Le jet set, diamond-drenched starlets, yachts with helipads — the Cannes Film Festival and its attendees may ooze an air of luxury, but often the jewels are borrowed and the yachts are rentals. How do you “fake” first-class airfare? Easy.
An L.A.-based outfit has been helping international pic bizzers — from producer Arthur Cohn to Bob Yari, Phil Goldfine, David Glasser, Andreas Klein, Randy Emmett and George Furla — fly in style to the major film festivals and markets without paying top dollar. World Wide Travel Consulting’s Patrick Terrill, a former pilot, started the service as a favor to friends. His now booming business buys air miles from individuals who don’t need them (mostly “road warriors” who fly 24/7 — money managers and oil industryites) and then uses those miles to get first- and business-class upgrades for his clients. It allows him to charge less than half of published fares on major carriers.
Independent film execs based Stateside and in Europe are his best clients, and he also helps out studio suits. “But when it comes to big companies like Paramount or Warner Bros., they don’t care about saving money as much,” he observes.
Terrill’s clients not only expect discounts, but the full flat-bed treatment on their way to Cannes. “You can fly through New York and do the Delta deal (direct to Nice), but they don’t have beds that go 180 degrees. Most of my clients will say, ‘I’m not going that way; I want a full bed.'”