When searching for a private charter, you may have come across different companies offering private jet cards. These cards, used to purchase private flights with one company, involve a hefty membership fee and may seem like the easiest way to start booking your private jet trip. But are these membership cards really the best way to book charter?
What are private charter cards?
Jet card companies are becoming increasingly popular, with more travelers turning to private charter post COVID-19. A jet card is a membership service where customers pay for a set amount of flight hours per time period, similar to a prepaid debit card. These membership programs can begin at $10,000 a year, and can become increasingly expensive depending on how often you travel on charter aircrafts.
Reasons Why Prepaid Private Jet Cards Aren’t Worth It
1. You Are Limiting How Far and How Often You Can Travel
When using a private jet card, your membership payment consists of the set number of flight hours you are purchasing per year. This means that you are forced to plan your travel ahead of time to get an idea of how many hours you will need to purchase. You are always running the risk of purchasing too many hours than you will need for the duration of the contract - or even too little. If your travel schedule is in need of a jet, but you have run out of flight hours on your membership, you may be hit with additional fees to purchase that flight time.
2. Though You Are Pre-Paying, There Are Additional Fees
Technically, even though you are purchasing flight time and should have the ability to use it whenever you want, however you wish, that is not the case for jet charter card memberships. Are you looking to fly and use an airport operator that is not listed on the contract? That can result in an additional fee. Is your flight time only an hour, but your jet card dictates a minimum daily flight time of two hours? That can result in an additional fee. Are you looking to travel home for the holidays? Though you have already purchased your travel hours, there can be an additional 5-10% fee to your hourly rates for travel during peak times.
3. Taxi Time Cuts Into Your Prepaid Hours
When using air travel, it’s no secret that there is additional time needed for the aircraft to taxi - whether you fly private or commercial. A majority of private aircraft memberships add taxi time into your flight time since you are already occupying the aircraft. If you estimate around 15 minutes of taxi time for departure and landing, that is already a half hour of your travel time that you are paying for HOURLY.
4. You Are Paying Large Sums of Money At Once
Interested in flying private, but don’t have $100,000 to shell out for all your flights for the entire year? Then a jet card may not be the option for you. Purchasing a private jet charter membership requires you to pay a large sum for all of your travels for an entire contract period - whether it be for 6 months or a year.
What are my other options if I don’t purchase a jet card?
Private charter brokers such as The Flight King are a great option when it comes to booking jet travel without being tied to a membership. This option allows you to pay per trip and by aircraft type instead of looking at hourly costs with hidden fees. There is NO minimum or maximum travel time when using a private jet broker, so whether your trip is 30 minutes or 30 hours they are able to accommodate your flight!
The Flight King is a luxury concierge service that speaks to travelers one-on-one to learn about your needs and find you the best deals. By giving your private jet broker all the information regarding your trip, chances are they are able to beat jet card pricing and find you a comfortable aircraft to fly in. The Flight King is able to handle last minute / same day private jet trips, as well as book weeks in advance!
Looking for the best way to purchase private charter without being tied to a membership? Reach out to The Flight King to learn more about our private jet services and book your trip today!