Private jet travel is all aspiration and little perspiration. And for many savvy travelers such pampered transportation has become less of a maybe and more of a must. As air travel in the time of Covid continues vex the calmest of personalities with routes opening and closing, lounges open but empty of services, fears legitimate and baseless, and onboarding protocols that make taking a plane more like meeting a national president or visiting the Pope, private jet travel becomes the big exhale. Perhaps it’s a spa day in the air rather than a mish mash of directives and stress.
To that end, Private Jet Card Comparisons has created a first-timers guide to private jet travel. The online Private Jet 101: First-Timers Guide is free and goes into how to find a program that best suits the immediate and ongoing needs of travelers as there are so many ways to fly and companies to get you there. For instance, some companies have a membership bar set at $25,000. But that allows a number of choices and types of cabins. Other companies offer a fractional approach that might mean purchasing some 50 hours of annual flight time for three to five years. Like a time share, you are purchasing and owning a fractional time element of an aircraft that you are free to use as needed and then free to sell at a reduction when the contract ends.
“There has been a huge increase in interest for private aviation solutions, much of it from first-timers as commercial airlines reduce the frequency of flights and markets served, and consumers look for ways to avoid exposure to COVID-19,” said Doug Gollan, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Private Jet Card Comparisons. “We want to provide those new to the industry with information that will help determine the best solution for their needs, including things to consider before contacting companies.”
The site does not sell subscriber data, nor collect referral fees.
“This guide allows consumers to read and review their options without worrying about solicitations or telemarketing calls and provides first-timers the ability to educate themselves on their options and the key factors to consider with total peace of mind,” added Gollan.
Key elements of the guide include:
• Information consumers should have about their planned travel before contacting providers to ensure they receive the best advice
• Jet Card and Memberships, plus other options including, On-Demand Charter, Fractional Ownership, and Jet Sharing, outlining the positives and negatives for each
• Who actually owns these private aircraft options
• How to avoid illegal charters
• Variables that impact the private aviation experience, many of which first-timers may not consider before purchase, including in-flight connectivity, deicing expense, catering, flight attendants and even the size of lavatories
Private Jet Card Comparisons also provides access to free and in-depth, no-registration guides, including Fractional Ownership; Jet Sharing; On-Demand Charter vs. Jet Cards and Memberships; Private Jet Performance by Type, including speed, range, cabin size and baggage capacity; Operator and Pilot Qualifications; Reasons to Fly Privately, and an A-to-Z Glossary of industry terms.
The private aviation solutions outlet recently released the results of a new subscriber survey finding that most respondents were optimistic about both short- and long-term private jet travel. The survey was conducted from March 17 to 19, 2020 among individuals who traveled an average of 111 private jet flight hours in 2019. According to the survey, given the current health and economic crisis, 33 percent of respondents expect private flying to increase this year. To that point:
• 77 percent of respondents said that reducing potential exposure to Coronavirus is the most likely reason that will influence private travel in the next six months
• Respondents reported being most likely to use private aviation private aviation to either relocate family members as needed (46 percent) or visit a second home (45 percent) within the next 90-120 days
• 35 percent of respondents will still use private jet access for critical business trips
• 36 percent of respondents said they have made additional trips privately because of COVID-19, although 39 percent have also canceled trips
• 97 percent expect to take vacations this summer, even if plans end up changing
Several subscribers reported using private aviation solutions as a result of commercial airlines reducing flights, Gollan notes.
General aviation is responsible for some $247 billion in economic input in the U.S. alone. Ultra-High Net Worth (UHNW) and High Net Worth (HNW) consumers are a critical segment for the travel market, with private jet users spending an average of over $80,000 dollars in the destinations they visit, excluding aviation and airport services.
Private Jet Card Comparisons, which costs $250 a year, has more than 1,250 paid subscribers, and they engage multiple private aviation solutions with the majority (70 percent) using jet cards, followed by on-demand private jet charter (44 percent), full aircraft ownership (24 percent), friends’ private planes (16 percent), fractional ownership (13 percent) and aircraft owned by companies where respondents work (6 percent).