An Insider’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

Photo: Bill Brine

When the fifteen horses comprising the inaugural Kentucky Derby field pounded around the track in 1875, 10,000 spectators looked on from a grandstand that still didn’t have a name. These days, the Kentucky Derby draws a cheering crowd of more than 160,000 and has gone on to become not just a rite of spring but one of the top sporting events in the world.

The 20 horses that will compete in the 2017 Kentucky Derby have been chosen based on a point system. Girvin, a Kentucky-bred dark bay trained by Joe Sharp leads with 150 points; Irish bay Thunder Snow and Todd Pletcher-trained Always Dreaming round out the top three with 100 points each. But it’s not just about the points. Although he’s only earned 32 points, Classic Empire, whose sire also fathered Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, is emerging as an early favorite, as is McCracken, who can end a race with a sudden burst of speed.

For XOJET clients, a trip to Churchill Downs couldn’t be easier. Louisville is home to a number of well-positioned airports as well as a terrific transportation system, great hotels, and a mix of time-tested and contemporary restaurants.

Here’s the inside track.

Thirty-Six Hours in Telluride

elluride Ski Resort | Brett Schreckengost

Photo: Telluride Ski Resort | Brett Schreckengost

There are many reasons to fly private, but one of our favorites is the easy access it offers to destinations that are often considered difficult to reach.

Like Telluride, Colorado.

Set within a glacier-carved box canyon 360 miles from Denver, Telluride gives us everything we want in an alpine destination: dramatic scenery, tremendous skiing with no lift lines, a walkable downtown, and a sprinkling of celebrities, all wrapped up within the rocky peaks of the San Juan Mountains.

Here’s how we spend three perfect days in this winter wonderland.

Eight Things You May Not Know About Flying Private

September 8, 2016  |  Private Aviation, Travel Booking and Tips

From flexible flight routes to overall travel convenience, the premise of private aviation is as simple as it is obvious. Now let’s look at some of its lesser-known private flying essentials—all great reminders before your next flight with XOJET.

1. Ten times more airports than commercial.

San Francisco Private Flying Airport Map

One reason private jets are seldom delayed is because they have over 5,000 private airports to choose from in the U.S., compared to just 500 for commercial flights. (Plus, private airports and airfields don’t have to account for as many air traffic delays.)

Top 10 Most Popular Caribbean Destinations

February 11, 2015  |  Travel Booking and Tips

Every day, XOJET clients explore the most beautiful destinations around the world for business and leisure. And from what we hear, it feels good to enjoy all that the world has to offer. But, year-after-year, there’s one region that continuously tops every XOJET flyers list of go-to hideaways: the Caribbean Islands.

Throughout the winter months, there’s no place to relax and unwind quite like the beautiful Caribbean Islands. In 2014, the Caribbean accounted for nearly 20% of our flight activity – and with good reason. From unparalleled beaches to international fare, have a…

Fly Smart this Summer from San Francisco

June 10, 2014  |  Travel Booking and Tips

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) runway closure is now in full effect, with two of four runways under construction until a planned September 2014 re-opening. Construction on the federally mandated updates began the weekend of May 17 and expected to impact Summer operations in and out of the San Francisco-Bay Area.

With our hometown airport under major construction, our Aviation Advisor team and operations center continue to closely monitor the operational changes and plan for ways to minimize impact onto our clients. We offer clients simple solutions with trip planning to…

Be Prepared for FAA Operation Changes for Mountain Flying

November 13, 2013  |  Travel Booking and Tips

Written by Albert Hsieh on Tuesday November 12th 2013

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains at nearly 8,000 feet high, Aspen, Colorado offers year round cultural and natural beauty particularly during ski season. It’s no surprise a favorite spot for XOJET fliers to spend quality time with friends and family celebrating the holidays. However, what makes this destination a true jet-set kind of town isn’t the walk down Main Street or its slopes. In fact, it’s the memorable flying experience into the city, which many believe is half the…

3 Tips on Booking a Private Jet Charter Flight to Mountain Airports

December 12, 2012  |  Travel Booking and Tips

As ski season approaches, XOJET flights to and from mountain airports are booking fast. Because flying into mountain airports requires a bit more planning than your average private jet charter flight, we’re re-posting the tips we gave last season so you can spend less time planning and more time on the slopes.

1. Make sure you arrive before sunset.

In order to provide you with the highest level of safety, XOJET doesn’t operate into mountain airports at night unless they can provide electronic precision course guidance. Currently, only the airport in Rifle,…

International Private Jet Flights with Minors

November 15, 2012  |  Travel Booking and Tips

As the holidays approach, many of you will be travelling with kids. If your family travel plans include international flight on an XOJET private jet, there’s one document that could spell the difference between a blissful vacation and a grounded flight–but it’s not a passport (although you and your kids will certainly need that).

“If a minor child is traveling with just one parent or guardian, that adult will need to provide an up-to-date notarized parental consent form from the ‘absent’ parent authorizing the child to leave the country,” says Renee Aivaliklis, XOJET’s…

A Five-Star Concierge’s Top 6 Tips for Visiting the London 2012 Olympics

June 26, 2012  |  Travel Booking and Tips

A few weeks ago, the XOJET Blog posted tips for booking private jet travel to the London 2012 Olympics. Once you’re there, what’s the best way to get around? We chatted with Alan Noone, head concierge of five-star luxury hotel The Berkeley, to get his recommendations for making your stay in London this summer a great one. His 6 top tips:

Women’s Singles at Wimbledon
Photo credit: Blogee

1. Plan ahead—for everything, not just the Games.

It’s not just your flight and event-specific tickets you should buy in advance. Book everything—your lodging, restaurant reservations…

Tips for Booking Private Jet Travel to the Summer Olympics

May 16, 2012  |  Travel Booking and Tips

Planning to book a private jet to the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer? If we could give you one piece of advice, it would be this: Don’t wait until the last minute to book your trip. Commercial airlines expect an additional 500,000 visitors; British authorities are expecting 3,000 more private aviation flights than usual during July and August. Here’s what it means for you.

Reservations Required

The UK government will impose major airspace restrictions from July 14 through September 12, during both the Olympic Games and the Paralympics. We’ve…