The Airstream Jets Distance Card program uses a mileage-based formula, instead of hours.
Florida-based Airstream Jets is offering discounts and upgrades for buyers of its jet card program, but the offer is very short term, ending April 17, 2018. The Distance Card uses a mileage-based formula to calculate trip costs eschewing the standard hourly formula used by programs that offer fixed one-way pricing.
Buyers save $500 on the Silver Distance Card, which is normally priced at $25,000, excluding the 7.5% Federal Excise Tax. Purchasers of the $100,000 Gold Distance Card get a $2,000 discount plus one free category upgrade for any trip. Based on aircraft size, prices range from $7 to $23 per mile. Distance Card is a broker program and Airstream guarantees all operators it uses are ARGUS Gold rated or better. Captains need to have at least 5,000 flight hours, including 1,000 hours flying as PIC (Pilot in Charge).
Distance Card offers guaranteed availability and account balances don’t expire. Deposits are non-refundable and there is an escrow account option. There are no membership fees, annual or monthly dues and there is no CPI (Consumer Price Index) escalator or fuel surcharges. The program also eschews charging separately for taxi time and de-icing is included, which could be important if you do a lot of winter flying. De-icing can run up to $10,000 per incidence. Paid subscribers of Private Jet Card Comparisons can compare policies for over 250 jet card programs across 65 variables, including de-icing. There is also a 5% early booking discount and you can save a further 5% on roundtrips that originate and terminate in about a dozen select airports, including in the New York, South Florida and Chicago areas.
Regular lead time for reservations is 48 hours, on the longer side compared to most other programs, and 72 hours for the 37 peak days. There are no blackout dates.
Since the program operates on a mileage-based formula instead of hours, segment and daily minimums are naturally based on miles instead of minutes. The 100-mile segment minimum and 500-mile daily minimum are particularly attractive if you need a Super Mid or Large Jet where minimums can range up to 3.5 hours.