|Shackelford Melton & McKinley Aviation Attorney David Norton quoted in The Texas Lawbook article |
Up in the Air for Miles and Miles and...
|October 11, 2012 11:52 pm|
The Texas Lawbook:
Mark Twain once wrote, "Travel has no longer any charm for me." And presumably, the journalist-turned-author never took off his shoes for a TSA screening. Also never one to let the facts get in the way of a good story, Twain opined (a lot) about the travails of travel – not unlike the many Texas attorneys among the ranks of today's frequent fliers. Some, in fact, sound almost Twain-esque.
Another Loftis-ism: "Fix the problem. Don't get angry."
Dallas-based David Norton agrees. He heads the Aviation Law practice at Shackelford, Melton & McKinley. A former U.S. Air Force pilot, Norton flies commercial for business and flies a small airplane for fun. ("My wife says I'm basically all airplanes all of the time.") When it comes to schedule delays and cancellations, he thinks he is more "tolerant" than the average air traveler. His pet peeve, however, also comes with his experience – "when the airline tells you one thing, and it's something else …."
Clients often ask Norton about aircraft ownership. His short answer: Income tax issues pose a "high hurdle." He does, however, offer some general guidelines.
Norton suggests trying charter flights for a travel schedule of 100 or fewer hours per year. He says that fractional ownership becomes attractive at a level of about 100 to 200 hours annually. Plane ownership becomes a consideration for clients who consistently fly 300 hours and more annually, especially for those traveling to a spectrum of locales or remote destinations.
The idea that corporate airplanes are merely luxuries is a misconception, Norton says, adding, "What an airplane gives you is time." He notes that a company, which flies a business team to four or five places a day, is using a corporate jet as an "enormous leveraging tool."
Norton, like other frequent travelers, turns travel time into work time. He recommends using "Mi-Fi," a mobile hotspot that he considers more secure than an airport's Wi-Fi connection.
© Copyright 2012 - The Texas Lawbook.
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