The new program follows its light jet program introduced earlier this year.
When Wheels Up’s Kenny Dichter told Squawk Box on CNBC in January that it was working on strategic initiatives, common wisdom in the industry was the founder and CEO was following a similar move by XOJET in 2018, which ultimately led to its acquisition by Vista Global and merger with JetSmarter.
A dozen lawsuits brought by unhappy members have recently been referred to arbitration in separate actions
Ellen Leesfield, the arbitrator overseeing the class action settlement between JetSmarter and its members, approved the agreement on July 11, 2019. The next step will take place on Aug. 22 when a judge in Miami-Dade County will need to decide whether or not to confirm the arbitrator’s decision.
In her ruling, Leesfield, a former judge, overruled several objections writing, “Plaintiffs and the class faced a multitude of serious, substantive defenses, any one of which could have precluded or drastically reduced prospects of recovery.” She also noted JetSmarter has “consistently denied liability and indicated an intention to vigorously pursue its potential defenses.”
As of June 27, settlement administrators received 1,567 claim forms and 101 requests for exclusion. Previous reports had indicated close to 12,000 current or former members of the jet sharing service could be eligible.
Cash payments are expected to range between $250 and $21,000 with nearly $3 million to be split between the class and a similar amount going to the lawyers who represented the plaintiffs.
The by-the-seat private jet membership program is being sued for not delivering on its promises of free flights
JetSmarter appears to be headed for stormy skies once again. On Friday a couple from New Jersey filed a lawsuit against the Ft. Lauderdale-based seller of seats on scheduled private jet flights. The complaint by Kathleen and Ronald Jackson alleges they were misled by a salesperson and after spending $23,000 with the promise of free private jet flights, they learned that for the flights they wanted there were, in fact, additional charges – some more than $5,000 per seat, per flight.