Frustrated with Jet Card Options? Fractional Offers a Solution
Jet cards have become a popular entry-level option for those seeking private flights. With more than 250 programs on the market, there are many factors to consider before choosing to purchase. Here are a few things to think about:
The worry with jet cards is that they are not a sustainable business model. While jet cards may be a good option for people who fly fewer than 25 hours per year, the purchase may also come with risk. Most operators simply do not generate considerable revenue from jet cards, leaving little capital to maintain the fleet and program. Always review the stability of the program you’re considering. Down payments, membership fees, and are a hefty investment but not guaranteed if a program has financial trouble. The PlaneSense® program, which has been operating for more than 25 years, offers stability and a business model that protects your investment.
Jet Cards tend to advertise up-front costs that are invariable. This unfortunate misconception can cost card holders thousands, or even tens-of-thousands of dollars when compounded over several flights. You might pay the same hourly every time, but there is a multitude of fees that could end up on your final bill including: fuel surcharges, de-icing charges, FBO fees, taxi time, ferry fees, peak day surcharges, fees for pets, destination surcharges, and more. With a fractional program, all fees and costs are outlined up front. With a program like PlaneSense, you’ll always know your costs up front and won’t be surprised by additional fees just because it’s a popular day to travel.
Blackout dates and peak days are a virtual certainty in the charter and jet card industry. Just like any membership model service, there are days where demand increases. This has a direct impact on your wallet and availability. Jet cards often have a much higher number of peak days and blackout dates when compared to fractional ownership. Some programs include 50 days or more a year where you are required to pay more to fly or are prevented from flying altogether. The PlaneSense® program has no blackout days and only sets 10 peak days annually where you may be asked to adjust your departure time slightly to accommodate the increase in demand for that day.
At the end of the day, a jet card is an on-demand rental service. Most people would agree that owning an asset is more financially advantageous than leasing. With a PlaneSense® fractional share, you own an asset, which may even qualify for tax deductions when using for business. With a jet card, your aircraft of choice may not necessarily be available when it’s time to fly, but with a PlaneSense® share, you own a portion of a Pilatus PC-12 or PC-24 jet, aircraft carefully chosen for cabin size, operational efficiencies, performance, comfort, and cargo space, and access to more airports. You’ll have guaranteed access for every reservation.
The Fine Print
Not everyone realizes what they are getting into when signing up for a jet card. There are hidden fees, key differences, and stricter rules when compared to fractional aircraft ownership. Some jet cards require the cardholder to be on every flight, some do not allow pets, some have restrictions on the airports you can access. Pilots and aircraft maintenance might be outsourced, potentially affecting the quality of training and service. The bottom line: ask a lot of questions and consider all your options.
For more than 25 years, PlaneSense has worked diligently to provide all the benefits of private jet ownership for a fraction of the cost. Contact us today to learn more about the PlaneSense® difference.