With more than 50 providers and over 300 jet card programs, the 2019 guide to jet cards features several important time-saving improvements
From the Editor
The third edition of Private Jet Card Comparisons, this one for 2019, is now live and available for paid subscribers. The completely updated version features more important details that you can’t get from the websites of most providers, and for the first time ever features a price comparison tool. It brings eight providers that have launched guaranteed availability, fixed-rate jet cards since the beginning of 2018, including four new to this year’s guide (We included the others when they launched, part of our mission to keep the guide updated throughout the year). This year’s version represents the culmination of a project that began in the beginning of August and wasn’t completed until about sometime in the second half of last night’s National Championship Game between Alabama and Clemson.
There are multiple ways jet card companies source aircraft. Here’s your guide to the differences and how they matter
Where does your jet card get the airplanes that will fly you?
There are over 50 companies that offer jet cards and while some buyers care only about price, as in the lowest hourly rate, at least at the beginning of their search, I find most subscribers end up taking a more holistic view. For one reason, just looking at the hourly rate can be misleading. Some jet cards quote rates inclusive of the 7.5% Federal Excise Tax while others aren’t. Some programs also have surcharges for fuel, CPI escalators, extra fees for using busy airports, and many have varying peak-day surcharges. If you fly out of your primary service area, your fixed rate may no longer apply, and you may have to pay ferry fees and extra charges, so while some programs have global service areas, others are regional or national.
Deicing can run up to $10,000 per incidence, so if you are doing a lot of winter flying, it’s something you should consider when comparing jet cards
If you’ve mainly flown commercially, on a corporate jet or with friends, you may not have thought about deicing in terms of who’s paying for it. So you bought a jet card. Congratulations – you just made your life easier for you and whoever will be flying with you! As you sit in the FBO on a cold winter’s day and watch the truck pull up next to your jet, you might think, “Geez, I’m glad I’m not that guy on the boom lift. It must be cold up there!” You may not have realized that what was coming out of the hose was not just fluid, but money, possibly yours. Chances are you won’t find out about it until you get your monthly statement weeks late. I say possibly because some jet card programs include deicing and others don’t.
The mileage-based jet card broker is offering customers who buy now 2018 rates for 2019
Airstream Jets is offering a rate lock giving 2018 rates for 2019 when you sign up before the end of the year. Airstream sells in two denominations, $25,000 (Silver Distance Card) and $100,000 (Gold Distance Card), plus the 7.5% Federal Excise Tax.
Figuring out the hourly cost of a jet card isn’t as straightforward as you might think
If you are looking to buy a jet card, chances are you start by comparing price, usually hourly rate. However, all hourly rates are not created equal. If you are shopping for a U.S. program, some jet card providers include the 7.5% Federal Excise Tax in the rates on their website and promotional literature while others don’t. It’s just one example of why it makes sense to make a detailed comparison.