The new art of giving: how once-in-a-lifetime experiences are changing the way we gift at Christmas

7th December 2018

This year, commemorate Christmas with a luxury gift out of the ordinary; book your loved one the ultimate sky-high experience – a day with the world-renowned Blades Aerobatic Team.

As conventional gifts become a thing of the past, gift-givers are now in search of that perfect present that will create a lasting impression on a person’s life. From 20th Century Materialism – a belief that if we had more ‘stuff’ we’d be happier, to the emerging trend of experientialism, which is more about finding happiness in experiences, a day with the Blades is a perfect fit.

As the world’s only aerobatic airline, the Blades are licensed to thrill their passengers with an unforgettable, close formation flying experience, which will not only be memorable for years to come but may also be a game changer in the ever-shifting landscape of how we try to achieve happiness.

Whether you’re shopping for your daughter – the budding blogger – or seeking a last-minute gift for your father – the discerning adventure seeker, a day with the Blades is unrivalled. That’s why, each year, hundreds of passengers of all ages visit the Blades distinctive and fully operational hangar at Sywell Aerodrome for a flight of a lifetime.

Motives, expectations and ambitions vastly differ from person to person but every guest of the Blades can expect unique close formation aerobatics performed by world-class pilots – part of a full day which is underpinned by impeccable, five-star customer service. Some guests are enthused to experience G-force, flying upside down, or flying in close formation with a loved one. Performing loops, rolls, gyroscopic manoeuvres at 2000ft is a thrill like no other, as described by Peter and Ruth:

A huge thank you to you and the whole team, both airborne and on the ground, for a truly memorable experience! The views were amazing. With particular thanks to James and Kirsty. We wouldn’t have missed it. The helicopter flight and F1 experience completed a well-rounded day of activities, superbly supported by all the ground staff. Lots of affable, friendly, informative people and great hospitality.’’

An unforgettable day with the Blades encompasses high-adrenaline flying just four feet away from the next aircraft and a gods-eye view of the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside. The day starts at 10am with an assortment of breakfast options before a pre-flight briefing with Blade 1, a former RAF Red Arrow’s pilot. Flying and ground activities, including hovering a helicopter, commence and run into late afternoon. Sublime starters, mouthwatering mains and decadent deserts await, as a seasonal gourmet three-course lunch is freshly prepared by our in-house chef, served along with fine wine, giving guests the opportunity to speak one-to-one with the Blades pilots.

After donning your Blades flight suit, your pilot and one of the team’s highly experienced hostesses will escort you to your aircraft. Your flight with a Blades pilot in a cutting-edge and dynamic Extra 300 aircraft will last 20-25 minutes – plenty of time to fulfil your flying ambitions. Depending on your ability and tolerances, guests can experience a plethora of aerobatic manoeuvres including aileron rolls, spins, inverted flight and loops.

At the end of the day, guests will enjoy canapés and champagne on the Blades private balcony, overlooking the airfield whilst watching the awe-inspiring Blades display. But the excitement doesn’t finish there – the Blades events team endeavors to capture your flight using a cockpit camera, from which, a short movie is created for you to recall your high-altitude experience. A great addition guaranteed to impress at any dinner party.

The Blades welcome spectators to share the moment and they too will enjoy full hospitality during the day. The only challenge is to not book themselves on to a day, as Bill Jackson describes:

Thank you once again for a fantastic well organised & polished Blades event. From the very moment we arrived at the Airfield we saw a clean & smart looking Airfield Estate, we were met & welcomed by great Event Hostesses -who provided instant welcome refreshment and conversation. The Blades Pilots came across as genuinely welcoming and were a pleasure to talk to prior to the commencement of the flying event which my daughter was taking part in. The weather & flying experience was pure pleasure – so much so that I have decided to attend The Blades flying experience myself next year. My daughter will also be going for a “second” flying experience with the Blades at the same time. Please pass on our grateful thanks to the Pilots, Hostesses, Camera Lady, Chef, Ground crew.’’

Exhilarating and unforgettable, a Blades experience day is one that your loved one will cherish. Not only does this aspirational gift over deliver – it’ll be memorable for years to come.

For those buying a flying experience, we will send you a Boarding Pass to present to your loved one on Christmas day. If you’re ‘mr last-minute’, don’t worry – the last day to book is 12noon on Friday 21st December. Booking is simple: click here or give one of our team a call to find out more: 01604 671 309. Experience days will recommence from April 2019 – get in touch to discuss available dates.

Watch our 2018 passenger film. Could you or your loved one feature in next year’s edit?

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