Flying outside your Service Area may bring different pricing, including Ferry Fees and other charges that can blow a big hole in your budget
One of the surprises I hadn’t considered when I started researching private jet card programs for Forbes was Service Area. I sort of assumed that if you secured a card with a guaranteed hourly rate for one-way flying, that rate would be valid to fly to most places. In other words, in reading through the marketing materials and seeing that the provider would fly you worldwide, the thinking was the one-way hourly prices in the same brochure would apply. The answer is they are really two different things, and in fact in the soon to be released 2018 edition of Private Jet Card Comparisons we honed in on the subject a bit more to specify both Service Area and Service Area with Guaranteed Hourly Rate although it already covered in the current edition. If you subscribe now, you get access to both.
Lead Time for reservations and cancellations, hourly rate, and even availability to get a private jet can vary on Peak Days
A common way private jet companies get new customers is a referral. Some provide incentives, but most of the time it’s more birds of a feather flock together. Whether you already have your own aircraft and are looking for supplemental lift, fly the company jet on business but need a personal solution, are looking for a business travel solution or just want a better option than flying commercially to your vacation home, Jet Cards are many times the perfect solution.
The private aviation definition of a roundtrip is different than commercial airlines, but you can find discounts as high as 40%
When buying a jet card we always say it pays to do some homework upfront from a multitude of reasons. Some of it involves kicking the tires of the providers, comparing their standards for sourcing airplanes and flight crew, assessing who they are, how long they’ve been around and so forth. However, in making the best decision it really helps if you can as best possible map out the trips you expect to be taking, and yes, how many people are traveling, but also how long each trip is and if it includes multiple stops, the time between each flight segment.
Cancellation policies between jet card companies vary, but either way, provide a more flexible approach to canceling than on-demand charter brokers
While most people think about flying when they think of private jets, plans change. With on-demand charter, your full payment may be taken as a cancellation fee, particularly during peak periods. In browsing an online broker’s website recently, virtually all of the best offers came with cancellation fees of 50% to 100% from the time of booking, even though the proposed trip was more than 30 days away.
Multiple same time aircraft access might be an important factor when choosing the right jet card program.
Assuming is the enemy of finding the right jet card program for your needs. There is often an assumption from buyers, “Hey, I paid you $250,000, I feel like you should be giving me that.” And while most private jet providers will bend over backward to keep customers happy, each program is set-up with various policies and procedures, often rooted in the complicated and regulated arena of flying around tons of metal. In other words, it’s better to do some homework before you write the check.