November 08, 2022

How to Fly Private: Knowing Your Options

If you’re wondering how to fly private, then you’re in luck because there are a variety of ways to access a private jet. Private aviation offers products and services designed to match a traveler’s specific needs, which makes for an even more luxurious flight experience.

Today we will focus on the three most prevalent methods for private jet travel, which include chartering a private jet, purchasing a Jet Card Membership, or owning a private jet (and the different models of aircraft ownership). The more you know about these private travel options, the more confidently you can choose the perfect travel solution for your unique needs.

Ways to Fly Private

Chartering a Private Jet

Chartering a private jet is as easy as calling a local private jet operator or aircraft broker, providing information on your mission profile, receiving a quote, arriving at the right time and place, and boarding the plane. Booking a charter flight comes with few strings attached and most first-time private aviation users will get their taste of luxury travel by chartering a jet.

Aside from added privacy and luxury, chartering a jet offers more convenience and flexibility than commercial airline travel with fixed flight schedules and access to only a few hundred airports nationwide. Private jets operate with no set schedules and can reach thousands of airports nationwide, boosting the capabilities of your business and broadening your options for leisure travel.

One benefit to flying charter comes in the ability to shop around for the best hourly rate. When demand is low you can find better prices, but market volatility means you could pay more. Also, charter operators commonly charge extra for pilot wait time, landing fees and other hidden costs. One-way pricing for a charter flight typically includes the cost of repositioning the aircraft (unlike Jet Linx). Those added charter fees negate the even the lowest rates, but there are more drawbacks to charter than cost.

The pay-as-you-go, on-demand charter model means that customers aren’t locked into a long-term relationship between the provider and the client, so using charter can be a gamble in terms of safety, service, and reliability. On-demand service with no strings attached might suffice for an infrequent flyer, but if a weather event or unplanned maintenance event occurs, the client must source a new aircraft. The benefit of flexibility also invites volatility, as your flight could be cancelled last minute, and business travelers can seldom afford such unwanted surprises.

Another concern when chartering a plane is safety. There are different levels of safety ratings, and every operator places different emphasis on safety. Many small and medium-size operators cannot afford to invest adequately into their safety training and programs. At the very least, ensure that an operator works with third-party safety auditors such as ARGUS, Wyvern or IS-BAO. If you’re unsure about a charter operator’s safety standards, you can check databases at ARGUS or Wyvern to ensure they are listed as approved operators. Most importantly, never sacrifice personal safety in exchange for a lower flight cost.

When it comes to convenience, arranging a private jet charter can be time-consuming and daunting for anyone new to private aviation. You’ll need to have an understanding of common terminology used, an idea of what aircraft type will be appropriate for your mission, understand where you can and cannot fly (as determined by aircraft type and operator), and whether you will be flying on peak travel days. Once you understand these items, securing a charter will be easier, but you truly never know what kind of quote you will receive from any operator or broker on any given day simply due to market volatility.

Finally, customer service and your private jet travel experience will not be consistent when you charter an aircraft. You will not be flying in the same aircraft or working with the same pilots each time, and amenities within the aircraft and at airport facilities will all differ greatly. Many private jet charter companies do not invest heavily in their facilities nor their customer service. While still more private than commercial air travel, most operators conduct flights out of public FBOs (fixed base operations) where you will be sharing space with strangers. If you need to conduct business, you won’t have the privacy to do so, and amenities such as private lounges or complementary beverages may be few and far between.

Flying Private with a Jet Card

Jet Card Memberships provide a much better overall private jet experience, especially if an individual is flying private more than 10-15 hours per year. The private aviation industry offers all types of Jet Card Memberships, but the main benefit when using a Jet Card comes in the reliability in pricing, safety and consistent service delivery. Jet Card Memberships often come with guaranteed access to private jets, guaranteed pricing, and superior levels of safety and customer service. However, not all Jet Cards offer the same benefits.

Jet Linx offers two distinct types of Jet Card Memberships: The Enterprise Jet Card and the Executive Jet Card (offered in Tier I, Tier II and Tier III). No matter which Jet Linx Jet Card is right for your travel needs, all these products come with guaranteed availability of any size private jet, guaranteed fixed hourly rates and our guaranteed highest standard of safety. All Jet Linx Jet Card clients also receive Five-Star service at more than 20 nationwide private terminals where local crews and Flight Concierge teams deliver an unparalleled private jet experience. With more than 100 aircraft of all types and models available, plus our industry-leading safety management system (SMS), flying charter simply can’t compete with our guaranteed Jet Card Memberships.

Those transitioning from charter to Jet Card Membership will find the Executive Jet Card (Tier I, II, III) a perfect fit, as all three Tiers allow two users, guaranteed access to one aircraft per day, no additional charge on hourly rates during peak travel, one way specials beginning as low as $500 per hour, an exclusive benefits program (Elevated Lifestyle), lead times as short as 48 hours and Membership Fees beginning at $25,000. The three Tiers have been designed specifically to accommodate the needs of different types of Jet Card users. Tier III will benefit those using private jets for more infrequent leisure travel, Tier II will be suitable for more frequent business and leisure travel, and Tier I offers the greatest benefits for consistent business and leisure travel with the lowest lead times and opportunity for 3% flight credit with a deposit.

The Jet Linx Enterprise Jet Card was created to serve the needs of corporate aviation, offering guaranteed access to seven different users with all of the same guarantees as other Jet Linx Jet Card products. With three tiers in the Executive Jet Card and an Enterprise Jet Card for corporate users, Jet Linx offers private aviation solutions for many different types of business and leisure travelers. But why choose Jet Linx over other Jet Card products?

Aside from our three unique guarantees, our Jet Card clients receive superior service from local Flight Concierge teams that have been trained to uphold our Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star service standards. No other operator in the industry provides a more luxurious, consistent and private flight experience than Jet Linx. Our private terminals in more than 21 Base locations allow business travelers to remain productive with private conference rooms and fully outfitted work stations, while leisure travelers can relax in private lounge areas with complimentary beverages and personalized service from local Flight Concierge teams.

When a Jet Linx Jet Card Member needs to schedule a flight, they dial a local number and speak to someone they already know and trust (flights can also be booked seamlessly via email or through the Jet Linx Mobile App) that understands their travel preferences. Our clients benefit from a consistency in service and never have to worry about volatile pricing or whether a plane will be available. The Jet Linx model guarantees access to a private jet at a guaranteed price, with the absolute highest standards of service and safety.

Jet Linx also provides a national infrastructure that supports local teams, who in turn provide Five-Star service to Jet Card clients. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, the National Operations Center assists with Flight Planning, Flight Coordination, Crew Coordination, Maintenance, Fleet Optimization and more. With this national backbone, the operational capacity of the fleet is supercharged. When a plane goes down for maintenance, an entire team at the National Operations Center works to ensure that there is no service interruption.

Added perks of a Jet Linx Jet Card membership come in the form of the Open Seat Exchange and incredibly low rates on empty leg flights. With the Open Seat Exchange, Jet Card clients may choose to ‘sell’ seats on their flight to reduce their overall costs. All Jet Card clients can search for and sell seats within the Jet Linx Mobile App, and empty leg flights are regularly advertised within the App and via email.

If you’re flying more than 15-20 hours annually, you need the added reliability and safety offered by a Jet Linx Jet Card Membership. Our three guarantees and extraordinary service standards offer a superior flight experience when compared to private jet charter or other Jet Card memberships within the industry. Contact us to learn more about our Jet Card Memberships.

Owning a Private Jet

While Jet Card Membership benefits private aviation users flying up to 50 hours per year, whole aircraft ownership can benefit anyone flying more than 50 hours annually. Owning a private jet offers unlimited access, but managing the asset requires significant resources and experienced personnel. Maintaining a private jet requires finesse – the flight schedule must be optimized to provide the owner with revenue hours to offset their own operating expenses. The Jet Linx Aircraft Management program offers a turnkey solution to asset management, taking away much of the hassle of private jet ownership with an industry-unique model.

When a private jet is not in use, it’s depreciating while not generating any revenue flight hours. The goal of the Jet Linx Aircraft Management program is to keep a private jet flying as much as possible to generate the maximum amount of revenue while carefully balancing schedules so that an owner can access the asset when needed and fly for the lowest possible cost – accomplished with Five-Star service and the highest standard of safety in the industry. As one of the largest aircraft management companies in the nation, Jet Linx maintains a fleet of more than 100 aircraft and more than 30 different models and types.

Managing a private jet with Jet Linx offers wraparound support because the asset is managed both locally and nationally. At the local level, owners receive support from local Flight Concierge teams, local Maintenance teams, local Base Chief pilots and local Executive Management. On a national level the aircraft benefits from a Safety department, HR, Payroll and Benefits program, System Chief Pilots, Accounting and Finance department, Maintenance department, Flight Coordination department, Fleet Optimization and Charter department, Operations department and more. Because Jet Linx manages many of the administrative functions that come along with asset management, Aircraft Management clients receive a hassle-free ownership experience.

However, none of these services would matter without a transparent relationship. Maintaining trust and understanding the unique needs of our partners is what sets us apart from the other 750 aircraft management companies in the United States. More than an Aircraft Management company, Jet Linx advocates for and protects your valuable asset with local and national teams in constant communication.

Our aircraft management model offers another unique benefit: built-in demand for flight hours created by Jet Linx Jet Card clients. With revenue flight hours filled internally by Jet Card clients and supplemental revenue hours sourced through our Charter department, Jet Linx Aircraft Owners see their operating expenses shrink. This model also eliminates the variable costs of charter by setting the hourly revenue paid to owners as well as the fuel cost per gallon on revenue flights. Jet Linx puts your asset to work for you, generating revenue when you’re not flying.

Because Jet Linx manages one of the largest Part 135 fleets in the industry, we’re able to partner with companies that provide volume discounts on fuel (up to 25%), insurance (up to 30%), pilot training (up to 10%) and maintenance (up to 20%). All these discounts are passed on directly to Owners, further undercutting their operating expenses. No local and regional operators can match the value offered through our national infrastructure, operational capacity, local service, internal demand, volume discounts, elite safety ratings and dedication to providing Five-Star personalized service.

Aside from whole aircraft ownership, Jet Linx offers other products such as Joint Ownership and our Complete Aircraft Transaction (CAT) program to provide coverage for whatever kind of aircraft ownership model you seek. The CAT program takes our operating experience and pairs it with our Acquisitions & Sales expertise to cover your asset from purchase to ownership to sale. Whether you need an end-to-end aircraft lifecycle solution through the CAT program or management services, Jet Linx has helped hundreds of aircraft owners purchase, operate and maintain their assets. You can be next.

Experience Private Jet Travel for Yourself

With more than 750 aircraft management companies nationwide and a plethora of Jet Card, fractional, and joint ownership services to choose from, it’s important to explore your options and find what most closely matches your needs. From charter to whole aircraft ownership there’s a spectrum of options to choose from, but the Jet Linx Jet Card comes purpose-built to bridge many of the known service gaps in other forms of private jet access. Our Aircraft Management program, customized to fit an Owner’s needs, seeks to eliminate the administrative hassle for more seasoned private jet users. 

Flying private should be a consistently luxurious experience. No matter which product you choose, Jet Linx offers the highest level of consistency, privacy, flexibility and safety – all delivered with industry-leading Five-Star service standards.

If you’re still wondering how to fly private, contact us today for a consultation.

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