On-Demand Charter vs. Jet Cards pros and cons

private jet charter

You can charter a private jet trip by trip – On-Demand Charter – or buy into a program – Jet Cards.

Jet memberships or calling a broker or operator each time. Which is right for you?

Both jet cards and calling a broker to rent a private jet are forms of private jet charter or private jet rental as some call it.

In both cases, we are referring to the entire aircraft as opposed to jet sharing or buy-a-seat models.

However, when it comes to full aircraft charter, which is better – jet cards or on-demand charter?

Should you buy a jet card? Should you just reach out to several brokers before each trip, and then play them off against each other?

The debate would make the Hatfields and the McCoys proud!

Magellan Jets’ president Anthony Tivnan on how to Elevate a jet card program

Boston-based jet card broker Magellan Jets remade its program earlier this year eliminating peak day surcharges and adding the Embraer Phenom 300

In early May Magellan Jets surprised some in the industry when it re-launched its jet card program mid-year. Its new Elevate program includes a 30-day trial period that doesn’t start until after your first flight.

UberJets denies ties to defunct jet card broker JetCard Plus

JetCard Plus, a private jet charter broker, closed earlier this year after it was hit by a $220,000 judgment in favor of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin

Paul M. Svensen is registered as manager of UberJets LLC in Massachusetts and listed as CEO on its NBAA membership page. His LinkedIn profile still lists him as sales director of JetCard Plus

Paul A. Svensen Jr. was CEO of JetCard Plus, which is no longer an active company, and before that, COO of Jet Network LLC, a jet card seller that went into bankruptcy around 2007

In 2016, Paul A. Svensen Jr. registered another aviation business at the same Hingham, Massachusetts, address where Paul M. Svensen registered UberJets LLC, in August 2017

FlyUberjets.com promises members savings on full aircraft charters and empty leg flights

UberJets LLC denies any affiliation to Paul A. Svensen Jr. or JetCard Plus

UberJets LLC, a charter broker selling private jet memberships from a Park Avenue address in New York City promises “unlimited access to book and travel worldwide to luxury lifestyle destinations.”

It denies having any affiliation to a private aviation company that closed earlier this year amid litigation and a top executive, Paul A. Svensen Jr., who was CEO of that company and COO of another that also failed.

When buying a jet card, timing is everything

There are three ways jet card providers calculate your flight time

When comparing jet cards, there are lots of factors to consider, however, one that many first time buyers don’t think about is time, as in flight time, as in how is your flight time billed?

Yes, you have a fixed one-way hourly rate, so you don’t have to worry about reviewing multiple on-demand charter quotes. You also researched daily and segment minimums, plus how taxi time charges are structured as well as making sure you account for fuel surcharges.

Maybe you even used the exclusive Quick Compare Flight Pricing tool available to subscribers of Private Jet Card Comparisons which amortizes membership fees into your hourly rate.

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:

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