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:
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.
After being sued by deposed operator Encompass Aviation for at least $3 million and being hit with an IRS tax lien for nearly $2.4 million, Surf Air is now alleging that its former provider not only ran a poor operation but that it was attempting to have Surf Air management ousted
Surf Air has filed a countersuit against deposed operator Encompass Aviation alleging it was to “unable consistently service its scheduled routes” and also that it tried to interfere with a key investor and the lessor of its aircraft with the aim to have management ousted.
The Embraer Phenom 100 provides a short-flight solution for up to four passengers who don’t want turboprops and want to fly aboard a cost-effective, modern, state-of-the-art private jet
JetSuite’s SuiteKey members can look forward to more favorable pricing this summer along the East Coast as the now Dallas-based jet card seller and private jet charter operator will be bringing at least several of its Embraer Phenom 100s to the East Coast. The very light jets, which seat up to four passengers, will be on the eastern seaboard beginning the week of June 10 and will stay there through Labor Day in September, the company tells Private Jet Card Comparisons. JetSuite has been in the news quite a bit recently, gaining a significant investment from JetBlue and Qatar Airways, and announcing it is the launch customer of Zunum Aero’s hybrid-to-electric aircraft coming in 2022.
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