My only flight on a private plane was in the early 1990s, when I accepted an invitation to interview Rocco Forte, then chair of the Forte hotels and restaurants group, during his flight from London to Cork for the opening of Ireland’s first Travelodge and Little Chef.

The four passengers — Forte, his communications chief, another journalist and me — lounged on more lavishly upholstered seats than I had experienced on any commercial plane. But coming back to land in London, we were buffeted by a crosswind so gusty that I stepped off with the queasy conviction that private planes were overrated...

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