Flight sharing and charter broker JetSmarter says it is being targeted by ‘unethical competitive practices’
A report in the New York Post yesterday picked up on industry rumors bouncing around the last couple weeks that JetSmarter would be sold to Vista Group, a Dubai-based holding company formed last September which was used as a vehicle to acquire XOJET weeks later. The report cited undisclosed sources claiming, “Both insiders identified roll-up artist Vista Global as the likely acquirer. But if talks between the two parties fail, and JetSmarter fails to secure additional financing, the sources said it could be forced into bankruptcy.”
As JetSmarter tries to pivot to its new business focus of paid seats, crowdsourcing flights and on-demand charter, CNBC has released a scathing profile highlighting the sharing economy private jet service’s troubles previously documented here on Private Jet Card Comparisons
A high tech fraud, shell game and bait-and-switch combined with high-pressure sales, ever-changing contract terms, revenue shortfalls, safety issues plus strong-armed tactics with the media, former customers and employees, a profile of a Unicorn gone bad, is the essence of a scathing report by CNBC about JetSmarter.
Against the backdrop of three more lawsuits, the sharing economy private jet company is responding, saying programs changes were within its rights, and the “vast majority” of “core” members are understanding
Over the past two weeks, at least three more lawsuits have been filed against JetSmarter, including two customers who say shortly after spending $97,500 upfront for discounted multi-year memberships they found themselves without the benefits they paid for. The lawsuits filed in New Jersey, Illinois and New York each allege shortly after joining or renewing key benefits they were promised were no longer available. With the mounting lawsuits, in general, they detail a series of back and forth communications with JetSmarter employees as benefits were being changed, and after failing to receive a refund or satisfactory solution, in each case, the members decided to take JetSmarter to court.
The new light jet program will provide attractive jet pricing for key north-south routes
Wheels Up is poised to launch its first off-fleet pay-as-you-go guaranteed rate program early next year with a light jet card, founder and CEO Kenny Dichter tells Private Jet Card Comparisons. He said the aircraft will come from the jet card provider’s network of vetted operators and will provide members a solution priced between its King Air 350i and Citation Excel/XLS that will be ideal from places like Boston, New York and Chicago to popular Florida destinations such as Palm Beach, Miami, and Naples.
A “senior” couple say they were “scammed” by JetSmarter for $30,000 weeks before the company started cutting back on its scheduled flights with the free seats they were expecting
With each lawsuit – this is at least the seventh Private Jet Card Comparisons has tracked – the stories about JetSmarter’s sales tactics get more troubling. Even as management was pivoting its model of paid annual memberships in return for the ability to book free seats on scheduled private jet shuttles, its sales team was continuing “high-pressure” tactics trying to push even more expensive memberships while telling the media that it was focusing on more accessible pricing.