May 30, 2020 is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

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Private Jet Travel


Private Jet Membership Programs

Wondering how to charter a private jet? We've got the insider story on private jet memberships. If you want to rent a private jet as part of a private jet charter program or a corporate jet membership, we tell you how it's done and how much it will cost you.

Times have changed. You no longer have to be filthy rich to enjoy private jet travel.
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Indeed, private jet membership gives you access to a corporate jet at costs that are relatively reasonable.

Even if you are a fairly successful entrepreneur, you might think that flying in a corporate jet is outside of your financial reach.

After all, aren't corporate jets just for big companies like GE and Microsoft?

In fact, a mid-sized company can travel by corporate jet simply by joining a jet membership. That's an arrangement where jets are shared among many corporations and executives.

Private jet companies selling these private-jet membership services include Sentient, Marquis Jet Partners, and the Delta AirElite subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.

Typically, you pay by the hour, but you purchase those private jet flight hours in bulk. In other words, you can buy prepaid blocks of travel and use them when you need them.

The most common rental corporate jets available via private jet memberships are small aircraft. The Cessna Citation corporate jet, for example, can seat six executives. A Gulfstream IV can seat fourteen company executives.

A corporate jet membership might cost $100,000 for about 25 hours of flight time. While that may sound pricy, if you are flying ten people at a time on short notice, a private jet can actually be much cheaper than commercial airfare prices. Plus, you have more flexibility and a high level of security and confidentiality.

Pricing varies throughout the corporate jet industry, and there are two distinct models. With private-jet membership service, you don't own part of a specific plane but access a pool of planes that are chartered. With fractional jet ownership, aIn some cases, you literally purchase fractional ownership of a private jet. For example, for a mere $500,000, you can buy part of a small jet and get 50 hours of private jet flight time per year.

Private jet card memberships and private jet charter programs don't make sense for every entrepreneur. But, for many entrepreneurs, private jet aviation is an attractive offering.

With all of the different private jet companies and ways to obtain a private jet, it's no surprise that private jets are an increasingly popular way to travel for business owners.

After all, these days, you don't have to be a billionaire to fly on a private jet.

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Conversation Board

We greatly appreciate any advice you can provide on this topic. Please contribute your insights on this topic so others can benefit.

Jonathan Weiss 6/29/2010

Good article. Private jets are becoming more and more mainstream and still are the best way to travel, wheather you are a business executive or planning a great vacation. While fractional and membership are a couple of options for private jet access, the most affordable and value driven model is today and always has been to charter a private jet for your specific trip, rather than pay thousands upfront for something you will not use for a while.

Chris Patten 9/3/2010

The important thing to look for when evaluating membership programs is flexibility. Does the company allow you to withdraw your money if you aren't happy (or simply aren't using) the service? Additionally, make sure you look at whether you can use proper sized aircraft for your trip (i.e. don't buy into a program where you're locked into a large cabin aircraft when you may need to just make short hops). Finally, make sure you fully understand all the costs associated with a program. Does the company charge fuel surcharges? How much taxi time will you be billed? Is there a penalty for pulling your money out down the road? The benefits of a good program can be huge, especially if you travel frequently. Their value can also be equal to ad hoc charter (if the company offers a market pricing alternative to fixed costs). Just make sure you understand the program inside and out before you give someone $250,000!

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