, rear camera, inflatable rear seat belts.

Ford Escape
Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) with a list price around $24,000 (USD). It's got all the features of a Fusion with the addition of hands-free foot-activated lift gate (to open the trunk of the car).

 Ford Transit Connect
Commercial or passenger vehicle with a list price around $23,000 (USD). The transit connect offers the most flexibility in passenger/storage, it can carry up to 7 passengers or clear out to carry more cargo. Even the front passenger seat can be folded down to become an additional table for the driver. Quick Clear windshield defroster, rear camera, front & back sensors and not to mention the optional Towing package.