Enjoy Alice in Wonderland Tea Parties Up In The Skies

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Dress-up and performances might be common at a themed birthday party, but not so much while you’re cruising altitude. Entertainment options are usually limited to a screen and headphones, and it can become quite a headache for parents to keep their child occupied.

VistaJet Group Holding Ltd has teamed up with Sharky & George – a children’s party creator – to offer Mad Tea Parties onboard your next private jet.

The subscription-based global aviation company just launched its Adventures in the Sky program on June 1 with the exclusive London-based children’s party creator with an almost cultlike following. These Alice in Wonderland inspired parties come at a starting price of US$4000, excluding the US$12,000 required to charter the jet.

The experience includes actors dressed as characters from the world famous kids’ book, who will engage the children and family with fun activities. From delicious desserts, tea to games, the lineup are all vetted for plane safety and designed to be mess-proof. In fact, the company has experimented with 17 variants of stickers to find the right one that wouldn’t ruin the plush leather seats onboard.

Parties can be adapted for different ages and interests, but they all start with a handful of themes: a moviemaking option complete with green screen; a spy adventure promising international intrigue; and, of course, Alice in Wonderland.

While private jets with parties for kids may seem like a niche concept, Matteo Atti, executive vice president feels like they are meeting a gap in the market. “Given that one in every four VistaJet flights has a child on board, we saw the opportunity to build something incredibly special for our younger passengers,” he says. Researching and creating the product was a yearlong process. But it’s worth the effort to keep parents and children happy, he says, and to attract new flying families.

“If you can trust us with your family, you can trust us with anything,” he says.

According to luxury-travel network Virtuoso, the number of jet charter trips grew 10 percent from 2014 to 2016. PrivateFly, a global charter-booking broker that works with 250 operators worldwide, said in its first-quarter 2018 report that 15 percent of its passengers were younger than 16, up 50 percent from a year ago. In a market that Atti estimates has an addressable population in the mid-five figures globally, catering to—and retaining—each client is crucial, even if that client is 5 years old.

Formalizing Adventures in the Sky has made the company nimbler in responding to kid-related issues: Since only 10 percent of its clients fly with nannies, VistaJet’s Cabin Hostesses have all taken coursework in family-based psychology and age-based care at Norland College, an institute for early-childhood education in Bath, England. They’re trained to calm nervous children and even the bottle-feed.

For those who want something less extravagant as a full-blown party, the company will create activity hampers and backpacks—stuffed with treasure maps and stop-motion Lego moviemaking kits. Of course, whether or not the price tag of these adventures in the sky is worth the experience, is best judged by the guests themselves.

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