Boston based Magellan Jets is ditching its Bespoke membership program and launching a new jet card under the banner of Elevate by Magellan. The new jet card, which is being rolled out this week, addresses what its president Anthony Tivnan says are shortcomings with many current market offerings.
A key feature of Elevate will be a new 30-day money back guarantee that begins when you take your first flight. He says customers often want to get a feel for the quality of aircraft in broker programs, and also for customer service. By timing the guarantee to the first flight, he says customers can sign up without having to worry that the clock is ticking.
Speaking with Private Jet Card Comparisons, Tivnan says, the program was developed based on feedback from customers. In particular, he says, his sales team had noticed in November and December of each year there was an influx of fractional share customers looking for one-off, on-demand charters for larger aircraft.
Tivnan says in the case of fractional programs, upgrading the size of aircraft isn’t necessarily guaranteed on peak days, which Magellan now calls high-demand days. He adds owners who spent millions of dollars buying shares and in monthly management fees resented the interchange fees to upgrade.
Elevate by Magellan eliminates peak-day surcharges and allows its jet card members to now upgrade or downgrade aircraft size at published rates instead of an interchange fee. Lead-time for reservations remains 168 hours on what Magellan is now calling 30 high demand days and eight hours on other days, among the best in the industry.
“There are a lot of people who only need to upgrade to a super-midsize jet or large cabin jet around the holidays, and that’s when programs are the most restrictive,” he said.
At the same time, Elevate addresses one of Magellan’s shortcomings on light and midsize jets, which was a 120-minute daily minimum for its 25-hour cards and 90 minutes on its Bespoke card which started at 50 hours.
Under Elevate, members can use up to a third of their hours on light or midsize jets with a daily and segment minimum of one hour, including 12 minutes of taxi time.
For customers who buy super midsize and large-cabin jet cards, he says by offering the ability to choose cabin category at the published rate for each trip, they can now take advantage of the lower minimums by downgrading to light or midsize aircraft for shorter flights.
In another change, Magellan is now publishing prices inclusive of the 7.5% Federal Excise Tax, although deicing and catering remain extra charges.
It is also guaranteeing fully enclosed lavs on light jets and outside 200 nautical miles of the Continental U.S border to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean, it now charges a straight 10% surcharge over published hourly rates. However, Tivnan points out since customers prepay the FET when they join, the additional collection only ends up being 2.5%
As part of the launch, Magellan becomes only the second jet card broker program to offer a dedicated Phenom 300 jet option. The card, however, won’t have a national footprint, with primary service area east of the Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and California.
While Magellan has long offered aircraft specific jet cards, the new lineup includes a total of eight aircraft specific jet cards in addition to cabin category jet cards for light and midsize jets.
The new Elevate Standard Light Jet program at 25 hours is priced at $5,250 per hour, including FET. The Hawker 400XP is $,5789 per hour, while the Phenom 300 is priced at $7,199.
For midsize jets, Magellan’s Standard Mid Jet card is $6,993 per hour while a Hawker 800XP option at $7,750 per hour.
In the super-midsize category, its Challenger 300/G200 program is $9,985 per hour while the Citation X/Sovereign jet card is $8,971 per hour.
For heavy jets, its Falcon 2000 jet card is $11,199 per hour at 25 hours while a Gulfstream GIV/IV-SP is $12,500 and a G450 is $13,500.
Magellan is also rolling out a year-round helicopter card with an hourly rate of $13,799 and an 18-minute segment minimum. While it can be purchased at on a standalone basis starting at 10 hours, Elevate members can use their funds for the fixed rate helicopters as well, and helicopter usage doesn’t need to be combined with a private jet flight.
The ability to add guaranteed WiFi is still handled on a case-by-case basis, and he says is dependent on where you are based. Elevate doesn’t have membership fees, dues or fuel surcharges, and funds never expire. Pets are also guaranteed as long as you make note of it when you make your reservations.
“It’s really been about recognizing that jet card memberships are gaining popularity. There’s huge uptick in entrants and demand, but a lot of them are difficult to understand and aren’t flexible,” Tivnan says, adding, “Too often, you think you are paying X rate, but at the end of the year when you added up all the extra charges, you find out the rate was significantly more.”