Air Partner axes Caribbean, Mexico fixed rates; adds blackout dates

By Doug Gollan, May 12, 2022

In its first move since being acquired by Wheels Up, Air Partner is making changes that could be significant based on your flying

Air Partner, which is now a division of Wheels Up Experience, yesterday unveiled major changes to its U.S. jet card program.

It follows Wheels Up’s most recent changes announced earlier this month.

Since few of the many program changes these days include any positives, there is at least a shortlist of positives, so I’ll start with that.

Non-peak call-out remains at 72 hours, and daily minimums stay the same, which is 90 minutes for light and midsize jets, including taxi times. There are also no fuel surcharges.

There is a new 5% discount incentive if you agree to100% non-refundable flight cancellation with seven days advance notice.

Not surprisingly, hourly fixed rates are increasing. Light jets are now $7,900 per hour, including Federal Excise Tax. Light jets had been $6,400 per hour.

An analysis of over 250 jet card fixed and capped rate programs with guaranteed availability found at the end of Q1 2022, the light jet average rate was $7,564, including FET and fuel surcharges.

Rates across all categories have increased, as have fixed rates in Europe and for Transatlantic flights. Updated rate and program information are now available for paid subscribers.

So here’s the stuff that could impact you.

Air Partner is axing fixed one-way pricing to the Caribbean and Mexico, essentially aligning itself with Wheels Up.

That means if you want to fly outside the Continental U.S., trips will be priced dynamically, just like calling a broker.

It’s also adding blackout dates for jet card rates during Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holidays, as it did last year.

Again, it offers dynamic as-available quotes for those periods (noted below).

Air Partner program changes

In an email to customers, U.K.-based Air Partner outlined a number of moves.

  • Jet card rates are not available Nov. 17-28 and Dec. 15-Jan. 3. Member flights are subject to on-demand charter flight offerings
  • Peak day surcharge increase from 10% to 15%
  • A minimum balance of $25,000 must be maintained on the account
  • Fixed JetCard rates will no longer be available for flights to or from Mexico and the Caribbean.  Members can use their funds on account for on-demand charter to/from these areas
  • Domestic flights in the European Service Area (i.e., in-country, such as a flight within Spain, within Italy, are subject to on-demand charter rates.  
  • The year of manufacture of aircraft used for JetCard will be from the year 1995 or newer from 2020
  • For light jets, the passenger capacity guarantee goes from six to five
  • All terms and conditions will be subject to change with 14 days written notice, down from 30 days

Bottom Line

If you fly within the Continental U.S. and can avoid the jet card pricing blackout dates over Thanksgiving and the Christmas/New Year’s holidays, there’s not much to be upset about.

If you use your jet card for flights to the Caribbean or Mexico or need to travel during those blackout periods, the announcement will likely lead you to explore additional options.

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