For the wealthy, hiring a private jet is the norm and has now become more accessible to a wider market since the rise of the internet.
From a recent survey, it found over 80% of wealthy Americans came from a working and middle-class background.
Here’s a graph showing data from the US Trust on wealth and worth survey:
A company, Beacon, tried to take private aviation to a new level, by providing an Uber-like service.
The benefits of a service like this:
- It made booking private flights as easy as booking an Uber car.
- It was affordable; allowing $2000 of monthly payments to use an unlimited private charter service.
- Passengers only need to go through a white glove service before going straight to the plane.
Those benefits were very ambitious, and unfortunately, Beacon folded last year due to financial pressure.
Blackjet was also another private charter company to have closed down a year ago.
Although this shows the risk level private jet companies take, there are still plenty that are in operation today.
Let’s look at the top 5 online private jet services:
This aviation company offers private jets starting from $2,800 per hour.
The planes available for booking:
- Mid-size jets (starting from $3,800 per hour).
- Super mid-size (starting from $4,500 per hour).
- Large cab jets (starting from $6,500 per hour).
It’s a pay-as-you-fly service, and no long-term commitment is required.
They strive in ease of service as they make all arrangements for your jet, and boast to be the pioneers of online booking.
This business is most similar to Uber in the private aviation market.
Their website lets you state where you are, where you want to be picked up, and where you want to go.
Bluestarjets has access to 5000+ planes from across the world.
The plane service is very popular, and is ranked very highly by its users on quick and easy service.
This private charter service allows users to compare live quotes, while also being able to select the aircraft and price which most suits their needs.
The firm has built an excellent reputation for being informative regarding flights, which includes details on flight updates, airport, and aircraft information.
Another charter company who markets for those with flexible travel schedules and empty-leg flights.
You can download their app to get started, which includes a membership option for discounts.
You can also book customized charters.
This company made noise in the newspapers last year when they offered a flight for $4 – also it was over July 4th.
However, there were some clauses to this purchase; you had to sign up for a lottery and get picked, the amount of planes available were limited, and the flight was only one way (you had to arrange your travel back).
With the marketing aside, this firm sells customized itineraries for members (only affordable to the wealthy), while the cheaper empty-leg flights cost on average $550.
Private charters are reluctant to fly their passengers back home, unless its paid for, so offering empty-leg helps to save some of their expenses.
So your itinerary must be flexible to fit with their flight schedule.
General forecast for private flight charters
Bigger competition and overcapacity have mostly contributed to prices going down. What once used to cost thousands, is now instead available for hundreds (although a one-way trip is very likely).
If you do purchase any flights from these services, then you must be wise and do research beforehand.
Many quick methods to check a company’s reputation online are:
- Check forums for comments on the service.
- Check at least 4 or 5 companies for a comparison.
- Look for their social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter (this can provide the consensus amongst commenters).
Also, when BlackJet folded many paid customers lost their money, so if you are committing for the long-term, then always do a bit of digging behind the company beforehand – are they on the stock market?
Or have you checked their latest press report?
It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Ways to ensure a company is trustworthy
It’s been recommended to examine the business’ financial backing, having a discussion with executives, and going for the firms that have been around for many years.
If a private charter owns their planes rather than managing someone else’s fleet, then this is a safe bet too.
Who travels on private charters?
It’s very obvious to say the wealthy, but many experts have pointed out other benefits to flying privately.
CEOs and high-up executives state that when arriving at an important meeting, it is crucial for them to be in the best mental and physical shape – which can be otherwise compromised when using standard airlines.
They see failure being far more costly than the price of private jet travel.
The cost of flying a plane
Not only is this business very competitive, but also very expensive for providing the service.
Here is a pie chart representing the cost factions to putting a plane in the sky:
There will always be a place for private jets, especially amongst the wealthy executives and CEOs in the world.
But with tech firms trying to change the way aviation works, by bringing in uber functions, then it will be very exciting to see how this new digital market unfolds.
But for the time being, the average person will have to stick with Uber cars instead.