The most economical option is chartering, which doesn't require any cash upfront (other than a deposit) through companies like Tradewind, Sentient, and Solairus, (which we took home from North Carolina). Of course, there are the old standbys like NetJets and Marquis, who sell fractional ownership (like 1/16th) of a single jet for upwards of $100K. One step down from that, pricewise, is the jet card, where you buy a set amount of hours from a company like Nicholas or Private Jet Services, and can use those hours for different planes. Then there are membership models like WheelsUp, where you pay $17,500 as an initiation fee to fly in their fleet, and then a $8,500 annual dues fee starting the second year. It's like a country club—only you're guaranteed access to a KingAir350i or Citation Excel / XLS instead of a golf course.
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Fliers with flexibility should sign up for empty-leg email lists of companies like Magellan Jets, who regularly send out emails selling discounted flights from, say, the plane of a corporate exec who flew to Los Angeles but is looking to offset his cost of getting the plane back to New York. “I wouldn’t say that the cost of flying private has gone down, but there are new ways of pricing charter that makes it more accessible,” says David Zipkin, co-founder and VP of Tradewind, the service known for semi-private flights in the Northeast and Caribbean. “In our case, we save people money with our shared charters, and we also sell discounted empty legs.”
Because jet charter is not priced on a per person or ticket basis, it is not likely that it would be more cost effective for a group of 10-15 individuals to charter a jet compared with flying via scheduled airline service in coach or first class. Even if the total cost for a charter trip is split among 10 people, the cost each person would cover would still be significant.
Flight was for an elderly person and the tail number was provided a long time before the flight and I made sure the person flying had all the info written down by someone who could hear and got everything correct. Flyer had that until day before when tail number changed. I had to find someone who could hear me well and right down the correct info for the person traveling so he got it straight in his head and for driver.
At last minute's notice I needed to find a private plane to get my elderly parents from Bangor, Maine to Atlanta. I googled charter companies and Stratos Charters was first to pop up. I called immediately and Joel (founder and president of company) answered. He could not have been more gracious and helpful. He was the perfect combination of professional and personable. Our charter was arranged and the trip went through seamlessly. Stratos Charter and Joel made a stressful situation into a very pleasant one for us. I highly recommend their services and will definitely use them in the future. Thank you to them!
I had 15 piece band booked on a commercial airline that got cancelled due to weather. Every single flight for the next 2 days was sold out and the band was going to miss their performance. Thank to the Herculean efforts from Glenn and Joel, we were able to secure a flight for the following morning and get the band to Florida on time. Glenn was simply amazing with his follow-through, availability when I needed him and keeping an eye on everything. He was with me from the first phone call at 6:30pm until take-off the next morning at 10:10am. Thank you Stratos for saving the day!
Stratos offers the best overall value you can get for private air charter PERIOD. I have done tons of research and cost models and there is no better value.Joel and his team do all of the hard work for you. My family tried Wheels Up, local charter companies and App Based Deadhead charter and they were all really disappointing. All of these option look good but when you compare cost per hour, schedule flexibility and booking Stratos is always a better cost and value proposition. The equipment is always great (this trip was a Citation X with a beautiful brand new interior and every feature possible) and Stratos works around your schedule and exact needs. We have made all types of requests due to my young family and the Stratos staff and cabin crews are always so helpful and accommodating. They never have over sold us and always are sensitive to every need.Most importantly Joel only will put us with great operators. We were in and out of Aspen and safety was the number one concern and he always covers all aspects of the trip but safety first. Again, I can’t say enough about the Stratos experience and team.
As always, your staff is a pleasure to work with, and are very good with their communication, etc. I (of course) wish we didn't have the snafu with your client cutting the trip short, only to change his mind - costing us an additional 3 hours of flight time (approx. $10,000) - since we cancelled a trip with another operator to accommodate his request to leave early. I think there should have been a consideration for a 2 hour cancellation fee or something there. We understand that this wasn't Stratos Jets' doing - but I believe your client should have been penalized in some way as he was informed we had another trip and he told us to cancel it to accommodate him. This was very disappointing (and financially detrimental) for us, especially as we had lowered the cost of the trip (in addition to removing all minimums) prior to booking. The only way it made sense for us to do that was to fly while sitting transient.
You will be told how much the hold can take on your chosen aircraft and can upgrade if you feel more space is needed. This will generally be far more than that of a commercial airline. You may also need to upgrade if carrying things like golf clubs and skis. If travelling with a gun, you will need to provide a license and the gun and ammunition must be kept separate. It is then at the captain’s discretion whether it can be on board.
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