Searches for jet cards based on price or cost bring up first page results that date back to 2006, and what’s more, many of the prices you see at first glance don’t include a myriad of fees and extra charges.
Beyond brand searches for NetJets, Wheels Up, Marquis Jet (it’s now a brand owned by NetJets), JetSuite or Jet Suite, Delta Private Jets, XOJET, Flexjet, Sentient Jet and a few others I was surprised when somebody recently showed that many jet card related searches are based on words like price and cost, and even lowest price. Having spent in large part over the past two years in the deep end of the jet card pool, price, in my opinion, is only moderately relevant.
To get started, and get it off the table, the hourly rates that you will find when you Google, Yahoo or Bing search only tell a relatively small slice of the story. With all due respect to the search engines, the pricing they pull up is often as much as five years old. One of the top results for pricing actually dates back to 2006!
The first prices you see are often not close to what you will pay. While some jet card providers market prices that include the 7.5% Federal Excise tax, catering, all fuel expenses, and lock in your price, others show a base price that is much lower than you will end up with when you get your first invoice. Some prices you find and look good don’t include FET, and have extra charges for fuel as well as CPI escalators. Some also charge for catering while some programs include deicing and others don’t. Some programs have membership fees and dues which you would need to factor into your projected flight hours and then add to your hourly rate.
There are also can be surcharges for traveling on peak days and even to high-density airports. Some programs have surcharges around weekends with big sporting events such as The Super Bowl even if you aren’t attending. Others have fees directly related to flying to these confabs.
When I put together Private Jet Card Comparisons, my goal was to give a holistic view of the card providers and programs. With 39 jet card sellers and 296 programs in the database, and being able to talk to jet card buyers on a daily basis, I am more convinced than ever that simply looking at the hourly rate is a mistake.
If you are shopping for a jet card, I would welcome you to become a subscriber. Our new VVIP JET CARD DECIDER tool helps us help you. By filling out the worksheet and sending it to us, we’ll sort through the various programs and identify the ones that best meet your unique flying needs, avoiding costly fees for flights that don’t meet daily and segment minimums and helping steer you away from peak days and other extra fees.