Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saratoga Springs, New York: Airline touches down in style

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> As part of its long-time partnership with Fasig-Tipton for the annual Yearling Sales, Sentient Jet lands in Saratoga Springs each season with a charter jet service that combines first class travel with extended hospitality and luxury perks.

Sentient was named the “Preferred Private Aviation Partner” of the Kentucky Derby, Derby Oaks, and Churchill Downs in 2016 and it is a longtime sponsor of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and Fasig-Tipton.

Working with celebrities like Bobby Flay – also a regular on the thoroughbred scene – and Sherry Lehman Wines out of NYC, Sentient extends its hospitality element “onsite” to Fasig-Tipton’s Buyers’ Lounge offering buyers, owners and their affluent clients the “red carpet” treatment.

According to Sentient CEO Andrew Collins, for clients traveling on Sentient, the luxury experience does not end when they disembark at the airport. Private jet card holders have access to special purchasing and VIP benefits with high end hoteliers, retailers and restaurants around the world, including Bomber Ski, Ghurka, Frette and Graff Diamonds.

While there are no such arrangements in place yet with local hotels or restaurants, Sentient expects to increase its number of flights to and from Saratoga as its relationships with the thoroughbred racing world in Saratoga deepens.

Sentient has been offering high-end service, again in partnership with Flay and others, at the Kentucky Derby, with flight packages that typically include seating and fine dining in the prestigious suites and mansion at Churchill Downs.

Sentient Jet has been credited with creating the industry’s first private jet card. The card works like a pre-loaded credit card and allows cardholders the flexibility to purchase the number of hours they need, as well as the level of jet service, while only paying for the hours they fly. The company boasts that, in its 20 years of operation, it has “perfected the jet card model, making it a sophisticated, flexible alternative to fractional arrangements and jet ownership.” It touts itself as one of the leading private aviation companies in the country.

Collins said his company continues to “deepen” their relationship with the thoroughbred racing industry and hopes to attract many of its Kentucky, Dubai, and West Coast clients to Saratoga with its high-end hospitality packages and its commitment to both safety and luxury.

Collins also said that their relationships have grown, in part, through their sponsorship of specific horses. In 2016, Sentient Jet was the official sponsor of Nyquist, whose Derby win made him the eighth undefeated winner in the Derby’s history and the first since Big Brown accomplished the same feat in 2008. His Derby win launched Nyquist on the path to the Triple Crown where, unfortunately, he had to be pulled from the race due to a fever.

This year, the company became a lifetime sponsor of “Lookin At Lee,” runner up in the 2017 Kentucky Derby. While Collins said the horse is considered something of a long shot, “He may have his eye on the Travers.” For Sentient, that would mean an uptick in travel to and from Saratoga for the jet company during the most important race of the Saratoga season.

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