Live-streaming the demise of our planet.
Nowadays, air travel is characterized by dehydration, anti-masker antics, and delays. Celebrities and A-listers who take private jets, though, aren’t subject to the same indignities as us plebes. Now, Willa, a fintech company, wants to make luxury travel available to make-believe celebs a.k.a. influencers, too. So they’re offering a free private jet to Coachella for creators only.
Apparently, though, what Willa is offering influencers with their new venture — dubbed Willa Air — is more than just a reprieve from stingy snacks. “This airline is a little different from your standard first class or private flight,” co-founder Aron Levin tells Mic. According to Levin, Willa Air’s inaugural voyage to Coachella will be “a door-to-door luxury experience,” that includes black car transfers, a pre-flight champagne breakfast, and recovery IV Drips for those inevitable hangovers.
And get this: The inaugural private flight is free. But only to 12 people. And only if those people are high profile influencers who use the Willa app to get paid. The company will also give preference to creators who use Willa often. So, yeah, this inaugural flight is free, but not for us. It’s free for people who are famous for already getting a lot of free stuff and wearing it on TikTok. But I digress.
Young content creators with hefty followings, it turns out, really need more comfortable travel options. “With influencers regularly jetting off to major cultural events across the U.S., we wanted to offer a super fast and painless travel option,” Levin tells Mic. To be fair, the maskless influencer party that got stuck in Mexico in January did seem like kind of a pain, and Willa seems committed to avoiding that kind of debacle. According to their website, passengers will be required to show proof of vaccination to fly.
It’s important to note that private air travel is kind of an ecological nightmare. Politicians have been criticized for flying on private jets, and some celebrities choose to fly commercial for environmental reasons — at least to COP26. In fact, recent research suggests that private jets account for two percent of aviation emission, and that number will only increase as private air travel gets more popular.
But I’m guessing environmental friendliness is not the aim of Willa Air. The point is to give influencers a quick, comfortable ride to Coachella and similar events — and the chance to connect with other creators. “We see the biggest differentiator as the opportunity these influencers have to be surrounded by a select community of creators they might not have otherwise met,” Levin tells Mic.
Don’t worry, though; if your application to Willa Air doesn’t get you past the velvet ropes, Coachella has a special ride-share program — Carpoolchella — for those who want to socialize with other creatives and reduce their carbon footprint. Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to honor Coachella 2022 headliner Harry Styles, who is famously an advocate for sustainable touring, than by showing up in a glitterbombed VW bus full of stans. But ya know, to each their own.