Fam Trip

Travel PR is one of our industry’s most robust specialty disciplines. It rivals healthcare in terms of the number of journalists and amount of editorial space allocated to the beat.

As for those journalists, who can resist the lure of an exotic location whose proprietors bend over backwards to make your stay as comfortable and entertaining as humanly possible? (Nice gig if you can get it.)

The travel media A-list includes Peter Greenberg of NBC “Today,” The New York Times’s Joe Sharkey, Conde Nast Traveler’s Wendy Perrin, and the countless travel editors, reporters, producers and SATW members who toil for the monthly glossies and daily newspapers, let alone travel-oriented cable programs and weblogs.

If you find a moment today, be sure to read one such A-lister’s first-hand account of his “fam trip” (in travel PR parlance) aboard an Embraer Legacy 600 jet as a guest of the company that just took possession of the jet. This particular jet happened to be the one that clipped the Boeing 737 over the skies of the Brazilian rainforest causing it to crash. The reporter, Joe Sharkey, was free-lancing for Business Jet Traveler magazine.

It’s a harrowing tale that we now know led to the deaths of all 155 people aboard the 737. The damaged Embraer, losing speed, somehow managed to find a military runway 100 miles from where the two planes collided. While it remains unclear how two modern jets were at the same altitude in the same air space at the same time, the pilots’ deft handling of this crippled small private jet spoke volumes.

We are thankful that Joe Sharkey is still with us, and have sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy.