BENGALURU: :Bengalureans have taken the metaphor “love is in the air” to a whole new level as 20 private jets have been booked by lovers and married people for Valentine's Day.People are spending tens of thousands to a few lakhs for their time in the sky. It costs Rs 3 to 4 lakhs to fly to a different city, Rs 50,000 for half an hour ride in the air and there are cheaper, 20-minute ones for around Rs 10,000.
“This is the maximum number of bookings we have seen on a day,” says Nitin, an air-base vendor who has tie-ups with online-experience portals. “In an average, there are about two to three bookings a day but February 14, despite being a weekday, many aircraft have been booked from Jakkur,” he adds.
People buying luxury experiences fall largely in the 21-35 age group. Prateek Chatterjee is vice president of Host Alliance - Xoxoday, an online portal that sells experiences. He says, “I think for the young crowd it is about turning their fantasy into reality. Every child has dreamt of flying on a private jet. A 30-minute aircraft ride has been the most booked package this Valentine's Day, followed by the hot-air balloon ride”. Their 30-minute ride costs about Rs 11,000 and depending on the weather condition, will venture to the city centre for an aerial view of the city. This week alone, they have received 40 calls to book the private-jet experience.
Planning an extravagant Valentine’s Day is Rishi Agarwal, who plans to take his wife to Goa on a private jet and also celebrate their anniversary. “My wife had been longing to go to Goa but it hadn’t worked out. So I plan to surprise her with an hour’s flight on a private jet to Goa. She thinks we are going for a ride to Nandi Hills,” says Rishi.
Besides this surprise, he has also planned to gift her a tea box set with personal messages since his wife is a tea-lover.Rishi will be spending about Rs 3-4 lakh to go above and beyond on this surprise. “Nothing is better than surprising your loved ones with gifts,” says Rishi, who says that he will outdo this gift next year, for his wife who he has been in love with for the past 12 years.Sarika Kabra, a resident of Sahakara Nagar, has booked a full-day of surprises for her husband including a half-an-hour helicopter ride
“The Valentine’s Day is going to start at around 9.30 am when musicians will come over to my house and play us a song. After that, we will head for a movie followed by a helicopter ride and cut a cake in mid-air. The evening will conclude with a lovely dinner,” says Sarika.
She hopes to surprise her husband with an experience, not gifts, on Valentine’s Day. “When we are handing over a gift, we become an observer. But we can share an experience,” says Sarika. She laughs and says that her husband isn’t expecting her to surprise him because for the past five years she hadn’t planned anything of the sort. “This is purely a Valentine surprise,” she adds. Her expenditure comes to about Rs 50,000.
My Instagrammable Valentine
Parinita Jain, chief marketing officer of Oye Happy, an experience gifting portal founded in 2014, says that the Indian gifting market has evolved to be larger-than-life experience. “Now people want and gift things they can Snapchat or Instagram or Facebook about,” says Parinita. Proposals are also taking place in mid-air with 90-feet ‘Will you Marry Me?’ banners. “Specific for proposals alone, we get about 30 enquiries a day from 200 cities in India,” Parinita adds. “20 percent of all our bookings happen in Bengaluru,” she adds further.
Gather a mob or advertise your love
Flash mob to surprise your Valentine is another most-booked experiential event. Oye Happy lists this experience, for Rs 15,500, and says they have 15 bookings for today. In this, you would be having a meal at a chosen restaurant, when strangers start to stand up and dance to your loved one’s favourite tunes. The mob forms and you can choose to join in. If this is too flash for you, you could also try ordering a hoarding in the city. It is another favourite among the romantics. You could spot these hoardings, which cost up to Rs 25,000, on Richmond Road, Indiranagar, Koramangala and Ulsoor.