Two former customers of the private jet-sharing service told the cable news network they were interviewed by law enforcement in March
JetSmarter is hoping to put its troubles behind it. Earlier this month, without admitting guilt, it agreed to settle a class action arbitration for $6 million. It also agreed to be acquired by Dubai-based Vista Global, parent of VistaJet and XOJET. However, a CNBC report yesterday says JetSmarter may be under investigation.
The jet sharing broker remains the subject of individual lawsuits, however, up to 12,000 members may be eligible for cash and credits under a proposed Class Arbitration settlement
We take an in-depth look at the value of the proposed settlement
Anyone who was a member of JetSmarter from September 5, 2014 until June 19, 2018 should be receiving a Notice of Settlement (Arbitration Matter No. 01-18-0003-3338) as part of a Class Action filed via arbitration last September. It’s estimated as many as 12,000 former and current members of the private jet plane sharing membership program could be eligible.
The proposed settlement offers members of the Class a net distribution of $2,975,000 plus potentially tens of millions of dollars in free membership extensions and flight credits.
The action was filed by Solowsky & Allen, P.L., a Miami law firm, which also apparently negotiated the settlement with JetSmarter. Requests for comment were not returned from either Solowsky & Allen or a second law firm listed on the settlement notice.
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.