Everything We Know About the Taylor Swift Private Jet Drama

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Taylor Swift has effectively boosted the economy with her record-breaking Eras Tour, which saw her travel all over the United States in 2023 and will now be making its way across the world. But when it comes to jet-setting, the (also record-breaking) Grammy winner has been criticized as reportedly the worst celebrity offender when it comes to CO2 emissions from her private planes.

There was even an Instagram account, run by college student Jack Sweeney, dedicated to tracking Taylor’s private jet use, which was deactivated after Taylor’s lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter due to claims the account posed safety threats by sharing real-time updates on the whereabouts of Taylor’s plane.

Now, as of February 6, the letter has been shared online in its entirety, and as Taylor prepares to perform in Tokyo (and potentially fly back to the United States to see boyfriend Travis Kelce play in the Super Bowl), you might be wondering: What exactly is all the drama about? We’ve broken it down below.

taylor swift entering jet

Faith Moran//Getty Images

February 6, 2024

The cease-and-desist letter sent to Sweeney is posted to the r/TaylorSwiftJets subreddit in its entirety. The letter, from Washington, D.C.–based law firm Venable LLP, reads:

Please be advised that Venable LLP represents Ms. Taylor Swift (“Client”). We understand that you are the individual operating the Instagram account @taylorswiftjets, and the Threads account by the same name (the “Offending Accounts”). For the past year, through these Offending Accounts, you have engaged in stalking and harassing behavior, including consistently publishing real-time and precise information about our Client’s location and future whereabouts to the public on social media. This conduct poses an imminent threat to the safety and wellbeing of our Client and must stop. We request that you immediately cease and desist from any further publication of this information, remove all currently-posted content on the Offending Accounts, and permanently terminate the operation of the Offending Accounts (and any similar accounts involving our Client).

January 30, 2024

Taylor quietly sells one of her private jets, the Dassault Falcon 900, according to a report on the Federal Aviation Authority’s website. Now, she has only one jet—her Dassault 7X.

The Falcon aircraft, which Taylor acquired in 2009, was previously listed under SATA LLC, a company that has the same address as Taylor Swift Productions in Nashville. Now, it is registered to a company in Missouri.

Business Insider notes that the Dassault Falcon 900 is a slightly smaller plane and is designed for shorter trips, while the jet that Taylor kept can hold up to 16 passengers and is better for longer journeys.

December 22, 2023

Jack Sweeney, 21, a junior studying information technology at the University of Central Florida, who tracks the private jet usage of celebrities, gets a cease-and-desist letter from Taylor’s legal team.

For months, the college student has been using public flight monitoring data from the Federal Aviation Administration to post real-time updates on Taylort’s travel. He has made similar accounts tracking the flight activity of Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, and other famous people. (Musk even blocked him from X—formerly but kinda still known as Twitter—at one point.)

Sweeney’s @taylorswiftjets Instagram account is deleted, and he receives a message from Instagram saying the account broke the platform’s privacy rules. A Facebook account dedicated to the same content is also disabled.

Soon after, a subreddit called r/TaylorSwiftJets launches. As of February 7, 2024, it is still active.

December 17, 2023

Taylor comes under fire again for using her private jet, as her relationship with NFL star Travis Kelce heats up.

As the singer repeatedly flies across the country to see her beau play at his football games, it is reported that she has taken more than 12 trips on a private jet in the past three months alone.

On the Instagram account @taylorswiftjets (which will be deleted less than a week later), it says Taylor’s trips to see Travis have “produced 138 tons of CO2 emissions in three months.” To offset these actions, the account notes, the singer would have to “plant more than 2,200 trees.”

March 2023

Ahead of her world-dominating Eras Tour, Taylor purchases “more than double the carbon credits needed to offset all tour travel,” according to a quote from one of her representatives.

Carbon offsets broadly refer to “a reduction in GHG emissions—or an increase in carbon storage (e.g., through land restoration or the planting of trees)—that is used to compensate for emissions that occur elsewhere,” per offsetguide.org.

August 1, 2022

A spokesperson for Taylor responds to the Yard emissions report, noting that these numbers cannot be entirely attributed to Taylor.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, the representative says, “Taylor’s jet is loaned out regularly to other individuals….To attribute most or all of these trips to her is blatantly incorrect.”

July 29, 2022

Data and marketing agency Yard releases a report that details Taylor’s private jet usage compared to other celebrities’ titled “Just Plane Wrong: Celebs With the Worst Private Jet CO2 Emissions.”

In the report, Taylor is ranked as the number one offender, who, in the first seven months of 2022 alone, totaled 170 flights and “amassed a vast 22,923 minutes in the air—15.9 days.”

The report adds, “Taylor’s jet has an average flight time of just 80 minutes and an average of 139.36 miles per flight. Her total flight emissions for the year come in at 8,293.54 tons, or 1,184.8 times more than the average person’s total annual emissions. Taylor’s shortest recorded flight of 2022 was just 36 minutes, flying from Missouri to Nashville.”

Other stars featured on the list include boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., Jay-Z, Kim Kardashian, and Oprah Winfrey.

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