Once the domain of only millionaires and celebrities, flying via private jet has recently become available to the “common folk”. While in most cases it still is certainly not cheap, often you can fly private for less than the cost of a commercial airline’s business class ticket price…
The private jet business has increased tremendously in the last couple of years, mainly because of the COVID pandemic. In general, most people feel safer (health wise) by flying private versus commercial airline. Due to the increased competition in this sector, prices have dropped considerably, while availability has greatly expanded. The main factors causing the increased popularity of using private jets are:
– Fear of COVID by using overcrowded commercial airlines and airports.
– Horrible long lines and service at the airport.
– Cramped seating and poor service on the airlines’ jets.
– Lack of commercial flights to “secondary” cities and areas.
There are several private jet companies operating across the country, especially in major metropolitan areas. The following companies offer the best deals in combination with the best service.
This private jet company offers very high luxury and service (“white glove”). Flying with Aero will make you feel like a millionaire, without having the wallet of one. They offer premium seating on direct flights between private terminals, using custom luxury designed 16-seat jets – therefore no flight will have more than 16 passengers.
Price: Starting at $1,000 each way
Service areas: Between a private airport lounge in Los Angeles and Jackson Hole, WY, Napa, Sun Valley, ID, and Aspen
Features: dedicated concierge, luggage service, curbside greeting, car service booking, plus pets are also welcome on board
Blade has become somewhat famous in New York City, where it operates an “air taxi” service between Manhattan and Kennedy International Airport. No membership is required and they offer scheduled flights throughout the Northeast and West Coast. Passengers can book their seats directly online for scheduled flights.
Price example: $795 to get from Manhattan to the Hamptons on Long Island
Service areas: Northeast United States and US West Coast
Features: Private lounge access, food, drinks, plus an App to book scheduled, crowdsourced, and private flights as needed.
Seats have been sold on this company’s flights for as low as $99. On many off-peak dates, JSX’s airfare is a bargain, even lower than some budget carriers’ while providing a far superior experience. Plus, no more crowds, as they use private jet terminals only.
Price: $99 between Phoenix and Burbank, or $149 between Oakland and Orange County at off-peak times
Service areas: Reno-Tahoe, East Bay-Napa, Oakland, Monterey, Burbank, LAX, Orange County, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston
Features: Checked bags, pets, snacks, drinks, 20 minute check-in time, and 30 seats max per plane
Set Jet is a membership based private jet charter company. Only pre-screened members can fly with them, providing an extra layer of security. Although there is a monthly membership fee, if you fly often, the value obtained is quite good. They operate only through private jet terminals.
Price: Membership fee of $100 per month, with flights starting at $450 each way
Service areas: Scottsdale, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco, New York
Features: Checked bags, snacks and drinks, pets, and customized jets with 15- to 19- seat cabins with luxury amenities and finishes
This is a membership based private jet operator, with different levels also called subscriptions. Some of these subscriptions allow you unlimited flying without any per seat (ticket) cost. With frequent scheduled flights, plus demand based longer flights, SurfAir’s unlimited flying plans are truly a frequent flyers dream.
Price: $500 initiation fee; monthly subscriptions start at $200 with seat costs from $100; $1,000 per month for unlimited (no seat cost) off-peak flights; and for $3,000 per month per month, you can fly without limits, with no seat cost on all their flights at all times
Service areas: Frequent scheduled flights along the West Coast and in Texas, plus on-demand flights (which travelers can book as private or shared charters) to more than 5,000 regional and international airports across the US
Features: Members can book trips via an easy-to-use mobile app, and then arrive at the airport just 15 minutes before takeoff with no lines or crowds
This jet charter company offers perhaps the most high-class, luxury service available. Basically a membership based operation, Wheels Up also allows per seat booking (when space is available) to non members.
Price: Membership costs $3,000 per year, but non-members can book individual seats as available. Seats on empty-leg flights (when a jet is repositioned to another location) start at just $320
Service areas: Virtually all cities with a private jet airport across North America
Features: 1,500 planes in their fleet, including the luxurious, ultra-fast and high-flying Cessna Citation with only seven to 10 seats in each jet, offering a truly elite private jet experience