Reviewing the Wheels Up private jet booking app

Wheels Up app

Wheels Up recently opened its private jet charter app to non-members. Here’s our review

Move over Costco. When I read in Wheels Up’s merger filings that it quietly began allowing non-members to access its app, I decided to check it out. Until then, you had to pay $2,950 for the privilege. Allowing non-members to book on the app at less favorable terms seems a no-brainer.

Should you charter a private jet online?

private jet

After years of claims about Uber for private jets instant booking technology, it’s finally arriving. Should you book a private jet online?

After years of claims about Uber for private jets instant booking technology, it’s finally arriving. But should you use it?

Many of the broker websites and apps promising online bookings were nothing more than electronic request forms.

But that’s changing, and increasingly, you may find yourself able to rent a private jet or turboprop digitally from a broker or platform, and without much human oversight, or at least human oversight looking after your interests.

JetSmarter is putting a push on full aircraft charter; Here are four reasons to be wary…and where JetSmarter says we were wrong!

JetSmarter

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.

The personal touch will remain important in private jet charter

At revolution.aero technology may have been center stage, but private jet charter brokers are likely to be a core part of the business for a while longer

 

While the focus of revolution.aero, a conference organized by Corporate Jet Investor here in San Francisco, was squarely on how technology will change the way we fly – including commuting to work aboard battery-powered airplanes and supersonic private jets within the next decade – charter customers will continue to want high touch service said, several executives. 

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