Jet Card Insider: Wheels Up is no longer a two-trick pony

The Citation Excel/XLS is the most flown midsize private jet

After bringing turboprops mainstream by championing the King Air 350i, Wheels Up is now filling out its product offerings

There are probably few privately held companies that get as much airtime on the business cable networks as Kenny Dichter and Wheels Up, his entry second entry into the world of jet cards. His debut in 2001 was an exclusive agreement with NetJets to sell jet cards onto its fractionally owned fleet. Instead of having to buy at least 50 hours per year with a five-year commitment, Marquis Jet Partners offered the opportunity to buy in 25 hours at a time.

Aircraft sourcing for jet cards from NetJets to boutique brokers

There are multiple ways jet card companies source aircraft. Here’s your guide to the differences and how they matter

Where does your jet card get the airplanes that will fly you?

There are over 50 companies that offer jet cards and while some buyers care only about price, as in the lowest hourly rate, at least at the beginning of their search, I find most subscribers end up taking a more holistic view. For one reason, just looking at the hourly rate can be misleading. Some jet cards quote rates inclusive of the 7.5% Federal Excise Tax while others aren’t. Some programs also have surcharges for fuel, CPI escalators, extra fees for using busy airports, and many have varying peak-day surcharges. If you fly out of your primary service area, your fixed rate may no longer apply, and you may have to pay ferry fees and extra charges, so while some programs have global service areas, others are regional or national. 

Who pays for deicing a private jet? With some programs you do!

Deicing can run up to $10,000 per incidence, so if you are doing a lot of winter flying, it’s something you should consider when comparing jet cards

 

If you’ve mainly flown commercially, on a corporate jet or with friends, you may not have thought about deicing in terms of who’s paying for it. So you bought a jet card. Congratulations – you just made your life easier for you and whoever will be flying with you! As you sit in the FBO on a cold winter’s day and watch the truck pull up next to your jet, you might think, “Geez, I’m glad I’m not that guy on the boom lift. It must be cold up there!” You may not have realized that what was coming out of the hose was not just fluid, but money, possibly yours. Chances are you won’t find out about it until you get your monthly statement weeks late. I say possibly because some jet card programs include deicing and others don’t.

Wheels Up is the Official Private Aviation partner of ‘Capital One’s The Match: Tiger vs. Phil’ golf showdown

Wheels Up membership pricing

After its sponsorship of Kentucky Derby Triple Crown winner Justify, Wheels Up is betting that the golfing legends will get its brand in front of affluent consumers

 

Pay-as-you-go jet card provider Wheels Up and Turner Ignite Sports today announced a marketing partnership as part of Capital One’s The Match: Tiger vs. Phil, the pay-per-view event featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson later today. Capital One’s The Match: Tiger vs. Phil live coverage on Turner Sports begins at 2 pm EST. Wheels Up sponsored Justify for the third leg of the Triple Crown earlier this year.

Sentient Jet is the top-rated jet card program for satisfaction by readers of Business Jet Traveler

Sentient Jet bested JetSuite, JetAviation, VistaJet, and Delta Private Jets as the highest rated jet card program for overall satisfaction, according to the annual reader survey from Business Jet Traveler while JetSuite took the top spot in the most categories

 

Sentient Jet likes to say it was first – that it invented the jet card. It can also say it’s the best when it comes to overall satisfaction, at least according to the 8th annual Readers’ Choice Survey from Business Jet Traveler. The survey generated 1,487 responses, a 24% increase from 2017 and covers everything from jet cards to reasons readers fly privately Best Jet Cards 2018(Saving time followed by ability to use airports airlines don’t serve were far and away the top selections), top fractional programs (Flexjet beat out NetJets), where the flights took place (71% said within North America), how many passengers (53% said 3-to-5 with only 8% flying solo), typical distance (77% were under 1,500 miles), and favorite aircraft and helicopter models.