Fewer peak days, shorter call-outs, and shorter daily minimums, plus more international destinations with fixed one-way pricing.
Plus, if your needs change, deposits are now refundable.
You’re not dreaming. It’s part of a wide revamp by Magellan Jets of its jet card and membership programs.
“When we started making changes based on the market last Fall, we asked our customers and salespeople to be patient. We told them our goal was that the changes wouldn’t be permanent,” Magellan Jets President Anthony Tivnan tells Private Jet Card Comparisons.
Of the revamp, he adds, “We’ve been working on it for a few months, speaking to customers, getting feedback. The market has settled down. It hasn’t normalized, but as we looked toward the end of the year, we see competitors still taking away, and we wanted to add value.”
Despite increased prices and tighter rules and policies, Magellan Jets has seen a 120% increase in new jet card customers year-to-date, Tivnan says.
However, many new and existing customers are now flying on business again.
The changes, expected to be announced this week, will speak to the corporate jet set, Tivnana says, as well as bring the program closer to pre-Covid rules and add more fixed-rate Caribbean destinations along with Europe.
Magellan Jets continues with jet cards that start at 25 hours.
There are several key jet card changes. It eliminated the generic light jet category and its Citation CJ3 card, so its light jet card is an Embraer Phenom 300.
Tivnan says this ensures a more premium experience with newer aircraft.
It also eliminated the Cessna Citation X, keeping the Challenger 300 or generic super-midsize option.
For midsize jets, it continues with the Citation Excel/XLS and Hawker 800/800XP.
For large cabin aircraft, the choice continues between generic heavy jets and the Gulfstream G450.
However, it is making significant changes with its memberships.
Premium and Explorer membership is being replaced by two Explorer programs.
Explorer is the entry-level program, and Explorer100 requires a $100,000 deposit.
Both have an initiation fee of $16,500 and an annual renewal of $12,500.
However, Explorer100 has shorter call-out and cancelation: 48 hours on non-peak days, and like jet cards, the ability to book or cancel non-peak up to 24 hours at a 25% premium. More on that in a minute.
Explorer100 members also get a 12-month rate lock, while Explorer members are subject to price changes during their membership.
Explorer100 clients, like jet card clients who buy at least 50 hours, continue to get guaranteed free WiFi on jets midsize and above.
Jet card members can lock in rates for up to 18 months based on the number of hours they purchase.
Tivnan says adding the $100,000 Explorer100 deposit level bridges the gap between the pay-as-you-go fixed rate Explorer membership and jet cards, where funding can range over $400,000 for large cabin aircraft.
Both Explorer and Explorer100 allow members to select light, midsize, super-midsize, and large cabin jets on a trip-by-trip basis.
Tivnan says the base Explorer membership has been very popular with customers who fly one to four times per year and want guaranteed pricing and availability.
Also, all deposit programs are now refundable for unused funds.
While Magellan is now adding taxi time to its daily minimums, it is ditching its regional minimums for light and midsize jets, which varied between 90 and 120 minutes.
Lights and mids are now 90 minutes, plus taxi time, nationwide.
However, for jet card clients, you can use one-third of your hours on lights and mids with a 60-minute minimum, plus taxi time.
It’s a return to the pre-Covid rule set, and something Tivnan says is driven by feedback from business clients.
“We have seen a large influx of business travel, and that has meant seeing our business consumers back on the road, and they may need to go Teterboro to Dulles. We wanted to ensure our product was still positioned for the business consumer, who has always been our backbone.”
It comes at a time the average light jet daily minimum has gone to 103 minutes, according to research by Private Jet Card Comparisons at the end of Q2.
Magellan moved from eight hours before Covid to 72 hours last Fall and then back to 48 hours for its jet cards recently.
While Explorer is now 72 hours, Explorer100 and jet cards are 48 hours, with a twist.
Explorer100 and jet card customers can book or cancel up to 24 hours prior to departure for a 25% premium.
Tivnan says business clients who need to go on short notice were booking, and while they paid dynamic pricing and premium rates, the frustration revolved around the back-and-forth of dynamic pricing quotes.
“They told us, ‘Give us a price so we can just make the booking.’ So with this, they don’t need to go back and forth,” Tivnan says.
It also goes counter to the industry, where average call-out has now risen to 63 hours from 23 hours prior to Covid.
With the revamp, Magellan reduces peak days in its various programs from 73, 53, or 50 to just 43 across the board.
Jet Cards and Explorer100 do not have a surcharge. However, the 15% surcharge on the Explorer membership remains (an early version had incorrect information).
While peak day call-out is 240 hours, jet card and Explorer100 clients can book on shorter notice at a premium.
“For us, it was more important to have a longer booking window. It really was about giving us enough time, and that allowed us to reduce the number of high-volume days. So, there are fewer days where it is needed,” Tivnan says
Magellan Jets jet card clients will get a big perk – fixed hourly rates and guaranteed availability for flights in Europe.
The two-tiered service area covers most of Western Europe with additional destinations at a 35% surcharge.
Destinations subject to the surcharge vary by aircraft size.
Tivnan says the program is the result of a recent hire who was experienced in Europe.
“He went to Europe for around a month, visiting operators and making sure we could get the availability and pricing we need, and so we are very excited,” says Tivnan.
He says both business and leisure clients wanted Europe.
It also gives Magellan coverage to the Caribbean, Mexico, select Canadian destinations, Hawaii, and now within Europe on a fixed-hourly rate basis.
Paid subscribers of Private Jet Card Comparisons can view all of the updated program information.
Will transatlantic fixed rates be next?
“It’s something we have looked at and continue to look at,” says Tivnan.
In the meantime, private flyers can hope that Magellan’s move will spur others to begin rolling back some of the rules and policy changes implemented during the past year.