Hollywood A-listers forced to mothball their personal jets

Even the biggest stars are feeling the pinch as the oil crisis leads to huge rises in the cost of aviation fuel

They probably won't get much sympathy from their hard-pressed fans, but America's stars of stage and screen are being forced to give up one of the traditional benefits of their celebrity status: private jets.

The soaring price of aviation fuel, which is now twice the cost of a year ago, is adding tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of a typical flight, prompting members of Hollywood's élite to think the unthinkable and ground their personal Gulfstreams.

Last week, the hip-hop artist P Diddy joined the ranks of high-profile private jet refuseniks when he revealed that he's been forced to mothball his plane, after the cost of his twice-monthly trips from his headquarters in New York to Los Angeles hit nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

"Gas prices are too high," he told subscribers to his blog. "As you know, I do own my own jet. But I've been having to fly back and forth to LA pursuing my acting career. Now, if I'm flying, like, twice in a month that's like $200,000 or $250,000 round trip ... So I'm back on American Airlines right now."

The singer, famed for his conspicuous consumption, added a "shout out to all my Saudi Arabian brothers and sisters and all my brothers and sisters from all the countries that have oil: if you could all please send me some oil for my jet, I would truly appreciate it."

A further indication of Hollywood's cooling attitude towards private jets came last week, when it was announced that the new season of Entourage, the modish TV series about a famous young film star and his friends, would be sponsored by the commercial carrier Virgin America.

In previous series of the show – which has won three Emmys and a Golden Globe, and is fêted as one of the most accurate portrayals of American showbusiness – the protagonist, Vincent Chase, and his acquaintances have only ever travelled in their own jet.

A spokeswoman for Virgin America, Abby Lunardini, said that although the firm didn't keep figures, the number of celebrity clients using its service appeared to have risen substantially in recent months.

"Anecdotally, we're getting a lot more famous people," she said. "Last week, we had Reese Witherspoon, and Dustin Hoffman and Al Pachino flying with us within a couple of days of each other. In fact, when Janet Jackson booked to fly with us recently, I remember everyone saying: 'But don't these sort of people have their own planes?'"

Aside from financial constraints, a further imperative for some stars to ditch their private jet habit has come from the environmental lobby, which points out that the mid-size Gulfstream 200 uses from 1,200 to 1,500 gallons of fuel for a coast-to-coast flight. If it carries four people, campaigners note, it uses up to 350 gallons of fuel per passenger, roughly 10 times the amount of fuel used per person on a similar journey on a Boeing 737-300.

In May, Fox News carried a report on so-called "Lear Jet liberals", naming and shaming the stars who preach environmental responsibility while criss-crossing the globe in private jets.

Among its targets were the hybrid-driving Leonardo DiCaprio, who was ridiculed for taking a Gulfstream to Cannes for the premiere of his global warming documentary The Eleventh Hour, together with Madonna – the jet-owning cover star of Vanity Fair's "green issue" – and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who used a helicopter to travel to hospital for the birth of their twins.

John Travolta, a keen amateur pilot who owns five airliners and has a runway at his country home, also prompted talk of pots and kettles when he used a red-carpet appearance at the premiere of his recent film Wild Hogs to tell fans to cut their carbon emissions.

News
i100
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsAll just to promote a new casino
News
i100
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Creche Assistant or Nursery Nurse

£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Creche Assistant to start asap ...

Nursery Nurse Level 3

£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Nursery Nurse Leeds We are now ...

Web Developer/UI Developer (HTML5, CSS3,Jquery) London

£55000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

Data Scientist (SQL, PHP, RSPSS, CPLEX, SARS, AI) - London

£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering