Traditionally, flying privately has only been something the very wealthy can afford to do, but with today’s “sharing economy”, many companies have made it possible to fly on a private jet for a more economical price. Through the sharing business model, companies have put together pricing on seats for scheduled routes, so that the average joe can afford a $1,500 ticket on a flight, instead of chartering a whole jet for $10,000. Sounds like a great deal and an amazing experience right? Actually, not so much and here’s why:
Space or lack there of
Most private jets aren’t private at all, many of the aircraft used for scheduled routings such as NY-FL and many others, are on light jets. Light jets do not have a stand up cabin – the cabin heights are 4’9-5’5. In addition, many jets are equipped with a couch to seat 3 passengers, meaning there aren’t armrests on both sides or tray tables for those unfortunate passengers who don’t experience a captains seat. Not only are they uncomfortable but there are no dividers and you are in very close proximity to the passenger on each side of you.
A key highlight of flying privately is having the freedom to travel whenever you want. When you truly fly privately, you call your charter company or pilot and they will have the aircraft ready when needed. With the sharing economy, you’re on a scheduled flight and if you miss it, well, frankly, you’re out until the next flight, similar to commercial aviation, but with many less scheduled flights. So if you miss your 9pm flight, you may have to wait for the next day.
Many of these jet sharing companies ask for large annual membership fees from $10,000-$15,000. Some of these companies don’t actually own the aircraft and simply arrange the scheduling via an app, because everyone wants to be the “Uber” of private jets. But if any of these companies go out of business, like Blackjet recently did, membership fees are lost.
The industry will survive and thrive
Some companies who have recently gone out of business, but have collected non-refundable membership fees have given the industry a bit of a black eye. Fortunately, the industry as a whole have many reputable companies that continue to strive and do right by their clients. Jetset Group, a reputable charter firm based in NY, believes that they will benefit from the sharing economies triumphs and failures. President Steve Orfali thinks that through sharing, more people have been exposed to flying privately and would see the benefits of having their own jet and doing things in the more traditional sense. Jetset has membership programs, but for those who prefer to pay as they go, Jetset has one of the largest on demand charter departments. Only time will tell if the sharing business model will survive over the coming years, but private aviation as a whole is growing and will always be a need for most clients.
Steve Orfali, President of JetSet Group Inc.
JetSet Group Inc. was originally started by a group of private aviation professionals and backed by global investors. JetSet have over 30 years of experience in private charter and corporate aircraft services. Their mission is to bring the best possible service and newest fleet of aircraft to their clientele at a reasonable rate.