Every day, the mysterious planes of a non-existent airline disappear into the restricted airspace near Area 51. Consider it America’s most mysterious commute.
There are many rumors and theories about Area 51, the top-secret government facility located in southern Nevada. Most of them are related to flying saucers, alien spaceships, experimental aircraft and other mysterious objects in the sky. While we cannot confirm or refute any of those stories, we do know that the Janet Jet is absolutely real—even if it does have a tendency to vanish into the proverbial thin air.
So, what exactly is Janet Jet? It’s the unofficial name for the airline that flies out of a private terminal on the west side of Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport, transporting personnel back and forth from locations within the Nevada National Security Site. Destinations include the Nellis Air Force Base, Tonopah Test Site and, of course, Area 51. The “Janet” nickname is derived from the fleet’s call sign; the planes have no names or distinctive markings—just a single red stripe and an ID number.
Of course, “Janet” is just the call sign used in civilian airspace. Once Janet flies into restricted areas, she acquires a new, secret code name and vanishes into a sort of Bermuda Triangle. After making the rounds of various sites, Janet regains her cover name and magically reappears among the Southwests and Deltas filling the civilian skies.
Janets began flying in the early 1970s with a single plane—today there are about a half-dozen in service, but, of course, we don’t know for sure. The first Janets were acquired from the now-defunct Western Airlines, which is the likely origin of the red stripe markings. Currently, most of the planes in the fleet are retired Air China Boeing 737-600s.
The Janets are owned by the U.S. Air Force, but are operated by AECOM, a military contractor. If you’re interested in a career in the cryptic skies, the company occasionally advertises for flight attendants—however, it’s not a gig that involves serving cocktails and peanuts in a cute uniform. As one ad stated, the job may involve “severe weather conditions, including turbulence, delays due to weather or mechanicals, hijackings or bomb threats.” And, of course, all applicants have to pass a security check and receive “top secret clearance.” After all, not just anyone gets to fly non-stop to Area 51.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.