Private Jet Services Group says Twitter regularly booked private jets out of protocol

PJS Group clarified private jet charter flight booking details after allegations by Elon Musk’s Twitter that it had been overcharged.

By Doug Gollan, February 15, 2023

PJS Group clarified private jet booking details after allegations by Twitter that it had been overcharged

After Elon Musk’s Twitter claimed it was overcharged for private jet charter flights booked by Private Jet Services Group, the company responded yesterday in a new court filing.

PJS Group, as the broker is known, is suing Twitter for nearly $200,000 to cover flights for a former executive.

The flights were from New York to San Francisco and back. They came in the days leading up to Musk’s purchase of the social media company.

The now-former executive needed to fly from New York to San Francisco to help close the $44 billion transaction. She then flew home.

Twitter is disputing payment saying the flights weren’t booked via a process outlined in the contract.

However, in its most recent filing, Twitter added a footnote accusing the charter broker of overcharging it for the flights.

Twitter’s attorneys wrote, “Market rate for next-day private air charter services, roundtrip, coast-to-coast on midsize jets are estimated at $70,000 to $96,000, and on large jets, $88,000 to $156,000. These ranges are substantially less than the $194,000 total invoices PJS sent Twitter.”

Making headlines

The footnote about charter pricing made headlines in reports by several major business websites.

Bloomberg headlined, “Twitter Claims Private Jet Service Overcharged for Flights,” continuing, “Social media giant claims flights billed at twice going rate.”

Business Insider added, “Twitter hit back at a private jet company suing it over a $197,000 unpaid bill, saying it was overcharged for 2 flights that weren’t properly authorized.”

Fortune wrote, “Elon Musk’s Twitter says it has good reason not to pay for $200,000 private jet trip: The company overbilled.”

We previously outlined why the rates PJS charged were likely fair-market pricing based on the details available.

Correcting Twitter’s attorneys

A filing yesterday from PJS Group disputed key details from what Twitter’s attorneys asserted in the footnote.

It reiterated that the pricing for the two flights was “booked and accepted separately, not as a round trip, and thus, they were priced as individual flights.”

PJS also confirmed in the filing that one of the flights was booked for same-day travel, not the next day as the Twitter attorneys had written.

It detailed that this flight was requested with less than four hours notice.

It added that the next day flight was requested, sourced, and confirmed with less than 12 hours’ notice,

Additionally, according to PJS, the flights required aircraft with “best in class airborne Wifi capable of live streaming during the week of Twitter’s well-publicized acquisition by Elon Musk…”

The new PJS filing didn’t detail the specific aircraft used. However, it appears they were unlikely to be on a midsize jet.

Twitter private jet booking history

PJS provided emails showing the disputed flights were approved by Twitter’s then-CEO.

It cited eight previous examples where Twitter booked flights without adhering to the process outlined in its agreement with PJS.

PJS attorneys wrote, “Twitter paid PJS’s invoices for each of the above air charter passenger transportation services that were booked and accepted not in conformance with the BPA’s Designated Representative process, which demonstrates that booking and accepting air charter passenger transportation services, not in conformance with the BPA’s Designated Representative process does not constitute a material breach of the (agreement).”

A PJS representative declined to provide additional details.

Unpaid Rent

PJS isn’t the only company having trouble getting paid by Twitter since Musk’s takeover.

Twitter is also being sued by landlords, as well. They say the company has stopped paying rent on space leased by the social media company.

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