As JetSmarter tries to pivot to its new business focus of paid seats, crowdsourcing flights and on-demand charter, CNBC has released a scathing profile highlighting the sharing economy private jet service’s troubles previously documented here on Private Jet Card Comparisons
A high tech fraud, shell game and bait-and-switch combined with high-pressure sales, ever-changing contract terms, revenue shortfalls, safety issues plus strong-armed tactics with the media, former customers and employees, a profile of a Unicorn gone bad, is the essence of a scathing report by CNBC about JetSmarter.
Against the backdrop of three more lawsuits, the sharing economy private jet company is responding, saying programs changes were within its rights, and the “vast majority” of “core” members are understanding
Over the past two weeks, at least three more lawsuits have been filed against JetSmarter, including two customers who say shortly after spending $97,500 upfront for discounted multi-year memberships they found themselves without the benefits they paid for. The lawsuits filed in New Jersey, Illinois and New York each allege shortly after joining or renewing key benefits they were promised were no longer available. With the mounting lawsuits, in general, they detail a series of back and forth communications with JetSmarter employees as benefits were being changed, and after failing to receive a refund or satisfactory solution, in each case, the members decided to take JetSmarter to court.
After moving its shared flight program from free seats to paid and scheduled flights to a crowdsourcing model, JetSmarter apparently wants to focus on being a charter broker
12.4.2018 – Editor’s Note: After publishing this article, Sergey Petrossov, CEO of JetSmarter, reached out to me to say he didn’t think the article provided a fair view of the company’s on-demand charter program. Normally, I would contact a company with questions before publishing, but after being told three times over the past two-and-a-half months JetSmarter wasn’t going to answer my questions, I didn’t bother. The article was also designed to highlight four places I saw shortcomings in their offerings. However, I have happily integrated Petrossov’s responses to my points in red and as always welcome any critiques people have on what I publish.”
Despite mounting lawsuits, JetSmarter is now more aggressively marketing full aircraft charters, apparently trying to compete with a host of online and offline brokers. While the sharing economy private jet provider has always sold full aircraft charters, it recently began displaying options for full aircraft charters when searching for flights, which are now apparently nearly all built on a crowdsourcing model as opposed to its previous model of having scheduled private jet flights to book by the seat.
A “senior” couple say they were “scammed” by JetSmarter for $30,000 weeks before the company started cutting back on its scheduled flights with the free seats they were expecting
With each lawsuit – this is at least the seventh Private Jet Card Comparisons has tracked – the stories about JetSmarter’s sales tactics get more troubling. Even as management was pivoting its model of paid annual memberships in return for the ability to book free seats on scheduled private jet shuttles, its sales team was continuing “high-pressure” tactics trying to push even more expensive memberships while telling the media that it was focusing on more accessible pricing.
PrivatAir’s insolvency marks another ‘good times’ private aviation blackeye and reminds buyers they need to research the stability of providers
Yes, it’s another ‘good times’ private aviation hiccup in what has been described as the peak of the segment’s 10-year recovery. “Any Jet, Anywhere, Any time” reads the on-demand private jet charter page of the Swiss and German private jet management company PrivatAir which said it has filed for insolvency today.