Once you have tasted business aviation it is hard to go back to what you had before. Contrary to myth - and some manufacturers' marketing literature - it has little to do with creature comforts. In fact, apart from at the top end, business jets are utilitarian, even claustrophobic, compared with what airlines provide in gizmo-laden premium cabins.
But what business aviation offers travellers that airlines never can is that most precious commodity - time. It is this incontrovertible advantage that the sector is banking on to lure a burgeoning executive class to business aviation once the global economy struggles back to its feet.
The mood at this week's National Business Aviation Association convention is, if anything, darker than 2008 when stock markets, profits and consumer spending were falling from a cliff. But even as governments frantically baled out big lenders and industrial champions, the industry felt cushioned by huge backlogs built up in the good times.
The wake-up came in the final quarter and early 2009 when the world simply stopped buying business jets. In some cases, plunging corporate profits made it an easy purchase to defer. In others, the image of bosses being ferried in private jets was not one with which firms trying to persuade staff and stakeholders to share their pain were comfortable.
As with any asset-based sector, unwanted business jets flooded the market, forcing down values and making it impossible for manufacturers to sell at list.
So, despite encouraging signs - with stock markets, used values and customer enquiries all gently rising - it is a shell-shocked industry in Orlando. Do not expect much in the way of big orders. And, although downturns are traditionally a time to hunker down and concentrate on new product development, the suddenness and severity of this recession took most by surprise.
With projects such as the Cessna Citation Columbus shelved and a number of market entrants - the Grob SPn and Eclipse 500 among them - extinct, this NBAA will not showcase the cornucopia of exciting new hardware we might have expected two years ago.
However, even as the first shoots appear after a devastating forest fire, the industry can but look forward. Like the mobile phone or PC, business aviation remains a technology that has the potential to change lifestyles and fuel global growth. Once the world gets that message the only way, again, is up.