Booking a seat on a private jet is becoming increasingly easy thanks to a surge in private-sharing services and subscription-based private airline memberships. Airport Parking and Hotels (APH), the airport parking specialists, is therefore helping savvy travellers join the ‘fly high’ club by comparing the private jet booking websites and apps.
The research compares 13 websites and apps offering private jet flights including Vista Jet, Ryanair Corporate Jet Hire and Private Jets, and examines the services offered, booking platforms, cancellation fees, destinations available, costs and additional benefits provided.
Of the 13 luxury travel companies researched, five businesses, including Jetsmarter and Surf Air, charge a membership fee ranging from £1,425 per month with Rise, to a corporate membership fee of £11,323 per month with ClipperJet. However, travellers should also keep in mind that four of the companies with membership fees also charge a one-off initiation fee, which ranges from £578 with Rise to £13,480 with Wheels Up whereas the remaining seven organisations are free to sign up with.
With regards to the services provided, most companies offer the option to book an individual seat on a private jet or to charter an entire aircraft, however some of the websites also allow customers to book an empty-leg seat, enabling travellers to save up to 75% of the cost of a regular charter. These seats become available when a private jet has been previously booked on a one-way flight, and is returning to the departure airport to pick-up the next set of passengers.
Eight of the 13 private jet companies operate from airports all around the world, however Clipperjet and Rise currently only provide departures within the USA while Ryanair Corporate Jets, Skyuber and SurfAir operate within the UK and Europe exclusively.
For those unfortunate times when the passenger is unable to travel due to unforeseen circumstances, the research found the terms and conditions varied between each company. Surf Air does not charge a cancellation fee, however if members do not inform the company of cancellations 24 hours prior to departure, they will lose access to one of their reservations for 14 days. Skyuber charges passengers £5 if a booking is cancelled after the pilot accepts their request, while Private Jet Charter charges 25% of the total amount if the passenger withdraws after signing the charter agreement. On the other hand, Rise members cannot cancel their flight if the request is made within 72 hours of departure.
For those looking to travel in complete luxury either side of take-off and landing, PrivateFly can provide high-end ground transportation, such as valet parking and limousine services, however Jetsmarter goes one step further by offering helicopter transfers to and from airports in New York City, Chicago and the Hamptons. Alternatively, Ryanair Corporate Jet Hire can accommodate up to 60 passengers in business class reclining leather seats on their aircraft, so is ideal for those looking to charter a whole flight.