How to Travel in Luxury, With or Without the Price Tag

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Maybe private jet ownership hasn't quite made a full recovery from the recession (will anyone ever forget how the clueless suits from the Big 3 automakers went to D.C. to ask for handouts -- in their private jets?); however, fractional jet ownership seems to be making some headway.

You and your friends can all take turns on a very cool ride. Hate to share? Buy a big Boeing like John Travolta and hog all the bin space yourself.

Luxury Travel -- Pay a Little, Pay a Lot

4. Beastly Luxury

Pet Airways is still going strong and while you can't enjoy it, it's a posh ride for your pet.

It's not cheap however -- I just checked roundtrip prices for LA/New York and it was about $1,800. However, that was for a big dog that would have had to fly in cargo on a human airline, which does not always end well (according to government statistics for December 2010, airlines reported six pet deaths and one pet injury for that month alone).

5. The Ultimate High You could become an astronaut - kind of. Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is already taking reservations for sub-orbital flights (it'll cost $200,000 but you only need to plunk down a $20K deposit now). This week, the White Knight II - the aircraft from which the actual "space ship" - landed at SFO to celebrate the newly renovated terminal that'll be Virgin America's home in San Francisco. According to Branson, the first flights for space tourists are now "between 12 and 18 months" away.

6. My Approach to Luxury

I've said it before, I'll say it again: my idea of "luxury" is pretty simple.

Give me a comfortable seat (I'm all for avoiding deep vein thrombosis on those eight-hour flights whenever possible), adequate bin space for my carryon, a speedy and painless few minutes at security and boarding, and the serenity of knowing that I -- and my luggage -- will take off and land together on schedule.

Doesn't seem like too much to ask, does it?

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