Flying Private

The friendlier skies are now within reach

The Ultimate Luxury at Coach Prices
The private jet charter market has been heating up lately and made it even more accessible for travelers of all budgets with the onset of technology and better utilization of idle aircraft.  JetSmarter is a clever innovator in the space. They use repositioning flights (the aircraft must move to another location to pick up their next customer) and sell the non-revenue positioning journey to outsiders for a reduced rate while their members ride free.  Private jets need to be repositioned to accommodate the needs of clientele departing from a nearby city.  For example, if a business executive charters a jet from New York City to Naples, Florida for a Monday morning meeting, but doesn’t need the jet again until Thursday of the same week, the jet might be “repositioned” to Miami to take another client to the Bahamas.  The flight from Naples to Miami is the repositioning flight and would normally fly without passengers or cargo. With companies like JetSmarter, charter services can get something for that flight rather than nothing.

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Membership has its benefits
JetSmarter releases seats for individual flight legs or “empty legs” for free to customers that pay an annual membership of $5490 – $14,940.  Unlike other companies, JetSmarter gives you the whole plane instead of just selling individual seats.  One recent example is a seven passenger jet from Charleston, SC to Ft. Myers, FL flying tomorrow and available to members for free (included in their $8,000 fee) or to the general public for $2,624.  While that does not seem like a great deal on the surface, current seats in first class are selling for $416 with two connections or $665 with one connection and no direct flight options.  Assuming that you wanted to fly seven people the cheapest way possible in first class, the price would be $2,912 in total.  On top of the 11% higher price for commercial flights, those executives would have to connect twice, fly at a time that was convenient for the airline and not necessarily the customer and they would have to endure all of the other hassles such as TSA, lost bags, and pay for lounge access as they wait for their multiple flights.  With a service like JetSmarter (and there are now many competitors), you could pick a time convenient to your team, park for free at the FBO (small local airports, not typically the main airport of a given city), fly on a direct flight and arrive quicker for less money.

What’s the catch?
The only problem with JetSmarter (and services like it) is that you would not necessarily have the same great deal flying home and might have to fly commercially, but in at least one direction especially with several people and uncertain travel plans, a company or group could save money and fly in style.

-Kyle

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Passport

Kyle is an accomplished Travel Editor for UPGRD.com, PenAndPassport.com and writes TheTripSherpa.com blog. He has visited more than 50 countries on every continent except Antarctica. He has contributed to articles for Time, USA Today, Reuters, CNBC, MSN, Yahoo!, Huffington Post, Mainstreet.com, Mademan and other media outlets. He flies several hundred thousand miles every year and has lived abroad in the UK, Thailand and Perú. He now calls Pittsburgh home with his wife and daughter who join him on his trips around the world.
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