New details out now about the Google Jet we've written about before, the used 767 that Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have purchased. Turns out, there are lawsuits filed over the retrofit of the plane, and with them, news of hammocks hanging from the ceiling and an apparent fight between the cofounders over bed sizes that Google CEO Eric Schmidt had to referee.
Via Threadwatch, this all comes not from a Valleywag post but instead the Wall Street Journal. Lawsuits Fly Over Google Founders' Big Private Plane is the story (paid sub. required), complete with a floor plan of the refurbishment.
One lawsuit involves the aviation designer Leslie Jennings who was overseeing the redesign. He was fired last October by Blue City Holdings, the legal owner of the plane, saying he wasn't doing his job and later alleging cost overruns. Blue City Holdings then filed a lawsuit against Jennings to enforce confidentiality provisions of the project.
And the money quote from the article?
Mr. Jennings says Messrs. Brin and Page "had some strange requests," including hammocks hung from the ceiling of the plane. At one point he witnessed a dispute between them over whether Mr. Brin should have a "California king" size bed, he says. Mr. Jennings says Mr. Schmidt stepped in to resolve that by saying, "Sergey, you can have whatever bed you want in your room; Larry, you can have whatever kind of bed you want in your bedroom. Let's move on." Mr. Jennings says Mr. Schmidt at another point told him, "It's a party airplane."
As for the plane itself, it was in San Antonio, but no one knows where it is today. Blue City Holdings has kept its location out of at least one public tracking database. But the time for refurbishment is pretty much up, so it might take to the skies soon.
The Wall Street Journal went to town on this one. Aside from the story, you can watch reporter Kevin Delaney talk in a video about the story (this appears to be free for anyone to view and pretty informative). You can also read the lawsuits filed in Texas and California (links are to PDF files, both appear to be free to view).
FYI, we have a Search Engine Watch Forum discussion on the jet: Name The Google Jet. Feel free to comment or discuss more there. At the moment, GoogleJet is the leading nickname for the plane, followed by GoogleBot One and Joogle. Hmm -- maybe Air AdSense?
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