CNBC reports the FBI and US Attorney have questioned JetSmarter customers

JetSmarter

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.

NetJets, Wheels Up, Jet Smarter and JetSuite compared

NetJets, Wheels Up, JetSuite, JetSmarter

The four most searched private aviation companies on Google are very different, although they also have some similarities

In the world of private aviation solutions – fractional ownership, leases, jet cards, memberships, seat sharing, semiprivate airlines, and so forth, four companies have generated the most interest, according to Google Trends. Surprisingly, perhaps, they are each quite different once you get past the fact that they all want to fly you somewhere.

In terms of interest, Wheels Up (red) followed by NetJets (blue), JetSmarter (yellow) and JetSuite (green) are the most search private aviation companies. Source: Google Trends

How not to get burned when you buy a private jet membership

Jet Card

Lawsuits, closures, bankruptcies and lack of transparency show the challenges consumers face

In the two years since I launched Private Jet Card Comparisons, I’ve been surprised by the number of bankruptcies, closures, lawsuits, and lack of transparency in private aviation. In Europe, Wijet liquidated its UK subsidiary while Surf Air closed its entire operation there. Zetta Jet filed for Chapter 11 and then Chapter 7, leaving bills estimated at between $50 million and $100 million. ImagineAir just closed shop without notice. Both JetSmarter and Ascension Air find themselves facing unhappy customers, including lawsuits. Of course, there have been other failures before, including Avantair and Blackjet to name just two fairly recent ones.

How not to lose on your private jet membership

To help you avoid the same pitfalls, here are some tips I put together. While they may not be foolproof, I think they are helpful to keep in mind:

Settlement Update: JetSmarter Resolution Credits apply to crowd-sourced flights

JetSmarter

JetSmarter can walk away from the proposed Class Action arbitration settlement if more than 10% of members opt out

Last week, in reviewing the 13-page “Notice of Settlement” as the basis for my analysis of JetSmarter’s proposed Class Action settlement, I was struck that there was a seeming lack of detail.

It wasn’t clear which flights you could apply the valuable 50% off Resolution Credits. Not finding anyone willing to answer my questions, I made note of it in my article.

JetSmarter Class Action Settlement Agreement

After I published the story, I was happy to see in my inbox a more detailed 45-page “Settlement Agreement.” There is some good news.

BREAKING NEWS: Vista Global to acquire JetSmarter

VistaJet XOJET JetSmarter

The parent of VistaJet and XOJET is buying JetSmarter to bolster its digital strategy

Following its acquisition last fall of XOJET, Rhone Capital backed Vista Global said it has entered into an agreement to acquire Ft. Lauderdale-base JetSmarter with the goal of creating a global on-demand digital marketplace.