If you're like most people, then a private jet is out of the budget. Private jets frequently cost between $4,000 and $20,000, just for an hour-long flight. However, many people are looking for a less populated flying experience than typical airline flights due to Covid exposure and flying inconveniences. If you're looking for a cheaper way to fly while reducing your Covid exposure, private jet sharing might be for you.
Jet Sharing: What is It?
There are many different types and factors to jet sharing. Essentially, jet sharing is a way to travel which allows for private experiences at the airport and a different in-flight experience. This eliminates the need to pass through typical airport terminals, including waiting in long lines and battling with thousands of other passengers attempting to make it to their flight on time.
Those who choose a private jet sharing experience use private arrival and departure lounges. Instead of battling the crowds and wasting hours in long lines, you'll only have to interact with others flying privately.
There are a variety of options for jet sharing that help enhance the experience. Although there are some similarities like the option to book a seat on a scheduled flight similar to the airlines, there are also many differences. Since it is slightly different from the usual form of air travel, it's important to be knowledgeable about the process and its potential hiccups prior to booking a flight.
Memberships with a private jet sharing service or company are an excellent option to consider when looking at jet sharing. This may allow you to simply pay a monthly fee, and you'll be able to fly as often as you want for little or no extra cost. Some membership programs even let you specifically share with other members in a group. Some examples of jet-sharing companies with memberships include JSX, Tradewind, SurfAir and Blade.
Crowd-sourced flights are another way that private jet sharing programs get their passengers. When booking your flight, you'll want to make sure others have signed up for the flight or there's a chance it could get canceled. Joining crowd-sourced flights allows you to see if others have signed up. If you search for a crowd-sourced flight that already has enough passengers, then you'll be sure your flight will take off. You can even begin a crowd-sourced flight yourself to try and find enough passengers to share your flight.
Where Might I Go With Jet Sharing?
You can try to find jet sharing anywhere. However, although it's growing in popularity and many options have been developed for the flights, there are still limitations to the number of flights available.
The most frequent flights occur out of New York. They may reach popular destinations like South Florida, Los Angeles, Aspen, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Returning flights from these destinations are also gaining popularity. California and the Western United States also carry jet sharing more commonly than the rest of the United States.
Private Jet Sharing Cost
Since the idea of traveling privately seems both prestigious and expensive, you may be wondering about the private jet sharing cost. However, many are surprised to find that some seats on private jets can be similar to economy tickets with airlines.
Prices may start as low as $79 per seat for shorter flights. For example, Las Vegas to Phoenix is available for as little as $79 while flying to Martha's Vineyard from Westchester County airport is just $382. Just like with normal airlines, the farther you want to travel, the more expensive the ticket will likely cost. Flights from New York to destinations like Los Angeles and Miami range between $2500 and $3500 per person.
Prices for non-members run higher than prices for members. Since many memberships run just a few hundred dollars, those looking to complete more than one flight may find it worth their time. For example, flying from New York to Aspen may cost $4,390 for a non-member and $3,995 for a member. Considering the membership is only $595, those looking to make the trip twice would save money by purchasing a membership.
Other companies have more costly memberships but have much cheaper fees for their flights. Here are examples of a few companies and their pricing:
Membership: $2,500 per year
Flight Costs: Start at $500 per flight
First-Year Membership: $2,995
Renewal Membership: $2,495
Seats: Negotiable depending on where you are going and how many are on your flight.
Other Benefits: Departure time and airports are also negotiable, depending on how many others are interested in the flight.
Usually only for private aircraft owners who use their entire aircraft.
However, they offer occasional jet sharing with their clients who are looking to save some money on travel expenses.
Private Jet Sharing Services: What is the Experience Like?
Each company owns different jets, so the flight experience is different for each company. However, there are general similarities between each of the companies.
Most companies offer flight attendants, packaged snacks, or meal service, just as in a typical commercial flight. However, some of these companies offer better food selections.
Most of the jets used also feature more legroom, fewer passengers on the flight and different types of seating. Some companies use plane models with single seats in each row, allowing the passengers to have more privacy during their flight. Others use club seats that face each other or divans.
Some short flights are on smaller and shorter planes to conserve costs and fuels. During these flights, it's unlikely that you'll have to get up and move around.
Where Can I Fly and With Whom?
Many private jet sharing services allow you to share jets at a variety of airports throughout different types of the year. However, for more specific details, here are some of the most common places that companies fly.
XO frequently flies between Westchester County and Fort Lauderdale International Airport as well as New York and Los Angeles.
Although this private jet sharing service has been forced to reduce its number and frequency of routes as a result of Covid, JSX frequently flies to and from Las Vegas to popular destinations like Burbank, Phoenix, Seattle, Orange County and Oakland. They also offer flights between some of these cities as well, so be sure to check their website for specifics.
The majority of flights with Surf Air are within California, including Oakland, Santa Barbara, Hawthorne and San Carlos. They also offer less frequent flights to destinations in Texas and Florida, like Houston and Destin
Blade is a shared helicopter service that specializes in short but convenient flights. Blade has its own terminals in Miami in New York. They frequently fly to and from destinations like Aspen, Westchester County, and Manhattan. Those who are interested in these flights can save money by buying multiple helicopter seats or taking advantage of free hotel offers.
Tradewind Aviation only offers flights from Westchester County Airport to the destinations of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. However, they offer these flights quite frequently.
Hopscotch air has made itself known as an air taxi service. They offer flights at reasonable prices from Block Island to Providence or Westchester county.
Although a private jet experience may seem far out of reach of your budget, sharing a jet is a cost-friendly way to cut down on airport hassles. Jet sharing allows passengers to fly at similar prices to airlines while reducing their Covid exposure and lessening the stress of flying at a major airport. Many companies, like Surf Air, Blade, or Hopscotch Air, offer membership models that may help to save you money. Crowd-sourced flying is another way to fly. Be sure that your flight has enough passengers to ensure take-off and enjoy your trip in peace and luxury.