For the affluent, time is money, and often they have to travel large distances in a short span of time. Private jets help them in covering such distances but owning a private jet comes with a lot of hassles and is quite costly with monthly maintenance and employing experienced pilots and flight crew. Instead, you can choose to avail the services of private jets.
Hiring a private jet directly from an operator is also shaky and expensive. A better alternative is to select a company that guilds operators and through a few procedures, throws attractive and cheap private jet booking programs. The USP of these services is that they have dedicated apps on iOS and Android to make things easy. On this note, here are the top 5 companies that offer cheap private jet services that also feature dedicated apps on either iOS or Android.
The simplest among the private jet services in this list, Wheels Up brandishes only two membership programs. Wheels Up Individual has a structure similar to the flying programs of other services in this roster, including one-way empty leg flights. One can buy an individual seat on a private shuttle or choose to share a ride with other members.
Wheels Up calls it a ‘Member’s Only’ service on its website, which poses the question: “What do non-members get?” There’s a one-time membership fee of $17,500. The website and app also emphasizes on the Wheels Up being ‘safe’, a 24X7 service with price transparency. Customers expect all of the above in a normal flight too, and Wheels Up, to have mentioned the same seems redundant.
Wheels Up also lacks a dedicated community of customers. This doesn’t impact as much as a lack of proper fleet, since the only planes we know Wheels Up is using are King Air 350i and Citation XLS. This private jet service could do well in the future if it pays attention to its membership model and fleet.
Surf Air is a better version of Wheels Up, yet it seems the routes it offers are limited. It looks cheaper as well. The Unlimited All-You-Can-Fly plan offers three packages, starting from $1,950. The Premium package gives you six reservations at a time along with one complimentary guest seat every month. The Basic package only allows you to move around San Francisco/Bay Area, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Carlsbad.
What caught our attention was a special private jet membership tailored for the weekend escapees. There’s a per-seat flight price of $600 or an annual membership of $2,500. The poster boy of Surf Air’s fleet is the Pilatus PC-12 NG, branded with Surf Air’s logo. This aircraft has been used in the military as well, hinting a good quality airplane.
Surf Air has its fleet by the looks of the aircraft. On the downside, it has a small flight range of 1,200 km, which is incomparable to some Jet services in this list. Surf Air Smartphone presence is weak, with only iOS as a platform. This service does not have an Android app, which could prove fatal to its future.
Victor wasn’t straightforward about its pricing plans on its website. This service lacks a membership model, which is useful for those who don’t fly enough. You can book a flight between two destinations or hop onto an empty leg chartered flight that is returning from a destination someone else booked. On every booking, they charge a fixed booking fee.
Victor connects destinations all around the globe with the help of 218 jet operators that it delegates its bookings to, the highest in this countdown. Like Surf Air, Wheels Up, and VistaJet, Victor does not have a happening and dedicated community, but its services are unprecedented in the private jet services sector.
VistaJet is one of the few on this list that provides membership access. However, there’s barely anything special about the membership as it has coupled one-way flights and empty legs option into a ‘membership’. The only USP of VistaJet Direct membership appears to be its promptness in servicing a request. Ad hoc flights are available with the option ‘On Demand’.
Perhaps the best and unique customer plan on this list is that of VistaJet. This private jet service features ‘Program’, which allows customers to reap the benefits of his very own jet without even owning one. Aircrafts are provided under the bombardier warranty. You’ll be able to summon your dedicated aircraft in less than 24 hours. You’ll have to pay for hours that you fly, using an aircraft from VistaJet’s vast fleet.
We’ve saved the best for the last. Although it does not possess a host of international destinations like VistaJet and Victor, Jetsmarter’s user base pushes it right into the spotlight. JetSmarter services well-known names like Christina Milian, Ashley Benson, Jill Zarin, David Goldin, and Kamal HotChandani. The strong closely-knit customer community it celebrates, speaks volumes about its services.
There are three membership plans available with JetSmarter, namely Charter Broking, Shared Charter, Shared Shuttles, and Jet Deals. Shared Charter lets you book an entire flight where you can sell some of the seats to strangers. Charter Broking lets you book an entire aircraft and you are free to order it however you want. Jet Deals are last-minute flights and Shared Shuttles simply let you book shared seats on someone’s Charter Broking.
JetSmarter also allows its members to access free shared flights, under the condition that customers can book two in advance. Lack of range is the only drawback JetSmarter has as it only flies to Middle Eastern countries and North American states. JetSmarter has an app for both iOS and Android. People have started to call it ‘Uber for private jets’ for its speedy and easy services.
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