Fractional Jet Share vs Jet Card: What’s the Difference?

fractional jet share aircraft example

With so many options for private air travel on the market, it can often be difficult to understand the nuances of each available program. Fractional aircraft ownership and jet cards are just two of the programs you may come across, each very different from the other. We outline the advantages for you here:

Investment vs Low Commitment

For some, purchasing a private flight option is about convenience and flexibility. Whether you buy a jet card or fractional jet share, you will have access to private flights. Jet cards are for those people that travel infrequently. Fractional ownership, however, offers a greater advantage to those needing to fly more than 25 hours a year.

When you buy a jet card, you are choosing a dollar amount for a fixed number of hours. As you fly, those hours or the cost of your flights are deducted from the card. Once the hours or amount on the card have been used, the relationship between the card holder and company is terminated.

Buying a fractional share is essentially purchasing a portion of the plane. Whether it is a one-eighth or one-sixteenth share, as a fractional jet owner you will get a set number of hours annually for your private use. But because you are purchasing a tangible asset, your fractional jet share has certain tax advantages and you have the ability to take advantage of bonus depreciation is you will be flying to accommodate business travel.

Fractional Jet Shares for Frequent Fliers

People who plan to spend 25 hours a year or more flying will benefit greatly from a fractional jet share and the perks that come with it. First is the dependability in cost. The PlaneSense® fractional jet program includes fixed hourly rates for flights, giving owners a reliable estimate for annual costs. Unlike jet cards, the PlaneSense® program never increases rates for flying during peak travel periods and there are no blackout dates.

Fractional jet programs offer a great option between jet cards and the significant cost of whole aircraft ownership because it gives owners more hours to work with and availability on short notice. A fractional program will also handle the responsibilities of ownership, including maintenance, hangaring, and operations.

Jet Cards: Read the Fine Print

A recent explosion in the jet card market has led to a number of new players entering the industry, promising easier access to private flights and a wide range of perks and programs. As of 2018, Forbes magazine has documented more than 250 jet car programs available to consumers, with even more options to customize. It can be overwhelming to compare and contrast programs to find the option that meets you and/or your company’s needs.

When you review any jet card program, make sure to ask not just what the cost for the card will be, but also how that time will be documented, including while taxiing. How are pilots selected? Will there be WiFi available in flight? What type of jets will I have access too? Do I have to be on the flight or can I share it with colleagues? Can I bring my dog? Can I fly to smaller airports and remote air strips? With so many variables, it is important to have a clear picture of what you need before spending six figures or more on a jet card that doesn’t meet all your requirements.

Fractional Jet Shares for the Right Kind of Aircraft

Depending on the type of jet card, you may be limited on the type of aircraft you can book, or the kind of aircraft available may not be the best choice to meet your needs. When you purchase a fractional jet share, you are investing in a portion of a plane and getting use of a fleet of those aircraft at your disposal. For example, the PlaneSense® fractional jet program offers the Pilatus PC-24 jet which is top-of-class in luxury and has the ability to get in and out of airports both large and small with ease.

Fractional Programs Offer Ample Options and Dependability

With all the new players and options available in the jet card market today, fractional jet programs have remained competitive because of the cost-effective long-term benefits and dependability they can offer owners. Investing in a fractional jet share through a company like PlaneSense, Inc. which has been in the private flight industry for 25 years, means you are getting a reliable team of trained pilots, experienced mechanics, and flight operations specialist who not only set up the time and location of your departure, but also get to know you and your personal preferences, whether it’s traveling with a pet or providing special beverages onboard.