To compare private jet membership programs you have to ask the right questions

Private jet card membership programs provide a convenient way to pre-pay for private aviation travel. Rather than committing long-term to fractional ownership or needing to negotiate with a charter broker trip-by-trip, individuals sign up for a program with a contractual set of guarantees so that booking a flight is as easy as one call or tapping on an App. However, to find the right one for your needs, you need to do a little homework. 

Below are 36 questions you should ask before buying a jet card. These questions will help you isolate differences that are important for your flying needs. By the way, all the answers are available for registered users, and you can register here.

  1. Who owns the company, what’s the ownership structure, where is it based and when was it founded?
  2. How many employees are there?
  3. What jet cards are offered?
  4. Which aircraft are applicable for each jet card program?
  5. What are the denominations of the program?  Hours, miles, distance or days?
  6. What’s the hourly rate? Is Federal Excise Tax (FET) included?
  7. Where is the service area of the program for your contracted rate?
  8. What’s the minimum seating for aircraft in each program?
  9. How are aircraft sourced and what are the standards?
  10. Does the program use safety-rating agencies, such as ARGUS, Wyvern and IS-BAO for sourcing?
  11. What are the pilot experience minimums?
  12. Is there guaranteed availability at a contracted rate?
  13. Do your funds or hours expire? Can you get a refund? What’s the refill policy?
  14. Is there an escrow account option?
  15. How much liability and risk insurance is provided?
  16. Are there any membership fees or monthly dues?
  17. Is there a CPI escalator that will raise your rate?
  18. Are there fuel surcharges?
  19. Is de-icing included?
  20. What’s the charge for taxi time?
  21. What is the minimum flying time charged per segment and day?
  22. Are there round trip discounts? What’s the definition of a roundtrip?
  23. How many peak days are there? What is the peak day surcharge?
  24. What’s the lead-time for reservations, including peak days?
  25. Can you access multiple aircraft at the same time?
  26. What’s the cancellation deadline, including for peak days?
  27. Can you upgrade or downgrade the size of your aircraft and are there blackouts? Is there a fee?
  28. Do you have your choice of FBO?
  29. What catering is included?
  30. Is WiFi guaranteed?
  31. Is a fully enclosed lavatory guaranteed?
  32. Are pets allowed? Are there fees?
  33. What’s the minimum age for unaccompanied minors?
  34. What’s the service recovery policy?
  35. Is there 24/7/365 customer support?
  36. What are the lifestyle and luxury perks and partnerships?

Compare over 100 jet card programs across 65 variables in 1 place by becoming a registered user of Private Jet Card Comparisons

About the Author Doug Gollan

I study and write about Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) consumers, luxury travel, the business of luxury and private aviation, particularly jet cards