Paul Wilkinson, 65, from St Annes, Lancashire, had three cabin crew at his disposal during the three-hour Jet2 flight after fears his plane would be delayed due to lack of a queue .
A father showed up at the airport gate to find he was the ONLY passenger boarding his Jet2 flight – so he was called ‘king’ by cabin crew and treated like his own private jet.
Paul Wilkinson, from St Annes, Lancashire, was flying to meet his family in Belfast from Faro, Portugal, on March 30, but began to panic when he arrived at his door as there was no queue in sight.
The 65-year-old says that after asking airport staff if his flight had been delayed or cancelled, they told him he was their VIP guest as he would be the only passenger on board.
Project manager Paul traveled to the plane alone in a double shuttle and had a choice of seats on the flight.
He says he was treated like royalty by cabin crew who called him King Paul as he stretched out in the front row and even chatted with the captain before takeoff.
Paul said: “It was like being in my own private jet. Someone told me a private jet cost around £28,000 and that would probably never happen again.
“There was no one at the gate, which I found odd. I spoke to the stewards who were waiting to take the passports and they said ‘oh Mr Paul, you’re a VIP today. You fly alone”.
“I thought they were kidding. I thought I was early or late. I kept thinking they were going to say my flight was cancelled.
“All of a sudden they said my bus would arrive in five minutes. I thought that was surreal.
“I expected a lot of people to come running but they didn’t. The bus arrived and I took a double shuttle by myself, just the driver and me.
“It just didn’t seem right. I thought at any time they were going to say it was canceled and there had been a huge mix-up.
“The cabin crew were smiling, they kept calling me King Paul. I asked if they were joking but they said I had the plane to myself, that I could do whatever I wanted, ask what I wanted.
“The service was second to none. They gave a one-on-one safety demonstration, we took pictures and the captain came out and chatted with me.
“I jokingly asked for a refund on my seat, which I paid for. It was just surreal. I went for a walk on the plane, got a choice of toilets.”
The three-hour flight had cost Paul £130 and he had three cabin crew at his disposal.
The father-of-one was also able to skip the queues at passport control and baggage claim.
Paul said: “My suitcase arrived on its own as I was the only one at baggage claim.
“It was superb, they were available to me, I’m spoiled now. Next time I’ll ask how many people are on the plane.”
Paul had left a golf holiday in Portugal early to meet his wife Deborah, 52, who was traveling from Manchester to Belfast for a funeral.
Paul said: “The woman said she was cramped on another flight and I was on my own private jet.
“I think it was totally unique. They had taken holidaymakers to Portugal and there was no one to come back and it was pure luck that I needed to go to Belfast.
“At passport control they couldn’t believe I was the only one getting off the plane, three of them did my passport, one checked and one stamped, it was all in good spirits.”
A Jet2 spokesperson said: “We are delighted that Mr. Wilkinson was able to experience our award-winning customer service in true VIP style.
“Our outbound flight to Faro from Belfast International was particularly busy with many happy holidaymakers flying off to the Portuguese sun.”
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