Vista Global’s move to combine XOJET and JetSmarter under a new brand, XO, and new website, FlyXO.com, has brought some significant changes for jet-card customers. Here are the details.
The revised XO jet cards expand light and midsize programs nationwide and offer a new discount structure for longer flights
Thomas Flohr’s Vista Global group has been moving fast. Since the founder of VistaJet set up a Dubai-based holding company last September, he bought XOJET and JetSmarter. Then last month, he merged the two companies into a new brand, XO, and a new website, FlyXO.com.
The result has been an integration of JetSmarter’s Instant Booking private jet charter rates and seat sharing options into XOJET’s existing jet cards, potentially providing customers with a wider variety of options.
Of course, the devil is usually in the details. But first, a quick review of the program basics.
XO’s three levels of jet cards
XO has three jet card levels, Select Access, Signature Access and its top tier, Elite Access with Select’s deposit at $50,000 and the latter two starting at $100,000.
Monthly membership fees are $250, $500 and $1,000 respectively, so when figuring out how much you will pay, don’t forget to amortize the membership charges across the projected number of hours you expect to fly.
Subscribers to Private Jet Card Comparisons can compare all-in pricing via our Quick Compare Flight Pricing tool which compares over 200 fixed rate jet card programs.
Back to XO, Select and Signature both use dynamic pricing, which basically means market rates at the time of booking, while Elite has fixed rate pricing so you know what you will pay in advance. All levels guarantee availability with 24 hours notice.
Signature and Elite levels offer guaranteed aircraft recovery, while Elite jet cards include charges for deicing, something that can add up if you do a lot of winter weather flying.
On the other hand, last year JetSmarter rolled out Instant Booking, its answer to jet cards. While Instant Booking for full aircraft charter uses dynamic pricing, instead of the typical on-demand charter, which is aircraft and tail number specific, it offers you a market price based on a size category – light jet, midsize, super midsize and large cabin.
JetSmarter rose to fame with a seat-sharing model and continues to allow customers to initiate their own charter flight and then sell seats they don’t need. It also enables you to start a crowdfunded flight, where you buy the number of seats you need, and then if a minimum number of seats are sold, the flight goes. If not, no flight, but also no charges.
Lastly, it enables you to buy individual seats on flights that are already running or other customers are trying to crowdsource.
As we previously reported, Signature and Elite members can book seats for non-members on shared flights and also enjoy a $600 per hour per seat rate cap. However, there were some more questions we had, and so below you can find both our queries and the answers XO provided.
Can all deposit program members can use funds to book full aircraft Instant Booking and other dynamically priced flights, plus they can buy seats?
Yes. We are in the process of rolling out activation links for our clients to get set up on the app and be able to access their memberships.
Can all deposit program members turn their whole aircraft charters into shared charters?
Elite Access flights (booked at the guaranteed rates) cannot be converted to shared charters. They remain as whole trips booked under the contracted terms and billed accordingly. Elite Access and Signature Access clients can buy and sell seats.
Would the shared charters that impact benefits such as deicing or guaranteed recovery from mechanicals?
Those flights would revert to the standard shared charter terms and managed by JetSmarter, so program benefits such as de-icing, catering credit and mechanical recovery would not apply.
How do the credits with selling seats on flights you share work for program members?
The funds earned by selling seats go back into the account as a credit to use and apply to future flight services.
If I am Elite Access as an example, and I use my funds for an Instant Booking flight, do I then lose mechanical recovery and deicing? For example, for that flight, do I get the Elite benefits or am I now flying based on the terms of the Instant Booking flights?
Elite Access Members are not able to do Instant Bookings unless the flight falls outside the service area or extended service area. Elite Access is guaranteed access at fixed rates and we don’t allow a mix under the account to switch between dynamic pricing and charter rates with the fixed rates of the program.
For light and midsize jet cards, are the service areas still east of Mississippi and east of Rockies, or has the footprint changed?
We have changed this in our revised product offering. Elite Access now offers light, midsize and super-midsize across the domestic United States and is no longer restricted by territory. Super-midsize is still available in Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, and Bahamas.
What is the current jet card fixed pricing and minimums?
For the Continental U.S., light jets are $5,500 per hour operated with one-hour minimums plus 12 minutes taxi time per segment. Midsize jets are $6,750 per hour with 1.3-hour minimums plus taxi time, so 1. 5 hours per segment.
For Super mids, the pricing is now by type. The Citation X is $8,500 per hour and 1.5-hour minimums plus taxi time, so 1.7 hours per segment. The Challenger 300 is $10,000 per hour with the same minimums. We’ve added the Challenger 350 at $12,000 per hour based on availability for non-qualifying Elite Access flights.
Any other changes?
We added a maximum flight billing of 3.5 hours on the super-midsize category instead of offering the $2,000 per hour discount for flights four hours or longer. So anything over three and a half hours is on us! Revised pricing structure below.
(Editor’s Note: On the Citation X that would mean a maximum nonstop price of $31,450 based on $8,500 per hour x 3.5 hours + 12 minutes of taxi time)
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