WSJ: BizJets Used For Personal Travel

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The Wall Street Journal has published data regarding the movements of corporate jets between the years of 2007 and 2010 and Thursday the Journal suggested that personal use of corporate aircraft is greatly underreported. According to the Journal, "Dozens of jets operated by publicly traded corporations made 30% or more of their trips to or from resort destinations, sometimes more than 50%." The Securities and Exchange Commission requires that all personal travel on company aircraft be reported if it exceeds $25,000 annually or consists of more than 10 percent of executive benefits. According to estimates made by the Journal, one company underreported by more than $600,000. And in another case the Journal estimated the underreporting at roughly $2.5 million. That kind of math involves supposition and in some cases may disregard other factors.

The Journal has no sure way of knowing which flights are personal and which flights are business-related, but instead associated flights that landed near the homes of corporate executives as personal flights. In one case, 46 percent of an aircraft's activity involved flights between vacation spots and destinations where an executive owned vacation homes. Vacation destinations alone do not necessarily indicate personal use of the jets. According to the Journal, "The high percentage of trips to vacation destinations in a few cases suggests some companies' jets are frequently used by executives to make personal trips." There are other considerations. Some companies require their executives to use corporate jets for private or business travel due to privacy or security concerns.