The private jet membership program is scrapping its SMART membership, cutting its entry price point, but hiking per flight prices and eliminating free shuttle flights for new members

 

JetSmarter has been a primary mover in trying to develop new business models that are widening access to private aviation by driving down costs, marketing empty legs (ferry flights) and single seats on scheduled shuttle flights. The shuttles save users the hassles of having to transit through commercial airports, often shaving hours off total travel time. When we heard that JetSmarter was making changes to its programs, Private Jet Card Comparisons reached out to Sergey Petrossov, CEO of the Ft. Lauderdale private jet provider, which fills the gap between commercial first class and chartering an entire jet, although they offer the latter as well. Here is our email exchange: 

 

Private Jet Card Comparisons:  What changes are coming?

 

Sergey Petrosov:  We are lowering the fee of entry for new members to democratize the access point even more. Annual membership is now $4,950 plus a $3,000 initiation fee. These new members will pay more per seat than (existing) SMART members do now. The plan is to open up access to more people that fly even a few times per year versus more frequent fliers that are joining today with SMART membership for $15,000. Existing SMART members are not affected by this and keep their old membership with better pricing and perks.

(Editor’s Note:  JetSmarter previously offered a SIMPLE membership priced under $10,000 that was discontinued last year.)

PJCC:  What is the name of the new membership?

 

Petrosov:  We are dropping the (SMART name) for simplicity, and just calling it the JetSmarter Membership.

 

PJCC:  Is the current $15,000 SMART membership being discontinued for new sign-ups?

 

Petrossov:  Yes

 

PJCC:  Does SOPHISTICATED stay at 45k?

 

Petrossov:  Sophisticated is $50,000 and has been that way for a while. We are making it more private and won’t be advertising as much to make it more exclusive. We are continuously expanding the service and features.

 

PJCC:  Using the pricing on your website, it shows currently shows $540 for NY to LA  for JetShuttle. Is that the price with the new membership?

 

Petrsosov:  Those are starting at prices, and for SMART members and they are dynamic, not static. The website will be updated the first week of April to reflect starting at pricing for new members, which will be higher than SMART, and ultimately website will show actual flights and their pricing.

 

PJCC:  Looking at New York to Miami on your website, it shows as free for Shuttle flights. Does that mean that JetShuttles under three hours will still be free with this newer, lower membership as they had been?

 

Petrossov: No, nothing (will be) free except some empty leg seats here and there. So no shuttles free.

About the Author Doug Gollan

I am Founder and Editor of Private Jet Card Comparisons, the only independent buyer's guide to jet card membership programs, and DG Amazing Experiences, a weekly luxury travel e-newsletter for private jet owners. I am also a contributor to Forbes.com