More parents are going to luxurious extremes so their kids can rough it. Wealthy families are increasingly riding private jets to get to and from remote summer camps in Maine, New Hampshire, and upstate New York. Over the past weekend—a common date for camp visiting days—private jets clogged the runways at tiny, rural airports, reports the New York Times. The airport in Augusta, Maine, hosted 51 private planes between Thursday and Saturday, whereas a normal day would see just a few.
“We have 50 to 60 jets up here in just that one day,” says the airport operations manager. “It’s a madhouse because they all leave at the same time, between 4pm and 6pm.” Private jet companies argue that the cost of chartering a jet ($3,800 for a seven-seater) is comparable to flying an entire family on a commercial plane from NYC to Portland, Maine (at $500+ a ticket), but there's no doubt that the practice has become a status symbol for well-to-do families. One mom says she tired of listening to "who is flying, who is flying private, who they can get a lift home with,” so she decided to instead send her kids to camp in Europe.