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S&P 500 Companies Spent $65 Million on This Ultra-Luxe Executive Perk in 2022 — Fueling Concerns That Shareholders Are No Longer the Priority Spending on personal travel via corporate jets increased significantly.

By Amanda Breen

Key Takeaways

  • The list of companies offering free private jet flights grew by 14% since 2019, per Equilar data.
  • Meta Platforms is one of the biggest spenders, funneling $6.6 million into personal flights in 2022.

Despite increasing attention on corporate accountability and fiscal responsibility, one executive indulgence has taken off with renewed vigor in recent years: personal travel aboard the company jet.

In 2022, S&P 500 companies collectively disbursed a staggering $65 million for the perk — a substantial 50% leap compared to the pre-pandemic era three years before, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Related: These Are the Most Hated Airlines in the U.S., According to a New Report

Executive data firm Equilar pinpointed a 14% surge in the number of companies embracing personal travel on company jets since 2019, boosting the tally to 216 in 2022, with the number of executives benefiting from the luxury soaring by 25% to 427.

While advocates of the perk contend flying private can be safer and more efficient for certain executives, critics are quick to point out the symbolic excess it represents, raising concerns about the eagerness of corporate boards to please their C-suite executives at the expense of shareholder interests.

In 2019, chief executives from the Business Roundtable, including the leaders of Apple and JPMorgan Chase, argued that shareholder value is no longer "the purpose of a corporation" and instead emphasized the importance of other factors such as investing in employees, The New York Times reported.

Related: Founders' Salaries Are Shockingly Humble, New Report Finds

Meta Platforms is one of the biggest spenders on private employee travel; the company funneled $6.6 million into personal flights for CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his former second-in-command, Sheryl Sandberg, in 2022 — up 55% over 2019, per WSJ.

And the tech giant's not alone. Casino company Las Vegas Sands spent in excess of $3.2 million on four executives' personal flights, more than twice its annual spend in any year since 2015, and energy conglomerate Exelon spent three times as much on the luxury as it did in 2019, according to the outlet.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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