Magellan Jets’ president Anthony Tivnan on how to Elevate a jet card program

Boston-based jet card broker Magellan Jets remade its program earlier this year eliminating peak day surcharges and adding the Embraer Phenom 300

In early May Magellan Jets surprised some in the industry when it re-launched its jet card program mid-year. Its new Elevate program includes a 30-day trial period that doesn’t start until after your first flight.

The new program also saw the elimination of peak day surcharges and the ability to reduce the daily minimum to 60 minutes for up to one-third of flight hours on light jet programs. It also added the Embraer Phenom 300 to its line-up of dedicated aircraft type jet cards.

Magellan Jets

Recently Private Jet Card Comparisons spoke to Anthony Tivnan, the private jet broker’s president to see how its new Elevate by Magellan Jets membership is doing.

Why did you re-launch your jet card program?

Many of the enhancements and changes to our program were in direct response of interviews and conversations with some of our long-time members.  We believe in continuous feedback and communication post-sale.  We also spoke with several aircraft owners that use Magellan Jets for supplemental lift solutions to better understand how owning an aircraft gives them additional benefits and flexibility over charter, memberships, and fractional programs in the marketplace.

What about the timing?

We typically see a nice surge in both membership and charter during the fourth quarter and into Q1.  This is because of the number of peak days during these quarters, so providing the highest amount of flexibility right before this time made sense to make this a priority mid-year, as opposed to waiting for the new year.

What type of response are you getting?

The response has been great.  Our year-over-year growth in membership is tracking to be north of a 35% increase. Current customers are excited because it showed we were listening to them, and people we had been talking to were excited because again it showed we were listening to them.

You have both category cards and jet specific cards. Are you seeing more traction in one area than the other?

Jet specific remains to be popular amongst our members and new potential members.  They seem to enjoy the consistency of the aircraft and knowing when they schedule a flight what is going to show up.  Knowing how much luggage you can bring, the performance of the aircraft and the general layout and amenities really enhances the scheduling process for them. Also, having aircraft specific cards is attracting fractional owners who want a specific aircraft type instead of just a category.

I would assume you are getting good feedback on the money-back guarantee?

Correct. What we are telling prospective members is we are confident in our capabilities and want them to be confident in their decisions.  Risk aversion is huge factor in the decision-making process, and with many of the recession talks happening right now, aligns our model of flexibility and low risk very nicely.

How does the guarantee work?

Both the guarantee and rate lock begin only after their first scheduled flight.  This means they are getting a true 12-month benefit of the rate rather than the date on their agreement.  The guarantee gives them the option to exit their membership within 30 days after completion of their first flight.

Are there any other aspects of Elevate that you are getting feedback about?

The flexibility of consistent fixed price 365 days a year (and) no surcharges for fuel or (peak) travel days keeps it simple for individuals and corporations to plan and budget. Their fixed rate is not a moving target that is determined (by when) they use their hours.

Anything else you want to add?

We will continue to keep an open line of communication with our customers. We want them to keep telling their friends (about Magellan Jets). Our aircraft booking and membership management platform is the next big project our team is working on now and we are excited for a hand-selected group of customers to begin testing next month.

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About the Author Doug Gollan

I am Founder and Editor of Private Jet Card Comparisons, the only independent buyer's guide to jet card membership programs, and DG Amazing Experiences, a weekly luxury travel e-newsletter for private jet owners. I am also a contributor to Forbes.com
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