So is there a cheaper way to get that entire private jet to yourself to really impress your friends and family? The answer is yes. It’s called and an empty leg, which is repositioning flight that takes place after the aircraft dropped off its last full paying charter passengers and now has to fly to another airport to pick up its next group, or sometimes for the aircraft and crew to come back to their base after dropping off customers and various combinations.
For example, we had three families on a Embraer Legacy, which is a 13-seat aircraft, for February half term. Because it’s three of them grouping up, it’s costing them about £7,000 for two families of four and one family of five. If you divide that up, it’s not as expensive as people think [£538 per person]. We’re seeing that more and more people are grouping up, putting more bums on seats and making it more affordable.
Of course, the cheapest way to fly privately is to have a friend who invites you on their flight. Then there are the semi-private charters like JetSmarter, JetSuiteX and JetClass where you can buy a seat on a scheduled private jet and corporate shuttle flight sharing it with strangers, much like if you were on a commercial airline. You can buy tickets on these flights for under $200 and you do avoid those crowded main airport terminals. However, if you want to have the real deal experience, chartering your own private jet, you are looking at something between $5,000 and up to $20,000 per hour depending on the size of aircraft and routing.
I personally think a really great destination is St Moritz. Or there’s Samedan airport which is ten minutes from St Moritz. It’s an amazingly beautiful approach and an absolute classic example of saving hours and hours over flying commercial. For people who fly in for a ski weekend for two or three nights, we are saving them up to ten hours of skiing time. People would often see flying into St Moritz as being all about the luxury, for the snow polo, but actually sometimes it’s about giving you an extra day of skiing. It’s one of the absolute no brainer reasons why people use private jets to just save themselves hours of time, and hours of hassle.
We were on a commercial flight from Detroit to Salt Lake City when part way into our flight we got notification from Delta app that our delay was going to cause us to miss our connection. We were on a long weekend for MLK to go skiing in Lake Tahoe. We were going to be rescheduled the following day, thus missing half of our vacation. I had email only, and emailed Garett asking if they had an operator in SLC who could get us to Tahoe that evening. Within 20 minutes he came back with two quotes. By the time we landed he had set up the flight, emailed me the number to the shuttle to get from Delta terminal to the private terminal, and did it all for a great price. To throw things off even more, we were set to fly to Tahoe, but Delta somehow got our bags on the flight to Reno that they said we couldn't make. So at the last minute we changed from Tahoe to Reno for a destination. By the time we took the shuttle to the FBO our flight plan was set and we took off within 10 minutes. It could not have been more seamless. It literally saved our vacation. Time is the most precious resource we have and time with family is even more precious. Our daughter is a senior and this is one of the last trips we'll have with her; it meant a lot, and Stratos savings our vacation, allowing us to create memories, means all that much more. Thank you!! Dave
Delta Private Jets, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, earlier this year launched Sky Access. You pay $8,500 and can fly as many empty legs as you want at no additional cost. You also get 20% off select fares on Delta’s airline flights. There is a $500 fee if you cancel or no show. Over this weekend 66 empty legs were listed, although some such as Ft. Lauderdale to Miami, all of 30 miles, wouldn’t even give you time to pop open a beer. More interesting was Washington D.C. to Chicago and New York to Sarasota. There were also Nantucket to New York and Las Vegas to San Francisco, however, they were both on Friday, so the wrong direction for most people, and that’s the point, and perhaps a good segue to discussing the some of the downsides.