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Lucky couple gets VIP ‘private jet’ treatment as the only passengers on plane: ‘Like winning the lottery’

UK couple Kevin and Sam McCuillon became the envy of flyers everywhere after having a whole flight to themselves, essentially allowing .
UK couple Kevin and Sam McCuillon became the envy of flyers everywhere after having a whole flight to themselves, essentially allowing .

It was a poor man’s private jet.

Commercial travel doesn’t always have to mean being crammed into a packed aircraft like sardines. A lucky UK couple became the envy of flyers everywhere after having a whole flight to themselves — essentially allowing them to enjoy the “private jet” experience for an economy price.

While their incredible solo flight occurred in 2021, the story is just now taking off online.

“It was such an incredible experience, and I don’t think it would happen again. It’s like winning the lottery,” Samantha McCuillon, 50, told the Manchester Evening News of the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

UK couple Kevin and Sam McCuillon became the envy of flyers everywhere after having a whole flight to themselves, essentially allowing . Courtesy Samantha McCuillon
UK couple Kevin and Sam McCuillon became the envy of flyers everywhere after having a whole flight to themselves, essentially allowing . Courtesy Samantha McCuillon
“It was amazing, the staff were lovely, they gave us Champagne to drink, sweets to eat. We didn’t have to pay for anything,” gushed Sam. Courtesy Samantha McCuillon
“It was amazing, the staff were lovely, they gave us Champagne to drink, sweets to eat. We didn’t have to pay for anything,” gushed Sam. Courtesy Samantha McCuillon

Sam, who works as a nurse, and her husband Kevin, 52, had reportedly flown on a RyanAir flight from Manchester to Corfu for a week-long vacation.

However, the couple was having such a good time that they decided to extend their vacation by several days and ended up booking a later flight home through low-cost airline Jet2.

However, the pair realized something was off when they arrived at the terminal Saturday and saw that no one was there.

“We thought it was a bit odd that nobody was around,” recalled Sam, who said she “started to get a bit panicky.”

When the healthcare worker broached the issue with the staff, they assured her that “everything was OK,” but that did little to calm her as, she said, “it was getting later and later past the departure time.”

Things grew even more eerie when the pair were the only ones aboard the shuttle bus to the plane, leading them to believe they were late for the flight.

That’s when the travelers stepped aboard and realized they were the solo passengers.

“Then we got to the plane and went up the steps, the captain was there with two flight attendants, and they told us we were the only ones going on the plane,” described Sam. “The captain said he would tell us all the information, where we flying over and things like that, at the front of the plane instead of making an announcement.”

She added, “He then said once we’d taken off, we can do whatever we like and treat the plane as our own private jet — he said we could run up and down the aisle and do what we wanted.”

The flight cost around $130 total. Courtesy Samantha McCuillon
The flight cost around $130 total. Courtesy Samantha McCuillon

As it turned out, the flight was nearly unsold; however, they decided to make the trip anyway as the plane needed to return to Manchester.

Needless to say, the couple took to it much like Kevin McCallister with the Plaza Hotel in “Home Alone 2.”

“It was amazing, the staff were lovely, they gave us Champagne to drink, sweets to eat. We didn’t have to pay for anything,” gushed Sam to the Manchester newspaper. “We didn’t actually run up and down but we laughed and joked with the attendants. We kept saying that we needed more leg room.

“It was actually quite bizarre,” she continued. “At one point, I dozed off and when I woke up, I wondered where everyone was.”

Accompanying photos show the couple having a ball on the nearly abandoned 200-seater aircraft, which evoked the desolate Overlook Hotel from “The Shining” but at 30,000 feet.

“It was actually quite bizarre. At one point I dozed off, and when I woke up I wondered where everyone was,” said Sam. Courtesy Samantha McCuillon
“It was actually quite bizarre. At one point I dozed off, and when I woke up I wondered where everyone was,” said Sam. Courtesy Samantha McCuillon

It was perhaps especially refreshing given the rampant incidents of manspreading, inflight “footsie,” and other space violations that seem to have become endemic to airplane travel of late.

The only caveat was they had to wear masks much of the time, as it was the height of the COVID pandemic.

Best of all, the inadvertent VIP experience only cost them around $130 — the equivalent of an economy-class ticket.

They even received a special shoutout from Jet2.

“We are delighted that Kevin and Samantha got to experience our VIP customer service in true style,” said an airline spokesperson, who attributed the “ghost ship” phenomenon to COVID-era airline restrictions.

“Due to the traffic light system in place for international travel at the time, customers had only just been able to start traveling to Corfu again, meaning flights departing from Manchester were very busy but flights back were much quieter,” the company explained.