A guide to Jet Cards
This guide to jet cards will help you to make up your mind about whether they are the right choice for you.
A jet card will allow you to fly in a private or business jet aircraft for a flat, prepaid fee, which is usually for a fixed number of hours.
With a jet card there’s no need to own an aircraft, even partially, and you may not always use the same aircraft. Shared ownership of private jets is declining as jet cards become more popular.
More and more companies are offering flexible options, apps and memberships that are making travel by private jet more affordable.
The benefits of using jet cards
Jet cards involve a limited, short-term commitment and offer guaranteed hourly rates. When you use a jet card, you can reach the airport minutes before the scheduled departure of the flight and fly nonstop to your destination. You can avoid stress caused by long lines and unexpected delays at crowded airports.
You receive the comforts of a FBO (fixed base operator) based on the airport providing the privacy and facilities one would expect as part of the private jet travel experience; including lounges, connectivity, concierge and private security checks.
A jet card offers flexibility because the aircraft can be ready to go within hours and the schedule can be altered to suit your needs.
Business jet travel allows you to fly in comfort and in privacy – you can make productive use of time spent on board or relax and destress. It also projects an image of efficiency and success for those that desire such.
The disadvantages of using a jet card
One of the disadvantages is the comparatively high cost of every hour of flight as compared to other alternatives.
Jet card holders may have to provide 10 or more hours of notice when they need an aircraft. In comparison, a fractional owner may be able to request an aircraft with 4 to 6 hours of notice.
A small business jet may not be able to accommodate bulky luggage like golf bags, which leisure travelers usually carry.
You also may not like the interior of the aircraft or a particular staff onboard; although a rare occurrence it does happen – but that is the benefit and the price you pay to owning and operating your own business jet.
Is a jet card the right option for you?
A jet card may be the right choice and make complete sense if you make several short trips and do less than 50 hours of flying per year. If you do a lot of one-way flights, a jet card will help you to avoid paying for empty legs.
However, a jet card is an expensive option and is usually not recommended if your requirement is for more than 50 hours of flying.
A jet card will help you to know exactly what you will be getting in terms of the aircraft, level of service and crew training. More and more leisure travelers are discovering the benefits of using jet cards.
Jet cards can also be used by fractional owners who want to supplement their usage or want to have the option of using a different type of business jet.
Types of jet cards
There are two broad categories of jet cards:
The first category provides a certain number hours of flying on a plane of a particular size. These jet cards are typically sold as 25-hour options, though special cards ranging from 5 hours to 50 hours are also offered by some providers.
The cost of an entry-level fractional jet card that offers 25 hours of flying time on a light jet could be between $145,000 and $165,000.
The second category involves making a deposit, which usually starts at $100,000 and locks in rates on business jets of different sizes. If you make a bigger initial deposit, you will be able to lock in lower hourly rates.
Assess your options
Think about your requirements and assess your options before you sign up for a jet card. There are several online resources that will help you to compare the rates of different providers of jet cards.
Ask the jet card provider about the geographic area covered by the program, frequency of pilot training, repositioning fees, types of planes, independent safety rating of the fleet and blackout periods.
Read the fine print carefully and find out if there are any other payments that you could be asked to make. Check the reputation of the jet card providers and verify their licensing details before you make up your mind.
So which jet card?
First of all, lets cover off who are the suppliers. And we can do this with an A to Z list.
A to Z list of jet card providers:
Air Charter Service
Airshare (formerly Executive AirShare)
Airstream Jets Inc.
Clay Lacy Aviation
Concord Private Jet
Delta Private Jets
Executive Jet Management
Jet Aviation Flight Services
Jet Linx Aviation
Jet the World
Luxury Aircraft Solutions
Netjets (including Marquis Jet)
Northern Jet Management
Paramount Business Jets
Private Jet Services Group (PJS Group)
PrivateFly; Prive Jets
ProspAir Jet Charter
Star Jets International LLC
StraightLine Private Air
There are 51 suppliers in that list!
So how do you determine which is the right card for you?
Well, here is a product from luxury travel expert ‘Doug Gollan’ to help you select.
Doug is regularly featured on multiple mainstream media for his knowledge of luxury travel; including Forbes, USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, The Street, Corporate Jet Investor and more.
It helps to know what you are buying, and Doug has done just that.
Using his knowledge of the market, Doug has researched and created the Ultimate Jet Card comparator.
Its an expensive mistake to buy the wrong jet card program, and if you are seriously considering purchasing a jet card or swapping to another provider its a relatively small investment to ensure you have all the facts prior jet card purchase.
The product compares all the jet card providers in the above list and more, over 65 variables for 250+ top Private Jet Card programs.
Variables such as:
- Company Background
- Escrow Policy
- Service Area
- Types of Aircraft Offered
- Standards for Sourcing Pilots and Planes
- Refunds, Refills and Rollovers
- Lead-time on Reservations and Cancellations
- Fuel Surcharges, CPI Escalators and Other Hidden Fees
- Is De-icing included?
- Listing of Peak Days by program
- Daily and Segment Minimums
- WiFi availability
The jet card comparator also includes essential personal email and phone support to help you find the programs that best fit your needs.
Furthermore you may have questions such as:
- What is the minimum experience your pilots have?
- What are the program’s standards for sourcing the planes you will fly on?
- What type of aircraft do they offer?
- Who owns the company?
- How long have they been in business?
- Who’s the CEO?
- Do they escrow your money?
- What’s the service area for the program?
- What’s the lead time for reservations and cancellations?
- How many peak days do their programs have?
- Are there peak-day surcharges?
- What’s the lead time for making peak day reservations?
- What’s the daily minimum flight hours you will be charged?
- What’s the minimum age for sending unaccompanied minors?
or perhaps you have questions such as:
- Are there extra charges for bringing pets?
- What type of extra charges are there? De-icing? Fuel Surcharges?
- Can they increase your hourly cost during your contract?
- Is your money refundable?
- Can you rollover unused hours?
- What’s their service recovery policy?
- Is WiFi guaranteed?
- Will you have fully enclosed toilets?
- What type of VIP perks and luxury partnerships do they offer?
- And of course, what do they charge?
You also receive notifications with any essential updates to plans or programs that keep you in the driving seat so that you know who is offering what, and exactly what is being offered on your selected jet card program.
The product lets you search by provider or by feature
It’s everything you need to know before you buy a jet card membership program:
- The Players
- Corporate Overviews
- Jet Card Product Overviews
- Fees, Surcharges and Discounts
- Travel Planning Details
- Traveling Considerations
- Customer Support
The excel spreadsheets from Private Jet Card Comparisons enable subscribers to quickly compare programs across more than 65 variables from who owns them and whether or not they offer escrow accounts, lead time to book and cancel, Wifi availability, service areas, standards for sourcing aircraft and pilots, terms of each program, including how long you have to use your deposit, CPI escalators, insurance, pet policies, minimum age for unaccompanied minors, even features like whether or not their light jets have enclosed lavatories.
Let’s take a look at an example of the product:
Simply scroll between columns that contain the features important to you and filter on the data, providing you an all up comparison of all jet card providers!
Disclosure: If you subscribe to Doug’s jet card comparator product we receive a small commission
Doug also ensures you that your data is not provided or sold to any 3rd parties.
I hope this article has been informative and the product helps you in selection of the right jet card for your needs.