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Is a Fractional Jet Share Right for Me?

fractional jet tail and engine

Taking chartered flights can be a sensible option for the occasional trip, but if you were in the air more than 25-30 hours last year, you’re likely considering whether graduating from charter to some form of ownership makes more sense. As you research your options, fractional jet programs should be on the top of your list of considerations. Here’s why:

Choosing Fractional Over Whole Craft Ownership

Entrance into a fractional jet program often occurs when a business or individual flier wants a more cost-effective option for private flights but doesn’t fly enough to justify buying a whole private aircraft. For travelers who fly between 25 and 250 hours annually, fractional jet programs offer flexibility without the headache of managing an entire aircraft.

Avoid Added Costs with a Fractional Jet Program

When it comes to purchasing a jet card, caveat emptor. With more than 250 different kinds of jet cards on the market today, it can be difficult to parse the details of each. Some card sellers do not include taxes, landing fees, or fuel surcharges in their base pricing, while others have hefty surcharges if you want to book a flight during busy times like the holidays. Fliers should also determine if there are any blackout dates, prohibiting access to flights on certain dates. Most cards have between 10 and 30 blackout days, while some exceed 50 days

Get the Right Tool for the Job

One of the most important aspects of finding the right private flight solution is determining the kind of flights you’ll regularly take and which program best fits those needs. It can be tempting to invest in a larger luxury jet, but if the majority of your flights are under an hour in the air, you are buying more plane than you need.

When determining what type of program is right for you, ask yourself these questions:

How often will I fly?

It makes financial sense to graduate from charter to another private flight option if you fly more than 25-30 hours per year.

What’s the average length of my flights?

Determine if you or your company will use the aircraft for regular short trips between major cities, or need it mostly for longer flights.

Is there one destination I will be flying to over and over?

List any vacation homes or business locations you will want to fly to regularly. How far is it from your home? Is there a smaller airport you can use to get closer to these destinations?

How many people will travel with me?

The number of people you expect to travel with will influence the size of aircraft you need. Most business travelers need room for less than six people—often an executive and a few members of the team. Don’t invest in a jet that’s large enough to accommodate your executive team on the annual retreat if you only really need it to fly three people on business flights throughout the year.

Will I be bringing pets on the flights?

As an owner in a fractional jet program, your pets are usually welcome to fly with you. Check to see which programs allow furry friends to not only stay in the cabin with passengers but roam about freely during flights.

How close is my final destination to a commercial airport and is there a smaller airfield that’s closer?

One of the benefits of private flight is that it opens up an opportunity to fly to smaller airports and airfields, getting you closer to your destination and saving sometimes hours of time driving from the airport to your business meeting or vacation retreat. Make sure the aircraft in each program are able to access your desired airports. Many jets are unable to access smaller runways like the Pilatus PC-24 jet in the PlaneSense® program.

Your fractional service should be able to find the best option for landing closer to your destination. For example, the PlaneSense® Flight Operations Center simply needs to know the location of your final destination and can find an airport that delivers you closer in less time. This has saved many of our business travelers hours of time otherwise wasted, increasing productivity, and allowing them to get home to loved ones faster.

Fly Smarter With a Right-Sized Program

Fractional programs and jet cards are a significant investment. To fully realize your money’s worth, it’s important to understand your needs so you don’t end up paying for time or cabin space you don’t need. An advantage the PlaneSense® program has over others is an aircraft fleet that’s designed to meet a variety of needs.

Entrance into the fractional jet program begins with a 1/16 share of 50 hours or as much as a 1/2 share at 400 hours. In terms of aircraft type, owners have the choice between the Pilatus PC-12 turboprop and the Pilatus PC-24 jet. Both aircraft are more spacious than other similar aircraft and are extremely nimble in its capabilities to land on shorter runways, allowing owners access to more locations. These two aircraft have a wide range of amenities for both business and leisure travelers, getting them closer to their destinations in comfort.

With Fractional You’re Not a Customer, You’re an Owner

When it comes to private flights, service is a top priority. From arranging the flight and crew to ensuring each passenger has a comfortable flight, the PlaneSense® program maintains a laser focus on providing for the owners’ needs. PlaneSense, Inc. takes great care to create long-term relationships with owners and provide service with a personal touch.

Occasional charter flights can be a sensible option for some travelers, but as companies grow and lifestyles change, there can come a time when a more robust private flight program is needed to meet a flier’s needs. Fractional jet programs are designed to meet that need when you are ready to graduate from charter.