Kylie Jenner does not put up with traffic jams. The influencer and entrepreneur takes her private plane, or that of her boyfriend, rapper Travis Scott, to make 12-minute trips. We learned this information from the latest controversy involving the youngest of the Kardashian clan, who’s very popular around the globe because of her reality show, Keeping up with the Kardashians. Over the show’s 20 (and counting) seasons, these five sisters - Kourtney, Khloé, Kim, Kendall and Kylie - have proven that extreme luxury and opulence can make for great television. But everything has a limit and Kylie Jenner’s latest post seems to have crossed the line.
“You wanna take mine or yours?” she asked on her Instagram page, which has over 300 million followers, making her the second most followed person in the world (behind only Cristiano Ronaldo). Jenner accompanied the question with a photo in which she could be seen hugging her partner; the pair was surrounded by two private jets. The entrepreneur, who has built her fortune, in part, with a line of vegan cosmetics, often travels in her own plane.
This contradiction has exposed Jenner to her fans’ wrath before, but this latest post, which has racked up 42,000 comments, has raised the level of criticism. “Kylie Jenner choosing what color private jet she wants today while I have to guzzle my iced coffee before my straw turns into papier-mâché?” one anonymous user asked in a tweet that has 25,000 likes. “It blows my mind that Kylie Jenner and her boyfriend get to choose which private jet they’re going to California on, and us poor people are recycling soda caps to take care of the world,” another Twitter user observed sarcastically.
The controversy gained new momentum when a tweet from the Celebrity Jets account—which monitors the movements of celebrities’ private planes—went viral. That’s how people learned that, in the end, the couple took Kylie’s plane. And that the day before they had chosen to use Travis’s jet. But that wasn’t the really juicy information; the bombshell was that the trip they were taking at the time was from Van Nuys, California, to Camarillo, in the same state, a journey that lasted a total of 12 minutes, including the takeoff and landing. According to Google Maps, the same route takes 40 minutes by car.
Celebrity Jets is an automated account, a bot that publishes the flights of various celebrities in real time using the public information that the planes must provide for security reasons. Thanks to this account, we also know that Kylie’s older sister, Kim Kardashian, took a 15-minute flight in her plane last week. That trip used 442 liters (116.74 gallons) of fuel and emitted one ton of carbon dioxide. It also became public knowledge that Drake, the rapper, was hopping around southern Europe. In just one week, he traveled on his jet from Barcelona to Ibiza (emitting 11 tons of CO₂), from Ibiza to Nice (22 tons of CO₂), and from Nice to Barcelona (16 tons of CO₂). According to Celebrity Jets, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jay Z, Mark Wahlberg and Taylor Swift are among the celebrities who have also chosen this form of transportation during the last month.
Private planes pollute 10 times more than commercial aircraft and 50 times more than trains. A report by the Transport & Environment group says that emissions have shot up by 31% in Europe over the last 15 years. According to the group’s data, the emissions of a four-hour jet trip are equivalent to “the total emissions the average person generates in a year.”
That was one of the reasons why 19-year-old programmer Jack Sweeney created the Celebrity Jets account. The young man has spoken out on Twitter about the controversy over Kylie Jenner’s brief flight. He prefers not to join the fray and suggests that the short trip could have been to park the plane after dropping the influencer off at an airfield closer to home. There’s no way of knowing; in any case, many Jenner flights range from 20 to 30 minutes. Maybe that’s why Sweeney empathizes with the social outrage. “I can understand why people are going after them if they’re posting pictures and bragging about jets,” he tweeted.
Sweeney doesn’t just monitor celebrity flights. He has other accounts that track the flights of the U.S. president’s plane, Air Force One; Putin and Russian tycoons (lately they are visiting non-aligned countries like Iran); and Elon Musk. The owner of Tesla tried to use his checkbook to shut down the account, but for the richest man in the world, Musk’s offer was not particularly generous: he offered Sweeney $5,000. Sweeney haggled for more and the deal fell through. Then, Musk—who fights for freedom on Twitter—blocked the young programmer on the same social media site and continued to travel in his private plane for all to see. Currently, Musk’s plane is broken down and undergoing a long repair in California, not far from Kylie Jenner’s jet.