While partnerships between private jet companies and travel agencies or concierges aren’t new, so far they have been limited mostly to hospitality at major events, one-off trips, and promotions with a variety of luxury hotels. In a joint announcement made today in New York, JetSuite and Embark Beyond are promising what could be a game-changing alliance that will be seamless, integrated and ongoing.
Dallas-based JetSuite, which operates a fleet of owned Embraer Phenom 300 and Phenom 100 private jets, said it has created a strategic partnership with Embark Beyond, a luxury travel advisory that is part of the $25 billion Virtuoso network of travel agencies.
A key difference is that while Embark Beyond can create those trips of a lifetime, and provide special access, it will also offer JetSuite customers more mundane travel agency services such as booking hotel rooms for business trips and getaway weekends. The program will be known as JetSuite Experiences.
JetSuite president Stephanie Chung tells Private Jet Card Comparisons the partnership is part of the company’s focus to provide “the only premium light jet experience.” The IS-BAO Stage 2 operator is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
“Today’s luxury travelers are looking for exceptional, insider experiences that start the moment they step on board to the moment they return home and everything in between. There is nothing cookie cutter about how and why our clients travel,” said Chung.
She added, “Whether it’s a reward for hard work, to strengthen a bond with someone they love, or to feel a sense of adventure, our partnership with Embark allows us to personally curate each itinerary based on each client’s specific tastes, preferences, and to cater to their underlying motivation for taking the trip.”
On the website, there are a variety of ideas from ranging from cooking with Michelin star chefs to touring Napa wine country behind the wheel of a McLaren. You can also sing with Broadway stars or get dancing lessons from the Rockettes.
Sample destinations include Aspen, Charleston, Miami, Montreal, Napa, New York City, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Toronto, although executives say the Embark service will be available for JetSuite customers for any travel needs providing a one-stop, personalized solution.
Base benefits perks include upgrades, free breakfast for two, something that can have significant value at high-end hotels, as well as private rates. However, the promise is that whatever you want — as long as it’s legal – it can be done, says Jack Ezon, the managing director and founder of Embark.
Embark will assist JetSuite customers with anything from securing restaurant reservations to VIP guides and unique experiences. There is also VIP access to high profile events such as the ESPYs in Los Angeles and the Tony’s in New York where you can walk the red carpet.
According to research from MMGY, use of travel advisors has been increasing year over year for nearly a decade as affluent, but time-pressed consumers are more and more seeking their professional services, much as they do with financial advisors, interior designers or personal shoppers.
Ezon says the goal of his team is to provide personalized service. He says, his advisors have personal relationships with managers at the hotels and resorts they are selling, which helps ensure JetSuite customers will get the room with a view of the marina instead of the parking lot.
Ezon said while there are many luxury travel advisors, most operate as independent contractors, whereas Embark is set up as a partnership similar to a law firm, so it has the scale to serve JetSuite’s client base of jet card and charter customers with a dedicated team, be it for just simple hotel bookings or something extravagant.
JetSuite’s Founder’s Level ($500,000) jet card members get a $3,000 travel credit with Embark and Chairman’s Level ($250,000) members receive a $1,500 credit. The credits can be used against hotels or prepaid travel in conjunction with JetSuite flights and are in addition to other benefits the operator introduced last year, such as enhanced catering and helicopter transfers via Blade.
Ezon is a highly awarded travel advisor, having been featured in The New York Times, Bloomberg, Forbes and other media, as well as being selected to best lists by Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. Before launching Embark in January, he built the leisure travel business at Ovation Travel from scratch to over $400 million.
He says Embark routinely conceives and plans all details for everything from celebrations at castles in Europe and to multi-day Indian weddings with groups ranging to more than a hundred VIPs. However, he says making every trip memorable, such as getting a great room with a view to come back to after a long day of business meetings is fulfilling for his advisors.
In addition to its light jet and very light jet fleet, JetSuite manages a Legacy 650, which has the range for Hawaii, and the operator has previously hinted it is planning to add larger cabin jets to its fleet, although it so far declined to provide details. Its investors include JetBlue and Qatar Airways, that latter which holds the largest order book of Gulfstream G650 and G500 aircraft.
Also today, JetSuite unveiled a collection of amenities curated in partnership with leading luxury brands. They include a signature cabin scent by Paris-based fragrance house Diptyque and Venus et Fleur’s Eternity Roses on every flight. There will be vegan and cruelty-free Red Flower amenity kits, a new line of onboard snacks by gourmet foods purveyor Torn Ranch and sustainable JetSuite-branded blankets by Coyuchi. The operator has also partnered with For the Furry to offer customized amenities for passengers’ four-legged friends.
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