Which jet card is best?

The answer is there is no single best jet card or prepaid private aviation solution. It really depends on you. To help guide you, Private Jet Card Comparisons has compared over 80 separate programs across 65 points of difference. 

Head-to-head comparisons include corporate structure and ownership, initiation and hourly fees, aircraft and pilot sourcing standards, hourly rates, daily minimums for hours charged, charges for taxi time, refund policy, ability to rollover unused hours, insurance and liability coverage, peak travel surcharges, peak periods, advance time for reservations and cancellations, both for regular and peak period travel, WiFi availability, catering inclusions, policies for bringing pets, sending unaccompanied minors, service recovery, and VIP perks such as free jewelry, luxury hotel stays and event access. The site has a Frequently Asked Questions section, a Private Aviation Glossary and daily news feed covering private jet charters, jet cards, and fractional ownership.

The best way to figure out the program that is right for you is to review the spreadsheets we provide and review the 13 questions below:

1. Where will I be traveling? Some programs are focused on North America while others are global in scope.

2. How many people will I normally be traveling with? You’ll want to choose a program where the aircraft type fits the normal maximum number of travelers in your party.

3. How many miles distance are my typical trips? You’ll want to make sure you are looking at programs where the planes can fly you nonstop where possible.

4. Will I be traveling with pets or sending unaccompanied minors? While most programs allow pets, there maybe additional fees and some programs have age restrictions for minors traveling alone.

5. When will I be traveling? Most programs have peak days that may have higher rates and a longer booking window. There may also be blackout dates.

6. What are the minimum hours charged? Some programs charge a minimum of 2 hours per day when you are using a plane, which might make that 40-minute hop pretty expensive.

7. What are my upgrade and downgrade options? Sometimes you might want a larger or small plane. Conditions vary by program and vendor.

8. Do you care about VIP perks such as free luxury hotel stays, jewelry and fashion discounts and access to events? Several suppliers have extensive programs, while others offer bare bones or nothing.

9. Do you care about age of the planes you are flying? While private aviation travel is safer than taking a bath by 12-to-1 statistically, some programs offer options that guarantee newer planes.

10. Is WiFi critical to you? Not all private aircraft have WiFi. Some providers have it in 100% of their planes and others will offer programs that guarantee WiFi, while others it is hit and miss.

11. How much luggage and sporting equipment (skis, golf clubs, dive gear) are you typically taking? Smaller planes have less space to accommodate baggage and oversize bags, and range of aircraft depends on the load of passengers and luggage. Make sure the aircraft type you are considering can make it where you want to go nonstop with a full load.

12. Do you care if the interiors and configurations of the planes you will fly on are all the same? If so, you will want to take a closer look at JetSuite, NetJets Marquis Jet, VistaJet and WheelsUp which all operate fleets where each aircraft type has the same interior configuration and design.

13. What will your provider do after you send them your money? Ask about how your money is held until you actually take the flight, as well as ownership, size and company history.

About the Author Doug Gollan

Media Executive focused on marketing and sales to Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) consumers, luxury travel and private aviation, particularly jet cards