The Jet Card start-up is focused on turboprops, pistons, very light and light jets.
Pushed by what founder and CEO Tom Filippini says is strong demand in its first year of operations, Denver-based jet card seller StraightLine Private Air is making a few changes to its programs, including adding a $200,000 tier. Filippini, who didn’t want to disclose the number of members, says interest in the company is based on its somewhat different approach. The provider has also joined the fray with an end of the year offer: Join by December 31 and receive a 5% bonus up to $10,000.
StraightLine is a deposit program, however, there isn’t guaranteed availability or hourly rates. It uses dynamic pricing meaning each trip is quoted based on market rates, but in turn, there are no aircraft size categories, so there no need to upgrade or downgrade and no interchange fees. Filippini sees StraightLine as providing the right aircraft at the right price for each mission. You can read our Jet Card Insider review here.
“Our customers are looking to get from Point A to Point B safely at the lowest cost,” he tells Private Jet Card Comparisons. His belief is one of the spaces in the jet card membership market is that most programs focus on specific aircraft type or size categories and are built around jets. For StraightLine, 12% of flights are on piston aircraft with a further 35% on turboprops. A further 45% of flying is split between light and very light jets.
To put it another way, he says, instead of asking customers to buy into a category, then adding rules about how and when they can switch, StraightLine simply provides the best aircraft for each mission.
As of January 1, StraightLine will add a $200,000 tier (Black) to its existing $50,000 (Silver) and $100,000 (Platinum) programs. Currently, when members sign up, funds can be used for flights by anyone in the member’s immediate family and that member can designate up to five additional lead passengers. With the changes, for the Silver level access will be limited to the immediate family and for Platinum funding level it will be limited to immediate family and one additional lead passenger designate. The Black tier will continue to allow flights by immediate family and five additional lead passengers. This doesn’t refer to who can travel on the aircraft, but who must be on the flight. In other words, you, a member of your immediate family or one of your designates must be aboard.
The other change will be an expiration of funds for the $50,000 level, which will now be 18 months. For $100,000 and $200,000 levels, there is no expiration for funds.
In terms of being able to designate lead passengers outside your immediate family, you can view that as StraightLine’s version of a corporate travel program. He said he hasn’t seen much demand between friends pooling and points out that even with lower hourly rates from flying pistons and turboprops “you go through $50,000 pretty quickly.”
StraightLine has also produced a case study comparing its program to Jet Linx Aviation, Flexjet, Delta Private Jets, Sentient Jet, JetSuite, Wheels Up and XOJET. The comparison purports to show how many flight hours you can get for $100,000 spent over two years and looks at pricing for pistons, turboprops, very light jets and light jets. Since StraightLine uses dynamic as opposed to guaranteed pricing, it bases its numbers on actual rates for member flying.
Like most case studies or comparison guides put out by vendors, no surprise, StraightLine wins. And to be fair, there are other players that offer turboprop programs such as Nicholas Air and Paramount not included in the StraightLine analysis. However, the key takeaway is that StraightLine has found a niche with pistons and turboprops, and its seems like there is a strong demand for the offering.